Sports

Ordonez is Lakewood's first wrestling champ

TACOMA — In just her second season, Lakewood senior Christina Ordonez accomplished what no Lakewood wrestler before her ever had.

With a first-round pin over Kentwood senior and two-time state placer Antonia Navejas, Ordonez brought a wrestling championship home to Lakewood High School.

Ordonez took a 2-0 lead over Navejas but the match seemed bound for a second round until Ordonez put the Kentwood wrestler on her back with 10 seconds left in the first round. With 3.7 seconds left on the clock, the official declared the match over.

The pin in 1:56 was Ordonez’s 19th win in an undefeated season. She pinned 18 opponents this season, allowing only a 13-0 major decision in the Mat Classic’s second day, over North Beach sophomore Jennifer Law to advance to the championship match.

“She was not going to be denied this year,” Lakewood wrestling coach Tom O’Hara said after the match, practically beaming. “Through the year, she realized how good she could be. That focused her more.”

In O’Hara’s seven years heading the wrestling program at Lakewood, he has produced about 16 state placers and three finalists.

“All of those kids were deserving,” he said. “It just didn’t happen. She broke the Lakewood curse.”

Aside from the match against Law, Ordonez pinned her other two state rivals in the first round as well.

“It feels awesome,” Ordonez said afterward. “I still can’t get over it. I’m proud to do it for my school.”

Ordonez was one of four Lakewood wrestlers to compete at state Feb. 20-21 and three that placed.

Junior Keely Caldwell pinned her first two opponents before she bumped up against Hoquiam senior and defending state champion Kelsey Klein in her semifinal match. She, in turn, was pinned and didn’t quite wrestle her best early in the tournament’s second day, according to her coach. She lost a second match to compete for third but drew a familiar opponent in the competition for fifth place.

Perhaps seeing Sedro-Woolley junior Sarah Moquin for the fourth time jolted her back, because Caldwell pinned Moquin inside of a minute.

“She was back,” O’Hara said of his wrestler’s fifth-place finish at 130 pounds.

Senior Billy McKeever lost his opening match, but bounced back to win two narrow matches and compete for a medal in his first state tournament appearance. It was the culmination of a four-year varsity career for the Lakewood wrestling captain.

“Billy has worked hard for four years,” O’Hara said. “He’s done everything he should do to take home a medal in the toughest weight class in 2A.”

Down by four points in the third round against Ephrata junior Chris Davidson, McKeever came back with a reversal and a three-point near fall to win a 13-12 decision and compete against Cheney junior Ryan McNair. He won a 4-2 decision there, guaranteeing a medal. He lost the next match but pinned Klahowya senior Donny McCarty early in the third round for seventh place.

Lakewood senior Autumn Novak won her first match in state competition, giving the girls a 3-0 start on the tournament’s first day, but lost the next two at 160 pounds to be eliminated.

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