Sports

Arlington Eagles send five wrestlers to state

Dustin Ward locks arms with opponent Alex Coffman in the 152-pound match for the regional title. - Travis Sherer
Dustin Ward locks arms with opponent Alex Coffman in the 152-pound match for the regional title.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

AUBURN — If Dustin Ward meets Alex Coffman again this season, it will likely decide who gets what medal.

The two 152-pounders met again in the championship round Feb. 13 with the same result.

“When I wrestled him at Districts, I took him down and he reversed pretty quick, we wanted to keep him on his feet,” Ward said.

A strategy that worked for the first two minutes, but ultimately led to Coffman declaring victory at the Regional tournament at Auburn High School Feb. 13.

Nevertheless, Ward was the highest finisher for Arlington, which advanced five wrestlers to the Mat Classic.

“Oh I’m extremely happy,” said head coach Shaun Williams. “Anytime you can get five guys through a tournament like this, you’ve got to feel pretty good. The level of competition here is as good as we’ve seen.”

And ironically, just a year ago, Ward was one of the last wrestlers Williams expected to lead his team.

“I have been pleasantly surprised by Dustin this whole year. Just a year ago, he wasn’t beating anybody,” Williams said. “But I could see that he was determined, and wrestling in out-of-state tournament’s helped him learn how to place in two-day tournaments.”

The Eagles wrestled in a pair of tournaments outside Washington, the Tri-State Invite in Idaho and the Rocky Mountain Invite in Montana.

The senior pined his way to the championship match before losing 9-5 while teammates Nathan Shortt (145 pounds) and Bradey Quinton (215) placed fourth. Meanwhile, both Seth Henderson (171) and Ben Torve (285) won their final matches to earn a trip to Tacoma.

“This was about as many as I thought we’d get,” Williams said. “We might have been able to get one more, but with seedings and the way brackets go, it’s hard to say that.”

Arlington finished eighth in the regional of 23 teams with 81.5 points with Tahoma winning the event, scoring 197.5.

But to Williams, the regional is only a speed bump on the way to the state meet, which is scheduled for Feb. 19 and 20.

“I told them all to be happy with what they have accomplished, but this week and last week aren’t where we need to win,” he said. “We have to do it next week.”

CALDWELL WINS REGIONAL TITLE

Lakewood High School’s Keely Caldwell won the 125-pound division at the girls regional meet Feb. 13. Caldwell pinned her way through the bracket, leading the defending regional champion Cougars to fifth place with 58.6 points. The Champion was Sedro-Woolley with 234.2. Tasha Postlewaite (135 pounds) and Allyson Lawton (130) earned fourth place and a spot at the Mat Classic.

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