Sequim’s Mike Bereiter wrestles with Klahowya’s Jeff Haga in the finals of the district wrestling tourney Feb. 6 in Sequim. Haga won the match but both advance to the regional tournament this weekend at Washington High School in Tacoma. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
The next step is a doozy.
Sequim wrestlers managed to get a full dozen wrestlers on to the West Central District regional tournament in Tacoma this weekend after a slew of top-five finishes at their own sub-regional tournament in Sequim on Feb. 6.
Despite finishing fifth out of five teams at the tourney, each of Sequim's 12 grapplers has a shot at qualifying for the MatClassic state tourney.
At regionals on Feb. 13, however, Sequim athletes must place in the top three spots for state berths, a tough call considering just two of their qualifiers (Mike Bereiter, second at 171 pounds, and Brian Bearden, third at 285 pounds) took top-three finishes at the sub-regional tourney.
"It'll be real tough ... but you never know what happens," Sequim coach Len Borchers said.
At regionals, wrestlers from the four Olympic League 2A schools and Interlake meet up with Steilacoom, ranked No. 3 in the state, and a trio of other Nisqually League schools: Eatonville, Washington and Fife.
"Our goal was to try to get as many through (to regionals) and build for next year," Borchers said. "I figured we'd have at least 10 kids going on (but) we have 12, and four that just missed."
Eight of Sequim's 12 regional qualifiers are either freshmen or sophomores.
Among those moving on is Bereiter, who placed second at the sub-regional last season fell short of state.
This time around, Bereiter earned a pair of third-round pins, downing Interlake's Cameron Cole and North Mason's Drew Hicks, to make the final match.
"That was kind of cool for a senior (to make the finals)," Borchers said.
Another surprise for the Wolves came in the form of Luke Mooney, a freshman. He topped teammate Winston Babb in the consolation bracket and finished fourth overall at 130 pounds.
Both he and Babb (fifth place) are headed to regionals.
Dakota Hinton, perhaps Sequim's most accomplished wrestler, managed to place fourth in a tough, 152-pound weight class, falling in a semifinal match to No. 1-ranked Neil Sell of Klahowya.
Kenny Henning improved to 12-9 on the season after getting two pins in four matches and placing fourth at 145 pounds.
Sequim's Derek Fruin went 2-2 at 119 pounds and finished fourth while Zach Sisco did the same at 125 pounds.
Sequim's 140-pounder, went 2-2 and finished fourth, missing out on third place by two points after falling 7-6 to Kingston's Sam English in the consolation finals.
Clay Charley went 1-2 at 215 pounds for fifth place and earning a regionals berth, while both Bearden and Darrin Fitzgerald earned regional berths at the heavyweight class.
Kenny Griffith also earned a regionals berth, placing fifth at 112 pounds.
Just missing the regionals cutoff were Sequim grapplers Austin Middleton (125 pounds), Cody Field (135), Lopaka Yasumura (145) and Daniel Small (160).
In addition, Sequim's Amariah Clift qualified for the district's all-female regional tournament this weekend in Emerald Ridge, where she will hope to place in the top six to earn a MatClassic berth.
Klahowya, ranked No. 6 in the state by washingtonwrestlingreport.com, won the overall sub-regional title with 284.5 team points, followed by Kingston (244.5), North Mason (237), Interlake (207) and Sequim (151.5).
Sequim grapplers at districts
A dozen Wolves wrestlers are headed to the West Central District wrestling tournament on Feb. 13 at Washington High School in Tacoma. They are (by weight class and seed): Kenny Griffith (112, fifth), Derek Fruin (119, fifth), Zach Sisco (125, fourth), Luke Mooney (130, fourth), Winston Babb (130, fifth), Mustang Riggins (140, fourth), Kenny Henning (145, fourth), Dakota Hinton (152, fourth), Mike Bereiter (171, second), Clay Charley (215, fifth), Brian Bearden (285, third) and Darrin Fitzgerald (285, fourth).
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.