MIHS wrestling pins down KingCo title

The MIHS wrestling team won the 3A KingCo tournament last Saturday, advancing 12 to the regional tournament this weekend. - Tim Knebel/Contributed photo
The MIHS wrestling team won the 3A KingCo tournament last Saturday, advancing 12 to the regional tournament this weekend.
— image credit: Tim Knebel/Contributed photo

Adding another completed goal to their list last weekend, the Mercer Island wrestlers brought back the KingCo tournament championship after Saturday’s meet. The team finished the regular season 16-0 and won the KingCo dual meet title for the Crown Division.

The Islanders won the tournament at Liberty High School, ahead of Bellevue by almost 50 points. The team sprinted away with first place, earning 202 points, while Bellevue had 157 and Liberty finished third with 148.

MIHS coach Creighton Laughary was named the 3A KingCo coach of the year.

With the win, the Islanders qualified 12 wrestlers for the regional tournament this weekend, also at Liberty High School, and had five individuals win their weight bracket, with three finishing second overall and four in third. The top three in each weight bracket advance to the regional competition.

Taking the title in their weight classes were Connor Gullstad, at 103; James Kashima, at 130; Blake Johnson, at 135; Colton Knebel, at 189; and TJ Blackburn, at 215.

Finishing in second place was Kyle Shanafelt, at 125; Nate Beckett, at 145; and Phil Frazier, at 152. Luca Caruccio, at 103; Salvatore Giampapa, at 130; Elliott Wittenberg, at 160; and Cole Johnson, at 171, all finished in third place.

Alternates for this weekend’s regional meet include Max Graham, Ian Zhange, Andrew Rawson and Brian Rauzi.

The regional tournament begins at 10 a.m. at Liberty High School on Saturday, Feb. 13. The top finishers in their weight brackets will advance to the state competition, the Mat Classic, which begins on Feb. 19 at the Tacoma Dome.


103 — Connor Gullstad, Mercer Island, dec. Phuoc Nguyen, Juanita, 11-4.

112 — Matt Casimes, Bellevue, dec. Dan Velasquez, Liberty, 7-4.

119 — Andrew Sypher, Mount Si, dec. Danny Baba, Juanita, 5-0.

125 — Josh Spiezle, Bellevue, dec. Kyle Shanafelt, Mercer Island, 3-2.

130 — James Kashima, Mercer Island, dec. Jun Park, Bellevue, 7-4.

135 — Blake Johnson, Mercer Island, maj. dec. Ben Larson, Mount Si, 9-0.

140 — Wright Noel, Liberty, tech. fall Trey Botten, Mount Si, 14-2.

145 — Hamilton Noel, Liberty, beat Nate Beckett, Mercer Island, inj. def.

152 — Erik Ovens, Bellevue, dec. Phil Frazier, Mercer Island, 5-2.

160 — Jay Chakravarty, Liberty, dec. Lee Amador, Mount Si, 4-2 OT.

171 — Brandon Studer, Liberty, pinned Logan Vautier, Sammamish, 1:48.

189 — Colton Knebel, Mercer Island, pinned Will Fields, Bellevue, 5:13.

215 — TJ Blackburn, Mercer Island, pinned Jimmy Trull, Bellevue, 5:50.

285 — Cody Treddenbarger, Juanita, pinned Jin Park, Bellevue, :34.

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