Wrestling’s winning weekend: Four state champions share how they celebrated

Pizza, milkshakes, family, and fun highlight the day after Washington’s high school wrestling season came to an end

Mountain View has a state champion wrestler.

Hudson’s Bay now has a three-time champion.

Seton Catholic has a repeat performance as well.

And a Union senior went from never placing before to a state title.

Every year, we like to talk to the state champions from Clark County some 24 hours after they had their arms raised in victory at the Tacoma Dome.  

What is life like as a state champion? Well, a lot of food, and a whole lot of respect. Here are their stories.

Allison Blaine, Hudson’s Bay:

We will start with the fourth three-time state champion in Clark County history, and the first since Kyle Bounds of Columbia River accomplished the feat in 2005. 

Allison Blaine of Hudson’s Bay looks to be enjoying herself during her quarterfinal victory Friday at Mat Classic. Blaine would go on to win her third consecutive state title. Photo courtesy Betty Snediker
Allison Blaine of Hudson’s Bay looks to be enjoying herself during her quarterfinal victory Friday at Mat Classic. Blaine would go on to win her third consecutive state title. Photo courtesy Betty Snediker

Allison Blaine completed her high school wrestling career with a major decision (15-4) over Elise Scrafford of North Kitsap to claim the girls 135-pound title.

“I just read my Instagram posts. Everybody’s commenting on it,” Blaine said early Monday morning, appreciating all the congratulatory messages she has been receiving online, by phone, and, of course, in person.

“Everybody’s talking to me. There’s a picture of me, and I have so much excitement on my face that I almost look crazy,” Blaine said. “It’s nice to have a little bit of glory after the season. It’s a hard season to get through.”

There was no big party after the championship, though.

“Everybody was pretty tired,” Blaine said. “We didn’t do very much.”

Pizza was a must, though, on the way home. Then a couple of her teammates spent the night. 

On Sunday, she spent the day with family and friends at her favorite family restaurant: The Megabite. Pizza. Wings. Video games. That’s the life of a three-time champion.

Next year, Blaine wants to study engineering in college. Plus, she hopes to continue wrestling.

But this was it for Hudson’s Bay wrestling.

“It’s crazy that it’s over. I can’t believe it was my last seconds wrestling for Bay and wrestling for my coaches,” she said of her championship match. “It’s going to be hard.”

She made history there.

“It’s great to have my name up there,” she said of being a three-time champion. “Hopefully it will be inspiring to people, girls around here.”

Christopher “C.J.” Hamblin, Seton Catholic: 

Two years of high school, two state championships for Hamblin.

As an athlete, he acknowledged there are a few nerves going into a competition, any competition. But Hamblin also is at ease going into those huge matches.

Christopher “CJ” Hamblin of Seton Catholic would get the pin against Hayden Long of Granite Falls to win his second consecutive state title Saturday night. Photo courtesy Betty Snediker
Christopher “CJ” Hamblin of Seton Catholic would get the pin against Hayden Long of Granite Falls to win his second consecutive state title Saturday night. Photo courtesy Betty Snediker

“If your faith is strong, you don’t have to worry about anything else,” Hamblin said. “We already have the victory. Our faith can carry us more than our own strengths, pretty much.”

Hamblin got a pin at the 2:57 mark, defeating Hayden Long of Granite Falls to claim the Class 1A 152-pound title. 

“I was so happy. No matter what match I go into, I’m a little bit nervous. After I got my hand raised, I could finally be relieved.”

As a defending champion, he knew everyone wanted to be the one to beat him.

“You’re always going to have a little bit of pressure, which is good,” Hamblin said. “That keeps you on your toes.”

Hamblin celebrated the title by attending a friend’s birthday party in the hotel in Tacoma. 

“We broke bread together,” he said. 

In this case, bread was pizza and ice cream.

“Fellowship together,” Hamblin said.

Hamblin (and a number of wrestlers) stayed in Tacoma overnight in order to help out at the youth tournament, which is held every year at the dome, on the day after Mat Classic.

Hamblin said he has been wrestling since he was 4 years old, and he loved it when the high school wrestlers would come watch him, help him. This is his way of giving back to the sport.

“I always had two or three wrestling ‘big brothers’ who were always in my corner,” Hamblin said. “They made me wrestle better.”

A sophomore, Hamblin said this second title is special because it means he did not get complacent after winning as a freshman. He knows that he is halfway to winning all four years, but he will need to work even harder for that to become a reality.

“If I keep training the way I do …” 

Noah Messman, Mountain View: 

Noah Messman appreciated the challenge.

He knows all about Mountain View wrestling history. There were some incredible talents in the past, but not one of them went the distance, won a state title.

Noah Messman made Mountain View wrestling history Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome, becoming the first from the program to win a state championship. Photo courtesy Betty Snediker
Noah Messman made Mountain View wrestling history Saturday night at the Tacoma Dome, becoming the first from the program to win a state championship. Photo courtesy Betty Snediker

Today, Mountain View has a state champion wrestler.

“This is something I’ve wanted since I started wrestling back in the third grade, since I first stepped foot in the Mountain View wrestling room,” Messman said. “It’s really cool to see my dreams become a reality.”

Messman won an all-Greater St. Helens League final, holding off Kelso’s Derick Soto 8-7 to win the 3A 132-pound title. 

“If I’m keeping it honest, I was pretty tired,” Messman said.

With about a minute left in the match, he said he was still trying to score. 

But in the last 15 seconds, “I was just trying not to get scored on,” he said. “He almost caught me, too.”

Instead, the whistle blew, and Messman’s arm was raised — a first for his school’s program. 

“That was so amazing. My family and everyone up in the stands were cheering. I had a bunch of teammates in the stands, and they were cheering,” Messman recalled. “To know I was, officially, a state champion, and everyone there saw it, and I had all this support from my team, my family, and my coaches.”

Messman, a junior, joined Hamblin at that birthday party. Food, pool time, more food. Hamblin and Messman are training partners, too. The next day, Messman also helped out at the youth tournament.

“Feels good to be a role model for the younger ones,” Messman said.

Kyle Brosius, Union:

Kyle Brosius had a very interesting observation Sunday night, 24 hours after winning a state title in his senior season.

Kyle Brosius of Union went from never placing at state in his first three years to a 45-1 record and a state championship his senior season. Photo courtesy Betty Snediker
Kyle Brosius of Union went from never placing at state in his first three years to a 45-1 record and a state championship his senior season. Photo courtesy Betty Snediker

He said he never felt he deserved the championship because no one is owed anything. Not in life. Not in sport. However, he did feel he earned it.

So much work was put into this season, so much focus, that he was not surprised.

“I knew it was coming,” Brosius said. “But I’m trying to stay humble and not let it get to my head and just keep being me.”

If he wanted to, he could brag a little.

After all, Brosius just went 45-1 as a senior and he broke the school record with 34 pins.

“I was chasing that pin record,” he acknowledged. “I want to leave behind a legacy for future Titans to break.”

It is quite a legacy, with or without the pin record. Honestly, his journey might not be unprecedented but it certainly is rare.

Here is how Brosius placed at state in his first three years of high school wrestling:

<Cricket noises>

From never placing to winning a state title might happen to some wrestlers, but it is rare to go 45-1 and pin just about everyone. 

Great coaching and a great support system from family helped him, Brosius said. He was never overcoached and he does not have overbearing parents. 

“I don’t have any pressure from outside sources,” Brosius said, noting that he is only encouraged to enjoy the experience. “I didn’t stop working hard because I was having fun.”

He concluded his senior year with an 11-7 win over Bradley Tyack of Decatur to win the 4A 170-pound title. 

“I had finally earned what I worked so hard for,” he said. “Looking at my coaches, family, and teammates, I was just overcome with … happiness. I finally ended by high school career the way I wanted to end it.”

He and some teammates stopped by Arby’s on the way home. Brosius said he ate about five pounds of food, including a chocolate-mint shake. Then we he got home, he had some home-made food from his mom.

“Of course I ate again,” Kyle Brosius said. “I was in celebration mode.”

He earned it, after all.

…For a look at all results from the 2020 Mat Classic, go to the WIAA’s wrestling page: http://wiaa.com/subcontent.aspx?SecID=1169

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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