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Marysville Tommies send 17 wrestlers to regionals
MARYSVILLE — Brian Donaldson hung on for dear life for the final 14 seconds of his championship match.
"I could smell the blood and I thought I could just hold on to him and ride it out," he said.
That was the strategy he employed to win his first Western Conference championship in front of a home crowd Jan. 6. The crafty 140-pound senior was one of three Tomahawks to make it to the championship match, but the only one to walk away with a victory, scoring a late reversal to win 7-5.
Donaldson wrestled Lake Stevens' Andrew King, who seemed to have the physical advantage.
"He's a lot stronger than most guys at 140," said Donaldson, who placed third at league in 2009. "But there is no substitute for technique."
The other two finalists were Luke Shumaker at 130 pounds and Daniel Hinckley at 215 pounds.
"It was a great weekend for us," said M-P coach Craig Iversen, who was named conference Coach of the Year. "I was honored by the vote and I think we sent more guys (to regionals) than the program has in a while."
Marysville-Pilchuck placed second with 329 points, behind defending 4A state champion Lake Stevens and qualified 17 wrestlers to the regional tournament.
"Oh it definitely shows depth," said Iversen. "And we had a number of guys finish above their seeding."
Iversen mentioned Ruben Escelante and Christian Mendoza, who wrestled each other for third place in the 119-pound bracket. Neither was ranked higher than fifth. But personifying M-P's performance was Hinckley, who was ranked No. 8 at 215, but fought his way to center mat in the championship round.
The top eight wrestlers from each class earned a trip to the regional tournament, which will be held Jan. 13 at Auburn High School. The top four placers from each class at regionals will advance to the Mat Classic on Feb. 20 at the Tacoma Dome.
Other M-P wrestlers earning a trip to state were Brandon Blevens (3rd at 125 pounds), Jake Carlton (4th, 189), Luis Cardona (5th, 112), Marcus Haughian (6th, 152), Chris Herbert (5th, 160), Billy Almachar (8th, 103), Tanner Daurie (7th, 112), Jake Larvold (7th, 125), Thomas Haas (8th, 130), Tanner Bengen (8th, 145), Kyle Bossom (8th, 189) and Zach Shumann (8th, 285).