Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
                                Mercer Island Islanders wrestler Donnie Howard (pictured) earned an individual championship in the 195-pound weight class at the KingCo 3A wrestling tournament on Feb. 3 at North Creek High School.

Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno Mercer Island Islanders wrestler Donnie Howard (pictured) earned an individual championship in the 195-pound weight class at the KingCo 3A wrestling tournament on Feb. 3 at North Creek High School.

Islanders grapplers perform well at KingCo 3A tournament

Three Mercer Island wrestlers earned first place medals at the KingCo 3A wrestling tournament.

Donnie Howard (195), Jonah Andrews (152) and freshman Connor Pettigrew (113) captured individual championships in their respective weight divisions. Pettigrew defeated Islanders’ teammate Piljin Kwak 8-1 in the 113-pound championship match.

“It was fun but challenging, though, because we both knew what each other were going to do. I like to use the cradle and he knows that. He is really good at defending my cradle,” Pettigrew said of Kwak.

Andrews pinned Redmond’s Jack Ellis in the second round of the 152-pound title match. The senior captain was thrilled to attain a KingCo championship.

“It is a milestone. I have always wanted to win KingCo. Now I’m looking onward and upward. This is one step to getting to state. That is my goal and that is what I’m focusing on right now,” Andrews said.

Andrews is focused on achieving his goals on the mat. The regional tournament will take place Feb. 9-10 and the Mat Classic state tournament is Feb. 16-17 at the Tacoma Dome.

“Building confidence in a sport like wrestling takes years and years of mat time,” Andrews said. “Every match just gives you more and more confidence which is great. I’m always thinking about what moves I want to hit and think about what scenarios might happen. It is about being able to win in different ways. It is really a fun time.”

Mercer Island grapplers capturing second place at the KingCo 3A tournament consisted of Eli Pruchno (138), Jordan Tillinger (120) and Kwak (113).

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