Sports

Marysville-Pilchuck sends 3 to Mat Classic

Luke Shumaker brings his opponent to the ground on his way to earning third place at 130 pounds. - Travis Sherer
Luke Shumaker brings his opponent to the ground on his way to earning third place at 130 pounds.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

AUBURN — Luke Shumaker and Brian Donaldson have been going at each other in practice all year.

Because of their will to get better, and put pressure on the other, they’ll get a few more days of practice as both Marysville seniors finished near the top of their classes in the regional tournament Feb. 13 at Auburn High School, earning a trip to the Mat Classic.

“That’s sort of the way it works with successful wrestlers,” said Marysville-Pilchuck coach Craig Iversen. “You have a pair of guys push each other to become the best and they get to be as good as anybody they face.”

A better assesment couldn’t have been given of Shumaker and Donaldson, who finished third and fourth in their classifications, respectively.

“I probably wouldn’t have been here if it weren’t for him,” said Shumaker, 130 pounds, of Donaldson. “Him and Iversen. They really helped me this year and over the summer. Iversen really worked our butts off.”

Shumaker will make his first appearance at the Mat Classic, which begins Feb. 19.

“I’m psyched,” said the senior who finished runner-up at the District tournament just a week ago.

At this time last year, Shumaker ended his season just short of the Mat Classic — but nobody could say it was because of a lack of effort. The Tommie wrestled with a broken toe he sustained in the middle of the season against Arlington.

“I just tried to tough it out,” he said. “But oh yeah did it hurt.”

Donaldson, on the other hand, is returning to the Mat Classic, where he came just two matches away from placing in the 130-pound bracket. This year, he’ll be wrestling at 140 pounds, the same weight at which he won a District 1 title this season. He finished fourth in the regional, losing his match in the final few seconds.

And then there is M-P’s third state qualifier, 125-pounder Brandon Blevins.

With the bigger names like Shumaker and Donaldson following his matches, it’s sometimes hard to stick out.

“That’s kind of his style,” said Iversen about Blevins’ ordinary style, which yields results that are anything but. “He’s quiet. Not flashy, so yeah, he’s kind of been under the radar, but he’s had a great year.”

Blevens methodically defeated his Kentwood opponent, scoring three points in the final period to win 4-1.

Given the circumstances, with teams in Lake Stevens and Tahoma set to fight for the state championship and both coming out of this region, Iversen said he couldn’t be happier with sending three guys.

“I think you’ll talk to any wrestler and they’d be relieved to make it through,” he said. “This was a nails-tough tournament and I think it will prove out in the state tournament that the class of the state is coming out of here.”

Also making the trip for Marysville-Pilchuck is 152-pounder Marcus Haughian, who finished in sixth place and is an alternate. The top five wrestlers from each weight class earned a state berth.

The Mat Classic is set for Feb. 19 and 20 at the Tacoma Dome.

CALDWELL WINS REGIONAL TITLE

Lakewood’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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