Ferndale athletic director Eric Tripp and Squalicum athletic director Patrick Brown had to work overtime to make sure their wrestling programs had a fair path into the Class 3A Region I Tournament, and their efforts proved to be well worth the fight.
With reclassification before the 2016-17 school year, the Golden Eagles and Storm found themselves orphaned as the only 3A schools from the Northwest Conference. They got lumped into Region I with the 15 3A schools from the Metro League, creating the need for a long set of negotiations between the two leagues and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association about the process for Ferndale and Squalicum wrestlers to qualify for regional competition.
The Golden Eagles and Storm proved more than worthy of all that hard work, though, as they combined to win half of the 14 weight classes at the regional Saturday at Chief Sealth, and had 20 wrestlers advance to this weekend’s Class 3A State Tournament in Tacoma.
Ferndale cleaned up, claiming titles in six weight classes: Eli Croy (132 pounds), Jaden Schwartz (145), Alex Cleary (182), Ben Broselle (195), Nate Slaton (220) and Spencer Crosswite (285). Three others – Broc Graves (120), Josh Coballes (126) and Pavel Kolbert (170) – advanced to their regional championship matches.
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The Golden Eagles had 13 wrestlers finish among the top four in their classes to advance to state, including Broselle, a returning state champion.
Squalicum’s Bryaden Charlette won the 106-pound title with a 17-4 decision, and teammate Jase Coopers advanced to the 113-pound championship match. Seven Storm wrestlers finished among the top four to advance to state.
Meridian’s Jake Cheney was the only Whatcom County wrestler to advance to a championship match at Saturday’s Class 1A Region II tournament at Highland.
Cheney won his first two matches by pin before falling 6-1 to Granger’s Niko Garcia in the 138-pound championship match. Cheney was one of three Trojan wrestlers to advance to the Class 1A State Championships, joining Manny Sabalza (160) and Oscar Madrigal (195).
Nooksack Valley also had three wrestlers place in the top four in their classes – Valentin Villalobos (126), Luke Winter (220) and Tyson Mergel (285) – to advance to state, and Mount Baker had four wrestlers advance: Skyler Isaacson (132), Jonathan Sanchez (145), Braxton Shannon (220) and Ethan Valum (285).
Mount Baker had four wrestlers win their weight classes Saturday at the Region I girls tournament at Sedro-Woolley, while two others advanced to championship matches.
The 115-pound title match was all-Mountaineer, as Michelle Mata pinned teammate Teagan Manzo in 3 minutes, 56 seconds to claim the crown. Mount Baker’s Korbyn Cadle won an all-Whatcom County championship match at 120 pounds, as she beat Meridian’s Julie De La Cruz 12-1.
Also winning titles for the Mountaineers were Gabriella Mata at 110 pounds and Emma Bruntil – a returning state champion – at 135 pounds. Teammate Jada Tarvin advanced to the 170-pound title match, as the Mountaineers had six wrestlers qualify for state.
Lynden will send three wrestlers to state, including Kali Spady, who won the 145-pound title. Nooksack Valley had five state qualifiers, including Lynette Samano, who advanced to the 125-pound championship match, while Sehome had one wrestler advance.
Whatcom County state qualifiers
106: Brayden Charlette (Squalicum)
113: Jase Coopers (Squalicum), Jaiden Bundy (Squalicum)
120: Broc Graves (Ferndale)
126: Josh Coballes (Ferndale)
132: Eli Croy (Ferndale), Ryan Slaughter (Ferndale)
138: Carson Trolinder (Ferndale)
145: Jaden Schwartz (Ferndale)
152: Noah Saenz (Ferndale)
160: Jordan Cristelli (Ferndale)
170: Pavel Kolbert (Ferndale)
182: Alex Cleary (Ferndale)
195: Ben Broselle (Ferndale), Brian Pullman (Squalicum)
220: Nate Slaton (Ferndale), Justin McAuley (Squalicum)
285: Spencer Crosswite (Ferndale), Dominick Mack (Squalicum), Dan Angel (Squalicum)
106: Indiana Casas (Bellingham)
113: Elijah Marquez (Sehome)
120: Pablo Martinez (Lynden)
132: Colton Economy (Blaine)
138: Derreck Camba (Blaine)
145: Matt Macauley (Blaine), Aidan Button (Blaine)
152: Jonathan Lara (Lynden)
160: Joseph Jefferson (Bellingham)
170: Riley Fritsch (Blaine)
182: Julian Gonzalez (Blaine)
195: Brody Weinheimer (Lynden)
220: Saul Magallon (Blaine), Porter Schmidt (Blaine)
126: Valentin Villalobos (Nooksack Valley)
132: Skyler Isaacson (Mount Baker)
138: Jake Cheney (Meridian)
145: Jonathan Sanchez (Mount Baker)
160: Manny Sabalza (Meridian)
195: Oscar Madrigal (Meridian)
220: Braxton Shannon (Mount Baker), Luke Winter (Nooksack Valley)
285: Tyson Mergel (Nooksack Valley), Ethan Valum (Mount Baker)
110: Gabriella Mata (Mount Baker)
115: Michelle Mata (Mount Baker), Teagan Manzo (Mount Baker)
120: Korbyn Cadle (Mount Baker), Julie De La Cruz (Meridian)
125: Lynette Samano (Nooksack Valley)
130: Sydney Cone (Sehome)
135: Emma Bruntil (Mount Baker), Karina Martinez (Lynden)
145: Kali Spady (Lynden)
155: Elizabeth Estavez (Lynden), Becca Averys (Nooksack Valley)
170: Jada Tarvin (Mount Baker), Emily Parson (Nooksack Valley), Laticia Garcia (Nooksack Valley)
190: Grace Himango (Nooksack Valley)