Mercer Island wrestlers win regionals

MIHS sends 11 to state tournament this weekend

Last year it was seven. This year 11 wrestlers head to the Mat Classic donning the colors of Mercer Island High School. Since the beginning of the season, sending a greater Islander contingent has been the goal, and now it is one which has been accomplished.

The Islanders won the regional championships, finishing 36 points ahead of O’Dea High School to take the title at Liberty High School last Saturday night. During the tournament, Creighton Laughary, head coach for the Islanders, was named the Region I coach of the year, after being named the league coach of the year during the previous weekend.

Mercer Island had three individual champions, James Kashima at 130, Blake Johnson at 135 and Colton Knebel at 189. The team had four second-place finishers: Connor Gullstad at 103, Kyle Shanafelt at 125, Phil Frazier at 152 and TJ Blackburn at 215. Finishing in fourth were Luca Caruccio at 103, Salvatore Giampapa at 130, Nate Beckett at 145 and Cole Johnson at 171.

By finishing in the top four in their weight bracket, the wrestlers earned their spots at the state tournament this Friday and Saturday in the Tacoma Dome. To see a list of this weekend's first round match ups visit the WIAA bracket page.

Team scores

Mercer Island 197, O'Dea 161, Bellevue 155, Liberty (Issaquah) 131, Mount Si 87.5, Ingraham 75.5, Juanita 73, Bishop Blanchet 64, West Seattle 53, Eastside Catholic 52, Bainbridge 48.5, Chief Sealth 48, Cleveland 11, Lakeside (Seattle) 10, Nathan Hale 6, Sammamish 4, Franklin 0, Rainier Beach 0.

Championship rounds

103 — Jesse Dunn, Bishop Blanchet, dec. Connor Gullstad, Mercer Island, 5-4.

112 — Matt Casimes, Bellevue, pinned Louis Wright, West Seattle, 3:13.

119 — Zack Hamilton, O'Dea, pinned Andrew Syphers, Mount Si, 3:02.

125 — Josh Spiezle, Bellevue, dec. Kyle Shanafelt, Mercer Island, 7-4.

130 — James Kashima, Mercer Island, dec. Jun Park, Bellevue, 10-5.

135 — Blake Johnson, Mercer Island, maj. dec. Ben Larson, Mount Si, 10-0.

140 — Wright Noel, Liberty (Issaquah), dec. Jake Cowin, Eastside Catholic, 6-1.

145 — Hamilton Noel, Liberty (Issaquah), inj. def. over Michael Tran, Ingraham.

152 — Erik Ovens, Bellevue, dec. Phil Frazier, Mercer Island, 6-5.

160 — Gino Clement, O'Dea, dec. Jay Chakravarty, Liberty (Issaquah), 10-3.

171 — Brandon Studer, Liberty (Issaquah), dec. Logan McCallum, Juanita, 7-0.

189 — Colton Knebel, Mercer Island, pinned Peter Johnson, Blanchet, 2:40.

215 — Jimmy Trull, Bellevue, dec. TJ Blackburn, Mercer Island, 3-1.

285 — Cody Treddenbarger, Juanita, pinned Luis Jimenez, Chief Sealth, 1:34.

Slideshow photos by Chad Coleman and Tim Knebel.

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