It was all about pins as East County rivals Elma and Montesano faced off on Jan. 30.
Out of the 14 weight classes, only one match wasn’t decided by a pin or forfeit as the Montesano wrestlers took down Elma for just the second time in a decade 54-27.
“I was very happy with our kids’ performances,” Monte coach Jeff Klinger said. “This week we really changed up our tone and said ‘We want pins,’ and we are treating this as the postseason. It is a big match for us and our kids went out and did what we asked them to do.”
Elma drew first blood in the match with a pin at 220 pounds by Brek McGaughy over Taylor Rupe of Montesano. The Bulldogs quickly took the points lead back with forfeits at 285 and 106 as well as first round pins by Jacob Ellefson, who remains undefeated, at 113 pounds and Austin Vinson at 120.
The only match to not end in a pin or forfeit for the entire dual was between Tanner Sample of Elma and Austin Cain of Montesano. Neither wrestler was able to score in the first period and the only point was scored early in the second period as Sample started on bottom and earned an escape. With around 40 seconds left in the final period Cain came close to earning an escape, but Sample was able to hold off three different attempts by Cain to win the match.
The Eagles kept the team score close with pins from Jacob Nelson at 138 pounds and Austin Cristelli at 152 pounds. Elma trailed 30-27 with three contested matches left, but those three matches were with a trio of returning state participants that Klinger jokingly called “Murder’s row.” Montesano earned the last 24 points of the dual as Kylar Prante pinned Steven Persell at 160 pounds, Anthony Louthan pinned James Quimby at 170 pounds and Ben O’Brien earned a pin against Jonathan Weiller at 182 pounds.
“There are a couple bright spots, but for the most part I think we could have wrestled a lot better,” Elma coach Jason Dick said. “We need to come together better as a team and fight. We gave up too many pins, plain and simple.”
Klinger said the Montesano wrestlers bought into the rivalry and worked hard in the week leading up to the dual to try to fill every weight class. The Bulldogs only left 126 pounds open.
“We had people moving around in weight classes. We had kids put on weight. We bumped kids around,” Klinger said. “It is Elma-Monte. We want to fill our (lineup) the best we can. We are trying to get an environment here where kids are excited about wrestling. They went out and did their job.”
Montesano and Elma will travel to Blaine for the regional meet on Saturday, Feb. 15.
Results: 220 — Brek McGaughy (E) pinned Taylor Rupe, 4:42. 285 — Colton Bradbury (M) won by forfeit.
106 — Tyler Izatt (M) won by forfeit. 113 — Jacob Ellefson (M) pinned Ryan Mesojednik, :21. 120 — Austin Vinson (M) pinned Hunter Mesojednik, 0:49. 126 — Jayden Olson (E) won by forfeit. 132 — Tanner Sample (E) dec. Austin Cain, 1-0. 138 — Jacob Nelson (E) pinned Isaac Haynes, :43.
145 — Matthew Overbey (M) pinned Chase Robbins, 1:58. 152 — Austin Cristelli (E) pinned Reed Hughes, 1:49. 160 — Kylar Prante (M) pinned Steven Pursell, 4:40. 170 — Anthony Louthan (M) pinned James Quimby, 2:19. 182 — Ben O’Brien (M) pinned Jonathan Weiller, 1:49. 195 — Branden Sandberg (M) won by forfeit.