Chewelah will be well represented
Kettle Falls High senior Tyler Vining (220) and sophomore Austin Anderson (170) qualified at last weekend’s District 6-7 regional wrestling meet (Chelan High School) for the 25th annual Mat Classic all divisions’ state championships Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
Vining, who was thought to be finished for the season after re-injuring his right knee in the district tournament, competed at Chelan on essentially one leg and still managed a third place finish and a spot in his third Mat Classic.
Anderson will be making his first trip to Mat Classic.
Vining will open his Mat Classic wrestling on Friday morning against Matt Shields of Rochester. A win over Shields would mean a quarterfinal date with Warden standout Adam Hansen.
KFHS coach John Harris said that Hansen, top-ranked at 220-pounds, and Vining split a pair of match-ups last season. Vining finished fourth at Mat Classic in 2012.
Still formidable on a damaged knee
Harris thinks that even wrestling at about 60 percent efficiency, Vining should get past Shields. Obviously, a match-up with Hansen is more problematic at this juncture.
“We’ll just see how it goes,” Harris said on Monday. “Sixty-percent of Tyler is better than most. He does have a hard time pushing off that right knee though.”
Harris said that his standout is scheduled for knee surgery shortly after Mat Classic. Vining, also a pitching standout for the Bulldogs, is still planning to play baseball this spring, according to Harris.
At the regional, Vining injury defaulted in the semifinals before winning his next match and limping to a third place finish.
“We were trying to do everything we could to get him through,” Harris conceded.
Vining still managed a trio of pins.
Anderson continued his strong late-season wrestling with a fourth place finish. He lost to an Okanogan wrestler in the semifinals who went on to finish second at 170 pounds.
Harris said that Anderson was winning in the late-going of his third/fourth place match before ending up on the short end and finishing fourth.
Anderson drew top-seeded Shane Armstrong of Vashon Island in his Friday Mat Classic opener.
Kettle’s Justin Volking finished an outstanding freshman season for the Bulldogs. He lost at Chelan to Nick Reed and Victor Salgado. Kettle heavyweight Robby Sohl, a first-year wrestler, also lost his two match-ups at regionals, losing by pin to Luis Garcia of Chelan and falling 8-1 to Alex Solis.
Quincy of the Caribou-Trail League won the tournament, which was dominated by the CTL. The Jackrabbits crowned five individual champions, had a second place and two thirds.
“The CTL definitely put a thumping on us (Northeast A),” Harris said.
Chewelah qualified six wrestlers to Mat Classic.
Leading the way for the Cougars is regional champion Adam Collins at 170 pounds. Finishing second for Chewelah was Dustin Olson at 285 and Russell Smith at 152.
Finishing fourth for Jenkins High was Mathew Crise at 113 pounds, Josh Hanley at 195 and Dustin Crowell at 138.
Kyle Connall finished sixth at 126, along with Connor Fulbright (152).