Wrestlers show impressive preseason

After winning their first league meet 57-12 on Dec. 12 against Davis, the Wenatchee High School wrestling team is already breaking records as junior Elijah Barnett set the school record for the fastest pin and seniors Noel Suarez and Andrew Lape placed fourth in their weight classes at the Bobs Mars Tournament in Kennewick on Dec 7. Previously at seven seconds, Barnett set the record at five.

“At Davis, I really didn’t expect us to dominate, which is what we did. We controlled every match,” Valdez said.

The Panthers traveled to Silverdale for the Olympic Duals Tournament that included 20 teams on Dec. 15. WHS lost 55-9 to South Kitsap in the first round, lost 42-36 against Auburn Riverside in the second round, won 45-33 against Orting in the third round, and lost 45-36 to Hudson Bay in the final round.

The team, having competed in the Olympic Duals Tournament for the past five years, has won the tournament twice before according to Coach Ed Valdez, who expected the team to place within the top three.

“We lost two varsity kids… so we were spotting everyone two points with forfeit rounds. Then we lost another wrestler at the meet, so we ended up spotting everyone a total of 18 points, but with all of that considered I think we wrestled really well,” Valdez said.

Individually, junior Kole Davis went 5-0 at the Olympic Duals tournament, and juniors Drake Lewis and Logan Tidd also finished with a record of 4-1.

Taking on Gig Harbor for the first time in a non-league dual match the day before the Olympic Duals tournament on Dec. 13, the Panthers again won 42-18.

“The team is young… The practices are different with all our new wrestlers, so we’re starting slow but picking it up,” junior Drake Lewis said. Lewis expects the team to succeed despite their youth.