TACOMA — State championship hopefuls and new faces and Forks’ last go-around on the Class 1A mats highlight the North Olympic Peninsula’s 20-strong delegate of wrestlers competing today and Saturday at Mat Classic XXXII, the state wrestling tournament.
The Spartans traditionally qualify the most area wrestlers for Mat Classic and this year is no exception with 11 Forks athletes competing.
A number of Spartans are ranked high in Class 1A entering the tournament by Washington Wrestling Report. Forks will compete at the Class 2B level next season.
Forks sophomore Hayden Queen, who placed seventh at state in the 160-pound weight class last year, is ranked second at 170 entering the state tournament. Queen is two spots above teammate Hayden Baker, a junior who was seventh at 152 pounds at Mat Classic last season.
Queen edged Baker for the regional crown last weekend.
They’ll face some stiff competition from Medical Lake junior Ethan Davis. Davis won a state championship as a freshman in 2018.
Regional champ Jake Weakley is ranked third at 132 pounds for the Spartans, but 2019 138-pound champ Rueben Seeman of Colville looms as a likely challenger. Weakley placed seventh as a freshman at 120 pounds last season.
Ariel Morales also qualified at 132 pounds for Forks. Morales placed fourth at state at 126 as a sophomore in 2018.
Colton Duncan is ranked No. 5 in the 138-pound class. Duncan won the regional title last weekend and placed seventh at 126 in 2019.
Karen Ensastegui, a 100-pound regional champ last weekend, is rated 10th entering the girls tournament, an all-classification event.
Teammate Annhelica Wells also will compete at 110 pounds for Forks.
Other Forks competitors include freshman Connor Demorest (106), sophomore Dalton Kilmer (120), junior Andres Santos-DeLaCruz (126) who was eighth at 113 in 2019, Luis Perez (145) and alternate Hector Dominguez (220).
Port Townsend senior Dylan Tracer is the Redhawks’ best best to win the school’s second-ever state championship.
“We’ve got some real good kids that should be looking at possibly a state title, something Port Townsend hasn’t done since [Joe Harper in] 1982,” coach Steve Grimm said. “We’ve just got to stay focused and be ready to put it all on the line. The talent is there, so we will see.”
Tracer is hoping to better his third-place finish at 182 pounds last season.
Tracer, who broke his hand during the Redhawks final football game last fall, returned to the mat in January and won his 182-pound regional last weekend.
He’s ranked third entering Mat Classic, behind a pair of Eastern Washington wrestlers who finished third and second at 170 last season in Riverside’s Sammy DesRoches and Connell’s Jesus Ramos.
Chimacum wrestlers Kyle Caldwell (195) and Robbie Collier (170) are coached by Port Townsend but will compete for the Cowboys at state.
Caldwell is rated third in the state and is coming off a third-place finish at the regional tournament. Cascade Christian’s Torretto Metzger-Magalei won that regional and is the top-ranked wrestler in Caldwell’s class.
Port Townsend sophomore Logan Massie is back for his second state tournament after competing at 126 pounds last season.
Ian Linn-Glasgow (152) also will compete for the Redhawks while Odin Smith (152) and Wes Blue (182) will serve as alternates for Port Townsend.
Port Angeles has the potential for some podium finishes with three grapplers competing.
Junior Adam Borde, a regional champ at 132 pounds, will hope to better his eighth-place finish at Mat Classic as a sophomore.
Jason Kibe (182) is unranked but listed among the 2A contenders at his weight class. Kibe lost a marathon regional championship to fifth-ranked Elliott Carlsson of Steilacoom last week, so he’s more than capable of surprising the “experts” at state.
Lance Menes also will compete for Port Angeles at 195 pounds.
Sequim has one wrestler at state, first-year participant Isaiah Cowan at 182.
Session I (4A, 1A and 2B/1B first-round, quarterfinal and consolation matches in the Tacoma Dome) is from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Session II (3A, 2A and girls first-round, quarterfinal and consolation matches) is from 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Session III (semifinal, consolation and non-championship state-placing matches for all classifications in the Tacoma Dome) is from 9:45 a.m-2:45 p.m.
Session IV (all championship finals) is from 5 p.m.-9 p.m.
Single day is $18 for adults, $13 for students and senior citizens. All tournament passes are $32 for adults, $23 for students and senior citizens.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected].