MARYSVILLE — Lakewood High School wrestlers made it the 2A State Tournament on Feb. 21-22, and two wrestlers placed.
“We came in with high expectations, but didn’t quite materialize as we were hoping,” Lakewood head coach Tom O’Hara said. “But they had a lot of heart and placed high.”
The Cougars brought nine wrestlers to the Tacoma Dome, including four girls and five boys, on Feb. 21.
Only three of the wrestlers advanced to the semi-finals on Feb. 22. Though the other seven wrestlers didn’t make the cut for finals, O’Hara was still pleased with how his wrestlers performed overall.
It was the most wrestlers a school has brought over to the Tacoma Dome, according to O’Hara, an achievement he is very proud of.
“We got nine kids to come to the State Tournament,” he said. “I think we did well.”
Senior Jeff Harrison was one of the two who made it to the semi-finals. Harrison placed eighth in State in the 182-pound weight class.
Harrison performed well on Feb. 22, but was stopped by a wrestler who became State Champion. “Jeff had some great matches,” O’Hara said. “He wrestled the soon-to-be State Champion better than his other matches.”
Harrison battled his way through Feb. 21, but his effort on Feb. 21 didn’t translate to Feb. 22.
“He forgot to show up, and he wasn’t prepared mentally and physically,” O’Hara said. “He beat the kid easily the week before.”
Harrison wrestled well indeed, but O’Hara was most impressed with the wrestler’s attitude after the loss.
“He came out to me and said ‘Coach, he was just better than me,’ and that showed me how much he has matured as human being,” O’Hara said.
Junior Gage Gilbertson, in the 160-pound weight class, was the second Cougar to place at the State Tournament. “He wasn’t even supposed to place,” O’Hara said. “He lost three matches — two at the State Tournament.”
O’Hara said Gilbertson was three points away from placing in the top five.
Gilbertson wrestled well and O’Hara appreciated the fighting spirit of the senior. “Mentally he is the ideal person to go out on the mat,” O’Hara said. “He doesn’t worry about who the other guy is. He just goes out and wrestles.”
The seven other wrestlers didn’t place, but wrestled well according to O’Hara.
It was rough day, unfortunately, for senior Drake Mosteller, who was pinned and lost two matches in a row in the 182-pound weight class on Feb. 21.
“He was under too much pressure,” O’Hara said.
The other two boys brought to the State Tournament were 285-pound seniors Tristan Nelson and Deven Jackson.
O’Hara was also pleased with the girls’ performances during the tournament.
“The girls wrestled well, but they didn’t make it,” O’Hara said.
One of those girl wrestlers was junior Katie Kortekaas, who lost in triple overtime on Feb. 21. “That was a heartbreaker,” O’Hara said.
The other three girls wrestlers were 106-pound sophomores Alexis Perry and Tommie Mosteller, and 137-pound sophomore Makayla Jackson.