Just a few weeks before the biggest youth wrestling tournament in the country, Joe Hutchison wasn't trying to underplay his competition.
The recent Sequim High grad simply wanted to at least get a win or two.
That's exactly what he got at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships in Fargo, N.D., last week.
Hutchison and fellow SHS grad Ethan Hinton made the long journey to North Dakota to take on the best of the best in prep grapplers from across the country, pitting athletes from big schools and small schools alike against each other.
In the Greco-Roman division at 135 pounds, Hutchison won his first two matches, topping Max Whiting of Illinois 3-0, 5-3, and then pinning Josh Pike of Virginia. In the second match, Hutchison came back from a 3-2 loss in the first round to pin Pike one minute and nine seconds into the second round.
Hutchison's competition got much tougher after that as he fell 7-0, 6-0 to Matt Milton of Indiana and 7-0, 2-0 to Acton Pifer of Georgia.
Hinton, competing in the Greco-Roman division's 189-pound weight class, didn't fare as well. Hinton was pinned by Dominique Walker of Michigan in the second round (1:03) and then was pinned by Mark Mabry of Arizona, also in the second round.
In the freestyle format that concluded the tourney last weekend, both Sequim wrestlers were bounced early.
Hinton dropped a pair of decisions in the first two rounds - a 2-0, 6-1 loss to Michael Johnson-Jones of Indiana and a 6-1, 6-0 loss to Ryan Ward of Illinois - while Hutchison was pinned by Jordan Rich of Pennsylvania in the second round and lost by technical fall to Henry Carlson of Alabama (6-0, 3-4, 6-0).
The two are headed to Southern Oregon University next fall to wrestle for the 2009 NAIA-NWCA National Dual Meet title-holding Raiders.
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