The Arlington girls wrestling team hosted their first ever Highway Nine Championships as they hosted 26 teams including the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks, Marysville Getchell Chargers and the Lakewood Cougars on Jan. 11.
The Eagles finished in second place behind the Everett Seagulls with a final score of 146.0.
Lakewood narrowly placed above Marysville as the Cougars took 14th place, 66.0 points, and the Tomahawks/Chargers placed 15th with 63.0 points.
“Things ran so smoothly, and it is so good to see a high level of wrestling where we wouldn’t have seen that a few years ago. Right now in practice we are just focusing on review and correcting problems because we have taught them so much earlier in the season,” said Arlington Head Coach Jim Smoots.
Arlington had 17 wrestlers that scored team points and seven of them that placed in the top six in their weight class. Five of their wrestlers placed sixth including Taylor Chapman, Kiara Jones, Sophia Allen, Souzanna Crew and Ashleigh Bergstrom. The other two Eagles, Tailer Cochran and Brianna Williams-Bales, placed fourth in their division.
Chapman, 105-pounds, lost her first match of the day by pin but battled back with two pins in a row before losing by major decision. Jones, 115-pounds, won three matches by pin and lost her other two by pin as well. Allen, 125-pounds, lost her first match by major decision before finishing with two victories and one loss, all by pin. Crew, 170-pounds, took her first two matches of the day by pin before losing her following two matches. Bergstrom, 170-pounds, had a tough break in her first match losing in a tiebreaker before winning two matches and losing one by pin.
Eagles’ 135-pound wrestler Cochran ended her day with a 3-1 tournament record as her only loss came against an undefeated wrestler. Williams-Bales, 235-pounds, lost her first match of the day on a fall, but then came back through the tournament as she rattled off four consecutive wins, including three pins and one forfeit.
“We have quite a few new kids and only a couple of experienced kids. So, it is good to be at a tournament so they can see some really good competition and take some things from what they are doing. At this point in the season we are just looking at fine-tuning,” said Lakewood Head Coach Nic Caldwell.
Lakewood had all four of their wrestlers score team points and place in the top six. Emma Kramer, Angela Reed and Elizabeth Aleo placed sixth in their weight classes, while their lead wrestler Torrie Blackwood ran through the tournament to finish first.
Kramer, 110-pounds, lost her first match of the day by fall in the second round, but battled back with two victories by pin before losing in the consolation semifinal. Reed, 145-pounds, also lost her first match of the day before putting together three consecutive victories by pin and losing in her final match by a 6-0 decision. Aleo, 235-pounds, had a similar experience with a loss in the first round before a win by disqualification, win by first-round fall and finally a loss by fall in the consolation semifinal.
Blackwood, the Cougars’ 120-pound wrestler, dominated the tournament with four consecutive wins by fall, all four of which were in the first round of the match.
“We have a lot of young wrestlers out here and it’s really fun to see them get better, as well as seeing some of them get their first wins. They’re getting the basics down, but at this point in the season we are working on refining our skills and getting more technical moving forward,” said Marysville Head Coach Andie White.
Marysville had five wrestlers that contributed to the team score, with two placing in the top four. Anika Garner placed fourth in the 145-pound division, while freshman Alivia White dominated the tournament to secure the first-place finish in the 190-pound weight class.
Garner took her first match of the day by fall in 22 seconds before losing in the quarterfinal and sending her to the consolation bracket. She then went 2-1 through the rest of the day with all three ending with a pin. White has been dominating all season with a 17-1 record and didn’t disappoint in the tournament with three straight victories, including a 25 second pin, 45 second pin and a 9-3 decision in the final.
Marysville is the only team with home matches left as they will host a double dual on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 6 p.m. with the Cascade Bruins, Snohomish Panthers and Glacier Peak Grizzlies.