Mount Baker’s girls’ wrestling team is once again the best team in the Northwest Conference.
After a poor dual meet against Nooksack Valley on Wednesday, Jan. 8, the Mountaineers responded in grand fashion, winning the Northwest Conference Championships Saturday, Jan. 10, at Nooksack Valley High School with a team total of 222 points, nearly 100 points more than Nooksack Valley, which had 132.
Following the Pioneers was Lynden (113 points), Sedro-Woolley (109), Burlington-Edison (97), Mount Vernon (76) and Squalicum (44).
“We had a little wake-up call on Wednesday,” Baker coach Clyde Blockley said. “We weren’t ready to wrestle Nooksack on Wednesday. We had a little talking and the girls came to wrestle today.”
While Mount Baker’s entire team, which had eight individual champions of the 14 weight classes, came prepared, there were few as impressive as Korbyn Cadle in the 120-pound class.
Cadle faced Nooksack Valley’s Emma Bruntil in the championship match Saturday. The Bruntil-Cadle matchup is becoming a bit of a rivalry and making it more significant is the rivalry between the Mountaineers and Pioneers, who topped Baker by one point at state last year.
Bruntil defeated Cadle in Wednesday’s contest by way of pin, but Cadle flipped the script Saturday, pinning Bruntil with just 50 seconds left in the third round. Cadle stuffed Bruntil’s takedown attempt before wrestling the Pioneer to the ground.
Cadle ended up getting the pin with a half Nelson.
“I’m really impressed with myself for going back and working hard these last two days at practice and winning this final match and getting first,” Cadle said.
For Bruntil it was a pair of slip-ups that changed the outcome.
“Korbyn came in with a lot of excitement and aggression. We were expecting that because we talked to Emma and said ‘Hey she’s after you,’” Nooksack coach Chad Parson said. “Emma made two mistakes in her match. ... She did not have her hand placement correct and it cost her the match. After the match was over, I pulled her aside and we worked on that. She realizes her mistakes so next time we are looking to hunt some red and black down.”
Other Mount Baker champions included Michelle Mata, who was wrestling at 100 pounds for the first time, Natalie Smith (125 pounds), Jessica Mata (130), Taylor Van Brocklin (135), Rachel Nichols (145), Aniecea Camacho (155) and Akemi Schwinden (235).
“In Michelle’s first match, she didn’t believe she could win and then she ended up beating the girl (Arlethe Montiel of Burlington-Edison) and kept getting stronger and stronger as the day went on,” Blockley said. “We’re still a long way from where we need to be tournament-wise and wrestling-wise. I think we can be a lot better than that. We just got to keep getting better every week.”
Nooksack Valley finished with one champion in Nicole Whittern (110), who got the benefit of a two-person bracket and defeated Squalicum’s Melissa Ortiz in the championship match.
The Pioneers continue to chase Mount Baker but are happy with a second-place NWC finish, especially with Kaleiolani Jefferson still out of the lineup. Jefferson is scheduled to return in about two weeks.
“That first place is what we’re really looking toward at any tournament,” Parson said. “Mount Baker wrestled hard, they looked good. They’re getting their girls prepped for state but it’s going to be a battle when they get there.”
The pin of the day, however, was not from a school that recorded a team score, but from Blaine’s Olivia Adams in the 140-pound championship match.
Adams, who was facing off against Baker’s Marissa Amarando, got a pin 80 seconds into the match with her classic head-and-arm move.
“My move, the move I always do, the move everyone knows I do, the head and arm,” Adams said. “I think the Mount Baker girl knew I was going to do it so she was resisting a lot. I was really nervous before but I finally got it. It was really exciting.”
But this pin was not the same as the dozens of others Adams has completed in her Blaine career.
Adams had to complete this pin while trying to keep her bloody nose from spilling on to the mat. The Borderite held on to her nose while holding down Amarando with her other arm.
As the referee blew the whistle to signal the victory, Adams ran over to the medical area to clean up her nose.
“If (blood) fell on to her or the mat, they would stop it. I was trying to pin her so I had to try to keep it off the mat and her,” Adams said. “I was trying to hide it a little bit but it worked out, so that was good.”
Other individual champions included Lynden’s Emily Gallegos (105), Mount Vernon’s Brenda Reyna (115) and Leigh Lemay (170) and Burlington-Edison’s Caitlin Moore (190).
Northwest Conference Championships
100: Michelle Mata (Mount Baker) pin Kaylyn Barnes (Sedro-Woolley) 2:27; 105: Emily Gallegos (Lynden) pin Leah Olson (Sedro-Woolley) 0:51; 110: Nicole Whittern (Nooksack Valley) pin Melissa Ortiz (Squalicum) 1:45; 115: Brenda Reyna (Mount Vernon) pin Teracita Shanes (Sedro-Woolley) 4:06; 120: Korbyn Cadle (Mount Baker) pin Emma Bruntil (Nooksack Valley) 5:10; 125: Natalie Smith (Mount Baker) pin Miana Rabang (Nooksack Valley) 5:03; 130: Jessica Mata (Mount Baker) pin Karina Martinez (Lynden) 4;43; 135: Taylor Van Brocklin (Mount Baker) pin Kali Spady (Lynden) 4:28; 140: Olivia Adams (Blaine) pin Marissa Amarando (Mount Baker) 1:20; 145: Rachel Nichols (Mount Baker) dec. Chloe Ammons (Sedro-Woolley) 6-5; 155: Aniecea Camacho (Mount Baker) dec. Dajah Mendiola 5-2; 170: Leigh Lemay (Mount Vernon) pin Thalia Veliz (Lynden) 1:15; 190: Caitlin Moore (Burlington-Edison) dec. Tarisa Toth (Anacortes) 10-4; 235: Akemi Schwinden (Mount Baker) pin Jaden Shadle (Burlington-Edison) 4:51.