BELLINGHAM — Squalicum’s Zachary Wallace was all smiles, despite the blood smeared across his right cheek. After a battle in the 138-pound championship at the Class 2A Regional Championship, Wallace could finally catch his breath.
“I only got three bloody noses in that match. My record is five,” he said with a laugh.
“You shouldn’t be keeping track,” Squalicum coach Russell Robinson said, laughing along with Wallace.
Wallace earned a 6-3 win over Anacortes’ Julien Collins in the 138-pound championship match, on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Squalicum High School. The win avenged Wallace’s loss to Collins in the Class 2A Sub-Regional Tournament on Feb. 8.
“It felt good (to get the win). Last time he caught me on the chin, so I was trying to avoid his elbows,” Wallace said.
Robinson added that he was pleased with Wallace’s improvement from last weekend.
“He stayed in control and stuck to the gameplan,” Robinson said.
Squalicum got another championship in the 120-pound class when Luke Jordan defeated Sedro-Woolley’s Adam Adkinson in overtime. Jordan got the 3-1 win when he scored a big takedown in the final seconds of the one-minute overtime period.
“I knew I needed to take him down,” Jordan said.
Jordan also avenged a loss at the sub-regional to Adkinson with the victory. He looked like he might score a close win in the third period after picking Adkinson up and slamming him to the mat three times in a row, but Adkinson evened the score at 1-1 with an escape after the third throw.
“To bring it back and beat him just made it better,” Jordan said. “I thought I had a good day overall. It’s good to go into state after four wins.”
Sehome’s Jose Ramirez made it to the championship match in the 145-pound class, but ran into stiff competition from Granite Falls’ Tysen Campbell. Campbell was able to record two nearfalls in the first period and put Ramirez in an 8-0 hole before cruising through the final two periods for a 19-3 win.
“I just couldn’t get anything going,” Ramirez said. “I need to keep working on being aggressive.”
The Mariners’ Briley Funk continued his run of success at the 285-pound level in his first year wrestling. Funk followed up his second-place finish at the Sub-Regional with a second-place finish at the Regional. He was pinned in 1 minute, 23 seconds by Lakewood’s Tristan Nelson.
“I’ve learned a lot my first year,” the sophomore Funk said. “I make some mistakes today, but I’m going to keep working on staying in position.”
Funk and Nelson spent the first minute circling each other and jockeying for position, with neither wrestler scoring a takedown. Then Nelson caught Funk with a quick takedown and was able to hold him down for the pin.
Bellingham’s only wrestler in a championship match was Blair Bennett at the 170-pound level. Bennett showed some signs of a comeback after going down 4-0 to Burlington-Edison’s Wes Fleury in the second period. He managed to get two reversals out of Fleury’s takedowns, but Fleury got one more takedown than Bennett could counter.
In the third period neither wrestler could gain an edge as they circled and jockeyed, giving Fleury the 170-pound regional title.
“I was decent off my feet, but when I got taken down I couldn’t get back on my feet,” Bennett said. “I need to work on being in a more solid position.”
Riley Takemura also qualified for the Red Raiders, taking third in the 120-pound division with a win over Squalicum’s Spencer Wallace, who also qualified. Bellingham’s Sergio Torres qualified in the 126-pound division with a third-place finish, and Steven Yazzie qualified with a third-place finish in the 132-pound division for Sehome.
Yazzie’s performance was especially dominant, as he scored a pin against Granite Falls’ Arlyss Jenkins.
“I just stayed in good position and didn’t give up points,” Yazzie said. “It feels awesome (making it to state), I’m excited.”
Brody Weinheimer from Lynden took third in the 195-pound weight class and also advanced to state.
The Lions’ Christian Mouat is the only alternate from Whatcom County, advancing with a win over Bellingham’s Alden Roberts in the 145-pound division. After winning the Sub-Regional last week, Mouat was disappointed with the fifth-place finish.
“I’m not happy with the result,” he said. “I wrestled the best I could today.”
Mat Classic XXVI, wrestling’s state championship, takes place on Friday, Feb. 21, and Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Tacoma Dome.
CLASS 2A REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
At Squalicum High School
106: Bryce Hornbeck (Sedro-Woolley) dec. Ty Peth (Burlington-Edison) 9-1. 113: Hugo Diaz (Burlington-Edison) dec. Daniel Fedoruk (Sedro-Woolley) 15-2. 120: Luke Jordan (Squalicum) dec. Adam Adkinson (Sedro-Woolley) 3-1 OT. 126: Jamell Carroll (Sultan) dec. James Mackenzie 3-1. 132: Tyler Groff (Granite Falls) pin Anthony Cook (Burlington-Edison). 138: Zachary Wallace (Squalicum) dec. Julien Collins (Anacortes) 6-3. 145: Tysen Campbell (Granite Falls) dec. Jose Ramirez (Sehome) 19-3. 152: Jacob Farrell (Sedro-Woolley) dec. Saul Del Rio (Lake Washington) 17-3. 160: Clayton Johnson (Sedro-Woolley) def. Ely Malametz (Cedarcrest) injury default. 170: Wes Fleury (Burlington-Edison) dec. Blair Bennett (Bellingham) 6-4. 182: Quinten Roppel (Sedro-Woolley) dec. Jeff Harrison (Lakewood) 13-7. 195: Gabe Torgerson (Sedro-Woolley) dec. Ross Atterberry (Anacortes) 2-1. 220: Taylor Comfort (Sultan) dec. Jay Moore (Sedro-Woolley) 13-2. 285: Tristan Nelson (Lakewood) pin Briley Funke (Sehome) 1:23.
Riley Takemura 120
Sergio Torres 128
Blair Bennett 170
Brody Weinheimer 195
Steven Yazzie 132
Jose Ramirez 145
Briley Funk 285
Luke Jordan 120
Spencer Wallace 120
Zachary Wallace 138