Squalicum three-sport standout Brian Pullman enjoyed his second great wrestling thrill when he beat his second state champion in as many years to highlight his 220-pound title at the Battle At the Border Tournament.
Now the muscular senior wants more than a serenade of “Happy Birthday” from his buddies. He obviously hungers for a state title to call his own.
Pullman (9-0), who pinned his first four opponents Saturday, scored a takedown at what the officials ruled was the edge of the mat to claim a 4-2 decision in sudden death over defending Class 2A champion Saul Magellan (8-1) of Blaine.
Pullman placed third at Class 3A state last year, after barely losing to the eventual champion. Earlier last season he logged a win over Ferndale’s Ben Broselle, who went on to win t 3A title.
“I put in an awful lot of work in the off-season (despite also playing football and track),” said Pullman, who was inspired by his win over Broselle and his strong showing at state.
The Borderites finished second with 227.5 points behind Kentwood’s 240.5 with two tournament champions: senior Caleb Bullard (145), who pinned Nolan Keesee of Black Hills at 5:08 after leading 10-4, claiming the first title of his career; and junior Jacob Westfall (182); who took a wild 5-4 decision over Ferndale’s Alex Cleary.
Bullard, a National Honor Society member, improved to 10-2, and Westfall moved to 8-2. Westfall lists his career record as 46-18.
Two other Storm titlists
Squalicum junior Jaiden Bundy, who came into the finals with three pins in as many matches, shut out Colton Burke of Black Hills 5-0 with a workmanlike effort by the Storm’s two-time state qualifier.
“That was my first shutout this season,” said Bundy (6-2). “This was my first title for Squalicum. I was excited by beating a defending state champion, Ben Honeycutt from Kelso, last week at Edmonds-Woodway.”
Squalicum senior Jase Cooper (10-1), who has twice placed sixth at state – in 2A and 3A the past two years – earned his first title of the year with a 9-3 win over Lynden junior Pablo Martinez.
“Pablo has beaten me before,” said Cooper, who is now 2-1 against the rugged Martinez.
Pullman, Bundy and Cooper led the Storm to sixth place in the 20-team tournament with 140.5 points. Ferndale finished fourth at 161 points behind 285-pound champion Spencer Crosswhite (7-1), a senior who claimed a 7-4 win over Squalicum’s Dominick Mack (6-4).
Crosswhite improved his career record to 37-6.
“I definitely want a state title,” Crosswhite said. “I feel I’ve honed in on how to wrestle.”
12 local finalists
Blaine senior Porter Schmidt (8-2) finished second at 195, as Darrington’s tough Johnny Franke scored a 2-1 win in one of the best matches of the night.
Freshman Adam Macauley (9-1) of Blaine fell to Todd Beamer’s Landon Guaderrama 14-6.
In all, Whatcom County had 12 finalists among the 28 available, so it was a solid showing for the locals, who came into the championship round with a combined 87-13 record.