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Mercer Island wrestling ninth at state
After earning their best finish at the state meet in 2010 since the 1980s, the Mercer Island wrestling team upped the ante once again, finishing the 2011 Mat Classic as the No. 9 team in the state.
The Islanders, who won both the KingCo and regional meets this season, took six wrestlers to state at the Tacoma Dome last weekend, four of whom earned top eight placements at the meet.
Kyle Shanafelt, a senior, finished fourth overall in the 135 weight division. He lost to Mitchell Bobcook from North Central in a fall after 4:40 of competition. Bobcook was the same wrestler who beat Shanafelt earlier in the tournament, pushing him to the consolation bracket after the second round. Shanafelt beat Tyler Word of Ferndale and Trenton Tibbetts of O’Dea in the consolation bracket before meeting Bobcook again.
Junior Phil Frazier earned a third-place finish in the 171 division, beating Sam Rykken, also from North Central, with a 6-3 decision. Frazier won his first two matches, before falling to Jacob Fry from University by a 6-5 decision. In the consolation round, he faced Jerry Petrechko from Lake Washington, winning with a 6-2 decision.
In the 189 division, Colton Knebel ended his senior year with a fourth-place finish at state. Knebel advanced to the semifinal rounds before losing to eventual state champion Dustin Johnson from University High School. In his final match, Knebel lost by a 9-6 decision to Terrance Joshua from Columbia River.
Fellow Islander teammate and senior TJ Blackburn finished the state competition in eighth place in the 215 division. After a first round win, but a second round loss, Blackburn lost to Jimmy Trull from Bellevue to face David Dempsey from O’Dea. Dempsey beat Blackburn in 4:47 with a fall.
Jacob Pruchno, who wrestled at 103 pounds, lost two straight matches at state to end his season, while Blake Johnson, in the 145 division, lost his second round match, and ended the season after his first match in the consolation bracket.