Sports

Robinson claims 1B state championship

Tulalip Heritage freshman Demitri Robinson, top, wrestles Oroville junior Bryce Woodruff Feb. 16 for the 103-pounders crown. -
Tulalip Heritage freshman Demitri Robinson, top, wrestles Oroville junior Bryce Woodruff Feb. 16 for the 103-pounders crown.
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TACOMA If you play your cards right, it takes just three wins to be named state champ.
Thats the road Tulalip Heritage freshman Demitri Robinson took to the 1B wrestling championship at the Tacoma Dome, where he defeated Oroville junior Bryce Woodruff Feb. 16 for the 103-pounders crown.##M:[more]#
It takes a fourth round to make the 4A title match, but Robinsons regular-season teammate, Tannon Hillis of M-P, took a longer route to his placement match, wrestling six matches before finally being named the states fifth best at 215 pounds.
After defeating Mead sophomore Jake Trotter 10-3 in his opening match, Hillis fell in the second round to South Kitsaps Matt Foxworthy, who went on to their weight class title match.
Hillis ended the first day of state wrestling recording a fall over Kentwood sophomore Nathan Herrick midway through the second round.
The extra match per day didnt bother Hillis though, who was just glad to be wrestling.
It just made me want it more, he said.
The junior, who wrestled a little varsity last year, really had a breakthrough season for the Tomahawks this year.
At the end of last season, he realized he was pretty good, explained M-P coach Craig Iversen. He started taking time to work on his technique instead of muscle stuff.
On the meets second day, Hillis once again went 2-1. In a prescient moment before one of the Tomahawks most closely contested battles, assistant coach Sam Davis commented, Wrestling, especially at this level, is as much between your ears as between your head and toes.
Hillis defeated Spencer Caraballo of Snohomish in an overtime thriller for his opening match of the second day. The two wrestled through numerous nosebleeds to a 5-2 Hillis advantage entering the third round. Caraballo rallied though, registering a takedown in the rounds last 10 seconds to force a 7-7 tie.
The conference rivals entered a sudden death overtime. After circling for some 30 seconds, Hillis stopped Caraballos comeback with a takedown for two points and a 9-7 victory.
The win sent Hillis into a rematch of the regional championship against Heritage Highs Donavon Cunningham. Cunningham won in a second round fall, sending Hillis into a match for fifth against Todd Beamers David Sullivan.
On Feb. 15, the opening day, Robinson registered back-to-back falls over Kittitas freshman Cesar Espinoza and Liberty Bells Colton Skelton for a spot in the championship match. The wins pitted Robinson against Woodruff, who had been in this championship match before. In 2007, Woodruff finished second at 103.
With the win by pin, Robinson once again frustrated the state wrestling vet.
Senior heavyweight Michael Pfeiff wrestled four matches before he met Curtis senior Jeff OConnor in the bout for the bronze at 285 pounds. Pfeiff had gone 3-1, losing his third match to eventual champion/runner-up Leroi Edwards of Kentridge. Pfeiff rebounded in his first match of the consolation bracket, though, and pinned Emerald Ridge senior Braedan Biniewicz early in the third round. In the final match of his high school career, by an 11-2 decision, OConnor defeated Pfeiff. Despite the loss, a somewhat dejected-looking Pfeiff was named the states fourth heavyweight.
Its tough when you end with a loss, Iversen said, but you lose sight of what youve accomplished. He was the regional champion. Were very proud of him.

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