The Elma High School wrestling team got a gut check Saturday and coach Jason Dick said he was happy with the results.
Despite only five Eagle wrestlers competing in the Washington State Wrestling Foundation Gut Check Challenge in Olympia, Elma took 13thplace as a team out of the 26 teams that were represented.
The Gut Check Challenge was comprised of more than 100 wrestlers who have placed at the state meet before in 16-man brackets at each weight.
“There were just great matches left and right,” Dick said.
The highest individual finish for Elma came from senior Tyson Dick who finished second at 145 pounds. On his way to the final match, the senior pinned Dante Thomas of North Thurston, who had been undefeated going into the tournament, and Michael Moniz of Orting, who is a three-time state placer. In the final, he faced the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the state, Trey Meyer of East Valley of Spokane. Tyson Dick came out aggressive in the match and had Meyer on his back in the second period, but a pin was not called. With just over 30 seconds left in the third period Meyer pinned Dick.
“It was a back and forth battle,” Jason Dick said. “He took second at one of the best tournaments that Washington has yet to see.”
Elma had two wrestlers place fifth in senior Austin Carrell at 195 and Brek McGaughy at 220 pounds. Both wrestlers lost their quarterfinal match and won their next three matches.
Carrell scored a takedown with no time left on the clock to defeat Holden Miller of Yelm for fifth place.
McGaughy’s one loss came at the hands of 2012 third place finisher Asa Schwartz of Chelan.
Senior Tanner Sample went 2-2 at 132 pounds and senior Austin Cristelli exited the tournament early due to injury.
Jason Dick said he was pleased with the way the wrestlers performed against the tough competition. The tournament was a good gauge of the level the five wrestlers are performing at right now, Jason Dick said, and they will use this competition as incentive to keep getting better.
“This is the point where you have to wrestle mistake free,” Jason Dick said. “If you don’t you pay for it. This is a huge learning tool for my wrestlers to take back. If they didn’t place or didn’t like the place they were at, they just have a chance to work harder. They are wrestling really well. They still have improvement to do, but they are starting to come together and they are really working hard to wrestle mistake free.”