The weekend was full of podiums for the East Jefferson Rivals boys and girls wrestling teams as three freshman grapplers became Nisqually League champions and 14 wrestlers are headed to …
The weekend was full of podiums for the East Jefferson Rivals boys and girls wrestling teams as three freshman grapplers became Nisqually League champions and 14 wrestlers are headed to Regionals.
The boys traveled to Tacoma Saturday, and freshmen Grady White (126-pound weight class), Manaseh Lanphear Ramirez (145-pound weight class), and Jameson Henery (152-pound weight division) each earned gold to become champions in the Nisqually League in their respective weigh classes.
Out of the 14 EJ boys, nine grapplers and one alternate qualified for Regionals in Blaine after finishing in the top three in their weight classes.
The boys that qualified include Isaiah Johnson (third place,120-pound weight division); Ike Banks (second place, 145-pound weight class); Rylen Kruse (third place,
170-pound weight class); Devon Bennett-Anderson (third place, 220-pound weight division); Lars Wakefield (second place, 285-pound weight class); and Beau Manuel (third place, 285-pound weight division). Gabe Evans (fourth place, 160-pound weight class) qualified as an alternate.
“Each one of these boys has had to overcome some significant injuries and illnesses this season to make it to this point,” said Head Coach Steve Grimm. “To see them all battle their hearts out during a qualifying tournament that leads to the state tournament is wonderful. We have a room full of kids that just want to improve, it’s so much fun to coach them.”
On the girls’ end, four grapplers travelled to Buckley Saturday, with all four girls qualifying for Regionals.
The girls faced adversity before the wrestling event even began, with the Hood Canal Bridge closing down Friday evening after a vehicle accident and causing the team to take a detour and arrive late for Saturday’s wrestling event.
The qualifying girls include Mi Amada Lanphear Ramirez (first place, 115-pound weight class); Melody Douglas (second, 155-pound weight division); Ivy Hill (third, 130-pound weight class); and Chloe Lampert (third, 120-pound weight class).
Currently ranked No. 2 in the 110-pound weight class among small schools in Washington state, Lanphear Ramirez has faced and defeated some of her top-ranked peers.
“Mi Amada [Lanphear Ramirez] has now beaten both the No. 1- and No. 2-ranked girls in her weight class this year. The rest of her season should be quite the journey,” said girls team Head Coach Jim Wilcox.
“I have been working with Mi Amada on her mental game for these big matches. I have a ‘tin man and scarecrow’ story I like to share with her,” Wilcox added.
Next week’s Regionals events are set for Saturday, with the boys headed to Blaine and the girls going to Sedro-Woolley.