Wrestling tournament showcases state of talent

Colton Knebel takes down Will Fields of Bellevue in the 189 championship match. - Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter
Colton Knebel takes down Will Fields of Bellevue in the 189 championship match.
— image credit: Megan Managan/Mercer Island Reporter

Last weekend, wrestling talent from across the state was showcased during the Jack Reynolds Memorial Fund Tournament of Excellence, drawing wrestling teams from high schools across the state to compete at Mercer Island High School.

The Islanders competed against top teams from throughout Washington, traveling from high schools like Chief Stealth and Granger to participate in the tournament, in honor of a longtime Washington coach and official for high school and national wrestling.

Jack Reynolds was a longtime teacher in the Issaquah School District and was a wrestling and softball official at both the state and national level. He coached wrestling, football, track and volleyball, and in 2008 he was inducted to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for his dedication to the sport.

The goal is to create a continuing fund to help student athletes achieve post-secondary education. Scholarships are awarded to student athletes who exemplify qualities that Reynolds taught and looked for in his own athletes: dedication, integrity, mentorship, academic achievement and fair play.

Prior to the tournament head coach Creighton Laughary said he wanted the team to send the message that Mercer Island is more than just a dual match team, but a tournament team, as well.

After a day of wrestling, Granger nabbed the top spot, finishing in first with 253 points, ahead of the second-place Mercer Island team, which amassed 196.5 points and had a champion, two second-place finishers and three third-place finishes.

Colton Knebel beat Will Fields of Bellevue in the 189 weight class for the championship, while Blake Johnson lost in the final round to a wrestler from Woodinville in the 135 bracket. Connor Gullstad was second in the 103 bracket after a 6-0 decision loss to a wrestler from Granger. Finishing in third place for the team was James Kashima at 130 pounds, Phil Fraizer at 152, and TJ Blackburn in the 215 weight class.

Mercer Island 49, Juanita 21

103 – Connor Gullstad won by decision 4-2

112 – Uriel Cohen lost by decision 4-1

119 – Kyle Shanafelt won by fall

130 – James Kashima won by fall

135 – Salvatore Giampapa lost by decision 3-2

140 – Blake Johnson won by forfeit

145 – Andrew Rawson won by major decision 17-3

152 – Andrew Picton lost by fall

160 – Nolan Fisk won by fall

171 – Cole Johnson lost by decision 9-2

189 – Colton Knebel won by fall

215 – TJ Blackburn won by fall

285 – Ben O’Connell won by forfeit

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