Wrestlers battle through team injuries


Tess Fox

Junior Elijah Barnett takes down wrestler from Eastmont High School on Jan. 9. The Panthers lost 32-28, in part to the loss of key wrestler junior Wyatt Long, causing a shuffling of Varsity and Junior Varsity competitors.

After key varsity competitor junior Wyatt Long dislocated his elbow during the Pacific Northwest Classic tournament, the Wenatchee High School wrestling team has been struggling, losing 28-32 to Eastmont on Jan. 9 and 12-59 to Moses Lake on Jan. 16 only to come back with a seventh place win overall at the Premier Tournament on Jan. 20.

“I saw the whole thing. A guy took him [Long] down and he posted it [his arm]. It must have twisted at least 120 degrees,” junior Kole Davis said. “Now we’ve got a lot of guys wrestling up classes, and we’ve had to bring a few JV wrestlers up.”

At the 16-team Premier Tournament in Marysville, senior Kris Garrett took first in the 145 pound weight bracket. All taking third place were juniors Logan Tidd, Drake Lewis, and senior Noel Suarez.

With Moses Lake ranked first in the state in the 4A Division, Valdez hoped to win seven matches overall. “They [Moses Lake] have a solid lineup up and down,” Coach Ed Valdez said.

Losing by four points to Eastmont was the team’s first league defeat on Jan. 9. “We didn’t wrestle as well as we could’ve, so we lost the match,”  Valdez said. “When Wyatt Long was injured, we had to rearrange the lineup and it left a big hole. As a coach I try to put kids in a position where they can succeed, and sometimes it doesn’t work out.”
Despite the loss of Long at the PNW Classic tournament Jan. 3 through 4 at University High School, senior Andrew Lape placed fourth, while senior Kris Garrett and Davis took fifth in their respective weight classes.