Sports

Four Cougars will compete at Mat Classic

While Lakewood wrestling has struggled a team this season, the program sends four wrestlers to the state tournament this year.

That’s twice as many as went last year.

Both of the Cougars’ 2008 wrestlers return for another chance for glory. Senior Christina Ordonez and junior Keely Caldwell earned No. 1 seeds out of the regional at Liberty High School in Renton Feb. 14 and appear at the top of their state bracket.

After a first-round bye, Ordonez pinned her next two opponents in a row, including championship challenger Brendae Grein of Interlake in 39 seconds, to be named regional champion at 152 pounds.

Caldwell had no bye, defeating Nakasha Custer of Mount Baker, Chelsea Seidel of Sedro-Woolley and Seidel’s teammate in the championship match, a 10-8 decision over Sara Moquin.

They’ll be joined by teammates Autumn Novak – earning her first trip to state at 160 pounds – and Billy McKeever, another first-time state wrestler, who earned a No. 3 seed out of regionals at Blaine High School.

McKeever earned a win in his first match, defeating Squalicum’s Evan Schwitter before he came up against eventual regional champion Alex Pennington of Blaine. He bounced back, winning his next two matches including a second-round pin over Burlington-Edison’s Juan Canalas to advance to the Mat Classic.

Novak defeated Oak Harbor’s Jessica O’Dell in the first round but fell to Mount Baker junior and bracket runner-up Katie Weide. She rebounded by defeating Sedro-Woolley’s Hallie Thomas with a pin late in the second round.

Four more teammates placed at regionals. Senior Amanda Gregory is an alternate to state with a fifth-place finish at 112 pounds. Tasha Postlewaite and Chelsea Favro also placed sixth at the girls regional in their respective classes, leading Lakewood to a fourth-place finish.

Senior Jason Mueller’s season came to an end in Blaine, where he placed sixth at 152 pounds. After defeating sub-regional rival Colt Kaminski of Sultan a week earlier for a No. 1 seed into regionals, Kaminski avenged the loss. Neither will vie at the Mat Classic in Tacoma.

The Classic runs Feb. 20 and 21. Complete brackets for all divisions are available on the WIAA Web site at www.wiaa.com/Athletics/wrest/matclassic.asp.

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