TACOMA – There were few surprises during Friday’s first day of Mat Classic XXXIII at the Tacoma Dome, especially in the 3A classification.
Mead, as expected, leads the team standings with 136.5 points. The only other two teams to crack 100 points in 3A are also Spokane schools, University with 111 and Mt. Spokane with 104.
Returning champions Kenndyl Mobley of North Central and Q’Veli Quintanilla of University each drew byes in the first round, then made it through to Saturday’s semifinals with a pair of decisive victories.
Quintanilla, a junior undefeated in 34 matches at 145 pounds, pinned both Isaac Van Horn of Stanwood and Nathaniel Wilder of Lynwood inside 2 minutes. He’ll wrestle Mountain View sophomore Nathan Wadleigh in the semifinals.
Mobley, at 126, would perhaps be going for a four-time champions legacy if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t canceled last year’s state meet. He won titles as a freshman and sophomore and gave notice on Friday he’s ready to collect a third on Saturday.
After pinning Ingraham’s Daniel Martinez in just over a minute, Mobley routed Quentin Lawrence of Central Kitsap 13-2 for his 25th win without a defeat to reach the semifinals, where he will meet Mt. Vernon’s Ryan Wilson.
Not bad for not being 100%.
“I’m a little tired today,” Mobley said. “I’ve got to eat back up tomorrow, got to drink lots of liquids.”
Confident heading into Saturday’s action, Mobley’s been focused on enjoying his senior year.
“What I’ve been concentrating on is having fun with wrestling,” he said. “Not focusing on it being a competition, just going out and doing what I want to do.”
Coach Bryan Wais, a former state champ for the Wolfpack, sees no real obstacles in front of Mobley.
“Kenndyl’s opening up. He sees these are his last few matches in high school. He’s tearing it up. He’s a stud,” Wais said. “He’s untouchable at this tournament. Nobody’s going to compete with him.”
Another area wrestler ranked first in the state in his weight division, Mt. Spokane’s Hudson Buth at 138, also moved rapidly into the semis, pinning both Cleveland senior Andrew Vu and Caleb Harris of Yelm, which stands fourth in the team race behind the three Spokane schools.
“Hudson’s excited about wrestling this weekend,” Mt. Spokane coach Jacob Fry said. “We’re just taking it one match at a time, but I love his confidence. He’s definitely wrestling his best at the end of the season which is what you want to do.”
Buth recalled having mixed results against the other semifinalists, including his morning matchup, Eric Vogel of Arlington. Fry said Buth and the Wildcats coaches would watch film, but he wasn’t worried.
“Hudson’s got no weaknesses, no liabilities. As long as he stays solid and aggressive, he’ll be just fine,” Fry said.
Fry was happy with his team’s performance as a whole.
“We’re wrestling tough right now. We’re chasing Mead,” he said.
Other local semifinalists in 3A will include Tanner Crosby of Mt. Spokane at 106; James Mason of Mead and Nolan Crosby of Mt. Spokane at 113; Tyler Walker of University at 120; Cole Turner of Mead and Luke Zwiesler of Mt. Spokane at 132; Jake Mark of Mead at 138; Jonathan Mason of Mead and Samuel Thomas of University at 152; Austin Justice of Mead at 160; Deklen Agloinga of Mead at 182; Jarom Liljenquist of Mt. Spokane at 195 and Jakob Connors of Mead at 220.
In the other classifications:
Central Valley is in ninth place after the first day with 35.5 points. First-place Chiawana has 80.5.
The Bears’ Bennett Beard reached the 106 semifinals with two pins. Others in the semis include Isaac Ruiz of Gonzaga Prep at 120 and Joshua Niewert of G Prep at 126.
Shadle Park’s Zach Lopez, a state champion in 2020, kept himself alive for another title with pins of Burlington-Edison’s Donovan Hendrickson and Hockinson’s Ethan Hsu. Lopez’s semifinal opponent will be Sedro Woolley sophomore Kellen Soares.
Pullman stands eighth as a team with 39 points. Leader Orting has 91.5 points.
Also in the 2A semifinals will be Aydin Peltier of Pullman at 120; Logan Utecht of West Valley at 126; Ivan Acosta of Pullman at 138; Jeroen Smith of Pullman at 145 and Gabriel Smith of Pullman at 152.
Deer Park’s Nathan Gregory kept his dream of a third state championship alive when he reached the semifinals with a pin over Vashon’s George Murphy. He’ll meet Freeman junior Hunter Hawk in the semis.
Toppenish is running away with the 1A team title with 164.5 points. Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) is in second place and Deer Park is fourth.
Reardan’s Preston Neufeld reached the 106 finals after pinning Eddie Cormier Higgins of Muckleshoot Tribal School and Noah Berger of Granger. Neufeld will meet Lake Roosevelt’s Rodger Cate for the state championship Saturday.
Granger leads the team standings with 127.5 points. Tonasket is close behind at 117.5.
Mead’s Taylor Pascua reached the semifinals in the girls at 100, as did Libby Roberts of University at 105
Rogers’ 110-pounder Ellabelle Taylor and Newport’s 235-pounder Madisen Pillers also advanced to the state semifinals.
Toppenish is first in the team standings with 97 points.