After claiming her first tournament title, Nooksack Valley freshman Alexcina Coleman flashed a grin and said, “People can’t pronounce my first name.”
They will know how now. Coleman, who wants to wrestle at 105 pounds in the postseason, did the host school proud while winning at 115 with a third-round pin over Mount Baker’s tough Teagan Manzo in the Northwest Conference Girls’ Wrestling Championships on Saturday, Jan. 9.
Coleman said she has lost four matches and has won more than twice that many while introducing herself to conference rivals.
“I’m just thrilled. I gave it my all,” said Coleman, who scored her pin at the 4:54 mark. “I was a little scared to wrestle because I was told how good Manzo is. And she was tough.”
The other seven Whatcom County winners all came from team champion Mount Baker, second-place Nooksack and third-place Lynden, including Baker’s Korbyn Cadle (120), Natalie Smith (125), Taylor VanBrocklin (135) and Akemi Schwinden (235); Nooksack’s Emma Bruntil (130), and Lynden’s unbeaten Kali Spady (140) and Thalia Veliz (190). All won by pin except Van Brocklin, who won by injury default after building an 8-2 lead.
The three county powers claimed 22 of the 28 finals spots in the 14 weight classes, which attracted 76 entrants. Baker amassed 210 points, followed by Nooksack with 164.5, Lynden with 144 and Sedro-Woolley with 113.5 in the most impressive efforts.
BEST FINALS MATCH
Cadle, who improved her season tournament record to 4 titles and one second, rallied from a 7-6 deficit to take a wild 17-11 decision over Nooksack’s up-and-coming Lynette Samano.
“I don’t really consider myself (all that) good,” said the humble Cadle, a junior. “Last year, we lost the state Class 1A title by half a point. “So that’s what means the most to me -- to win the state championship.”
WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
“Last week, at the Sedro-Woolley tournament, Emma Bruntil pinned a three-time state champion, Jordan Bartelson of Puyallup,” said Nooksack coach Chad Parson. “She was sixth at state as a freshman and she’s really and up-and-comer as a sophomore.”
Lynden’s Veliz, who pinned Baker’s Jada Jarvin, has now won two tournaments and finished second at Sedro-Woolley. “I want to do better than eighth at state,” Veliz said. She earned that medal as a freshman, then did not place as a sophomore and could not wrestle at state last year when her postseason was hampered by an injury.
Baker’s VanBrocklin, who was eighth at state as a junior last year, acknowledges high expectations. “I did so well in my first season, you can see the expectations in the faces of others,” she said with a smile.
OTHER LOCAL RUNNERS-UP
The other county runners-up were Baker’s Maria Torrero (105), Marissa Amarando (140), Aniecia Camacho (151) and Rachel Nichols (170), Nooksack’s Nicole Whittern (110), Julie De La Cruz (125) and Miana Rabang (135), and Lynden’s Stephanie Carrillo (100), Karina Martinez (130), Senaida Veliz (145) and Kailey Gee (235).
NOTE: Results of 130- and 135-pound matches corrected on Jan. 12, 2016. Year VanBrocklin placed eighth at state also corrected Jan. 12, 2016.