Forks' Peyton Johnson, left, battles Port Angeles' Faye Dachs at the Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome this weekend. Johnson won with a pin and finished sixth in the state at 115 pounds. Dachs won two matches over the weekend. (Roger Harnack/Cheney Free Press)

MAT CLASSIC: Forks’ Tumaua back-to-back state champ; Forks second as a team

TACOMA — For the second straight year, Forks’ Sloan Tumaua is a state champion, and for the second straight year, the Forks boys wrestling squad finished second as a team.

Tumaua, the 2023 champion at 220 pounds, moved up to the 285-pound level this year, winning the championship without the benefit of a pin. In fact, all three of his matches were relatively close.

“I’m a little sore, but pretty pumped up about it,” Tumaua said.

Sloan Tumaua, Forks wrestling

Sloan Tumaua, Forks wrestling

Tumaua beat Kaden Hippler of Kettle Falls in a 3-2 decision in the quarterfinal, Marshall Brockway of Mossyrock by an 11-7 decision and Kade West of Darrington with a 5-3 decision. He finished the season 40-4.

Tumaua said he is a small wrestler for the 285-pound division. Part of his strategy was to exploit his speed to outscore his bigger opponents who are more difficult to pin.

“It’s a whole different type of game [at 285],” he said. “It took me a while to get used to it.”

Tumaua is the first back-to-back state wrestling champion at Forks since Josue Lucas, who won championships in 2017 and 2018. Tumaua said he used to wrestle with the older Lucas at the club level, though Lucas was a smaller wrestler at 113 pounds.

Tumaua came in to the Mat Classic as the second-place finisher from his regional. He was pinned by West in the third round at the regional championship, but was able to turn the tables on him in the state finals.

He completed his Forks wrestling career by winning his district subregional tournament, the Berserker title, the River Ridge Rumble, the Justin Norton Memorial tournament, The Rock tournament, the King and Queen of the Castle and Forks’ own home tournament.

Though Forks didn’t have quite as deep of a team as last year, the Spartans were able to finish second again with seven wrestlers placing. The team garnered a total of 132 points. Tonasket won the state 1B/2B championship with 217 points. Goldendale was third at 111.5, Okanogan fourth at 106.5 and Granger fifth at 104.5.

Tumaua agreed that the Spartans weren’t as deep this year and that “I know we weren’t favored” to come in second. He said the entire team came up big with some huge wins during the state tournament.

Forks had three wrestlers finish third. Abraham Montealegre (32-11) was third at 113 pounds. He won with a pin over Riley Mazza of Kalama to win his third-place match.

Walker Rondeau (45-6) came in third at 132 pounds, winning his third-place match with a 19-4 technical fall over Andrew Worden of Kettle Falls. Walker Wheeler at 144 pounds (42-6) also finished third with a pin over Storey Woodbury of Goldendale.

Other Forks wrestlers who placed include:

Jesus Garcia-Dominguez, 113 pounds, fifth.

Nate Dahlgren, 190 pounds, fifth.

Aiden Ivey, 150 pounds, sixth.

Tumaua is not done with his high school athletic career. After resting for a few days, he moves into track. He competes in discus and shot put for the Spartans and has qualified for the state track meet in these events in the past.

The second-place finish ties for Forks’ best finish at state since the Spartans won the state championship in 2014. Tonasket won the state championship in 2023, as well.

Forks girls

Forks also had two girls who placed. Miley Blanton finished fifth at 120 pounds with a pair of wins, including a 10-7 decision over Mi Amada Lanphear-Ramirez of East Jefferson, who went on to finish third.

Peyton Johnson came in sixth at 115 pounds by winning three matches, including a pin of Faye Dachs of Port Angeles.

East Jefferson

East Jefferson’s Lanphear-Ramirez finished third for the second straight year. She had to do it the hard way, going into the consolation round after the quarterfinals. After losing to Forks’ Blanton, she went on to win four straight matches, winning the third-place medal with a pin in the second round over Natallie Pinon of Toppenish.

Port Angeles

For the Roughriders, Willow Harvey won two matches to place sixth at 130 pounds. Dachs didn’t place at 115 pounds, but she won two matches and scored seven teams points.

Sequim

Sequim’s Cayden Beauregard placed fifth at 113 pounds, improving on his seventh-place finish from last year. He went 4-2 on the day, winning his fifth-place match over Robert Rivera-Jesus of Black Hills with a 3-1 decision.

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