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Arlington wrestling produces two runners-up
TACOMA — Arlington sent only two wrestlers to the Mat Classic, but those two made the most of their opportunity.
State ranked, but favored by no means, Arlington seniors Chris Myers and Bryant Dickerson won three matches in a row and competed for their respective state championships, Feb. 21, at the Tacoma Dome.
A win in the final match would have given Arlington its first individual wrestling champion in school history, but the laurel awaits another Arlington wrestler.
Senior Chris Myers pinned Shorewood senior Jungyeon Jo in his first match and won an 11-2 decision over Walla Walla senior Trey Haines. Myers’ strong showing and upsets of state favorites Tyler Story and Andre Rivera opened up the contest for the championship at 160 pounds as the competition entered its second day.
After competing in the 3A tournament in back to back years, Myers got a first-hand glimpse of the 4A tournament.
“It was a lot more competitive,” he said. “I just had to step it up. Some of the kids in my weight placed lower than last year. It was a wide open weight.”
With a 7-6 decision over Emerald Ridge sophomore James Souza, Myers earned a championship match against University junior Jake Mason.
Taped from a cut to the eyebrow in an earlier match, Myers struggled against Mason. He trailed just 5-2 at the end of the first round, but Mason scored the next 11 points including a pair of near falls. A takedown with 11 seconds left in the match gave Mason the championship by technical fall, 18-3.
“I felt pretty good,” Myers said later. “I wrestled as well as I could until the finals match. He wrestled better than I did.”
Arlington coach Shaun Williams said the University wrestler was able to assert his game plan over Myers.
“It is what it is,” he said. “We took second but had a great tournament, great year. Even though he’s a senior, you go on to bigger and better things.”
Among those things might be college wrestling at North Idaho College. Myers and Dickerson are both considering the Couer d’Alene school where Williams wrestled several years and was a national wrestling champion.
Dickerson advanced to the championship on a second-round pin over another highly touted heavyweight, senior Allan Thompson of Rogers of Puyallup.
Trailing 7-1, Dickerson caught Thompson on his back and pinned him about halfway through the second round.
“You have to be an opportunist,” Williams said.
Before that, Dickerson pinned Wenatchee junior Michael Marboe and won an 11-0 decision over Inglemoor junior Travis Bogard. He drew defending state champion Tevyn Tillman of Decatur for the heavyweight title.
The boys feinted at each other but no points were earned until the second round, when Tillman opted to start on the bottom. He took a 1-0 lead with an escape. Both were charged a point for stalling late in the second round.
Throughout the match Dickerson seemed to have more success tripping up the athletic Tillman than vice versa, but neither was able to score a takedown.
The boys’ arms were still locked as time ran out in the third round. In a move unusual for the Arlington heavyweight, Dickerson didn’t make a move for a takedown in the final 20 or so seconds, having lost track of the score.
“Our game plan was to keep it close then go for it in the third (round) and win it,” Williams said. “They were pummeling.”