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Mat Classic XX

Troy Cunningham ignited the Ki-Be crowd with his 5-0 championship victory over Josh Lauderdale of Lakeside. Actually Troy and the crowd had already been ignited by his pin in the semi-finals. In the quarterfinals, Troy trailed 1-0 with 33 seconds to go in match against Nikko Veltri of Orting. That is when Troy took the lead with a takedown, but the match was tied as Troy was called for a questionable stall. Troy did not waste time in the OT period with a quick takedown for the win. After a nights sleep, Troy came out and wrestled Veltri's teammate Antonio Brown. The match started out like it would be another close match. Troy started down in the second round and mid-way through the round, after a scramble, Troy had Brown on his back to break things open. Seconds later Troy had the pin that vaulted him into the finals against Lauderdale.

Against Lauderdale things started out slow again. With 30 seconds left in the 1st round, with Troy on the offensive and Lauderdale blocking, Troy shot a fantastic double leg that caught Lauderdale by surprise. The 2-0 lead was all Troy needed. Lauderdale was unable to get away from Troy in the 2nd round and it was still 2-0 after 2 periods. In the third round, Lauderdale gave up the escape and had hopes of closing the 3-0 gap on Troy with a takedown of his own. With a minute to go in the match Troy once again showed why he is champion. When the points have to be scored, Troy scores them. He was in control the whole way in the final, the way he has wrestled every match in the past two seasons on his way to a 69-3 record. He is always in control. Troy becomes the third wrestler in school history to win back to back titles.

Sheridan McDonald dominated from start to finish. She not only dominated the championship final from start to finish, she dominated the tournament from start to finish. After a first round bye, Sheridan stamped herself as the girl to beat when she finished off the defending State Champ, Alex White of Hoquiam, with a pin in the third round. In the second round against Marissa Aube, also of Hoquiam, Sheridan dominated 13-4. Then the long wait came. She had to wait 24 hours to wrestle her championship final against Jolene Crook-Meyers of Kentwood.

The wait was the hardest part, because the final was over soon after it began. 1:20 into the match, Crook-Meyers found herself in a position that she would be in most of the match, on her back. Sheridan led 5-0 after 1 period. In the second round Sheridan once again had Crook-Meyers on her back and held her there for a minute and a half. Sheridan led 10-1 after 2 periods. The third period brought much of the same as Sheridan started the round with a head-arm for a 15-1 lead and finished her off with another turn as time ran out. Just a freshman, Sheridan should have a few more state finals in her. Right now she looks unbeatable.

Delene Rucker is one tough wrestler. Just ask the girls who had to be helped off the mat after being pinned by Delene. After losing her first round match, Delene devastated her next two opponents with pins to secure a medal. Her next two matches did not go as Delene wanted, but a 6th place medal is nothing to joke about. Delene was not just wrestling the best 1A wrestlers, she was wrestling the best girls in the state, all classifications. So Delene really is the 6th best girl wrestler in the state. With another year to go and the best shot on the team, Delene should do even better next year.

Sam Landoe set a school record of sorts, maybe a state record as well. He becomes the first Ki-Be wrestler to win his first round match twice. After winning 8-4 in the initial match, the other school protested the win because it had taken Sam over 2 minutes to find a mouth gaurd to cover his braces. Seems the rule had been enforced on the West side, but not the East side. Because of the protest, the match was re-wrestled at the start of round 2 with Sam winning 6-5 after trailing 4-0 early. Sam could not recover in time for his next match and lost a hard fought battle, 5-2 to Zeke Lomer of Castle Rock. In his third match, Sam wrestled tough but succumbed 7-2 and was out of the tournament. Sam finishes his Highschool wrestling career with 2 state appearances and lots of heart.

Jesse Henderson was by far the most improved wrestler this year. His District title against Wes Jenks of Connell was a thing of beauty. Jesse nearly pulled off a win in the first round after trailing early. Jesse tied the match at 8-8 with consecutive Tkd's and then let his opponent up in hopes of getting another tkd with 30 seconds remaining. The tkd didn't come and Jesse dropped into the consolation round. Jesse won a tough 6-4 match and then lost his next match to drop out of the tournament. Jesse went from losing 20 in 2007 to winning 20+ in 2008, one of the greatest tournarounds in school history.

Evan Olinger and Britt Samsel each lost their first two matches to be eliminated from the tournament. Britt had a fantastic year and a much deserved trip to state. I'm sure it will be something he will always remember, despite things not going his way. Evan will be back and look for him to gain a few medals along the way.

 

MAT CLASSIC XX Results

103 - Delene Rucker 2-3, 2pins, 6th

119 - Evan Olinger 0-2, 13th

125 - Troy Cunningham 4-0, 1pin Champion

135 - Sheridan McDonald 3-0, 1pin Champion

140 - Jesse Henderson 1-2, 9th

145 - Sam Landoe 1-2, 9th

215 - Britt Samsel 0-2, 13th