Sequim’s Derek Fruin battles with Carlos Toledano for supremacy in the 135-pound weight class. Fruin pinned Toledano, a Cedarcrest wrestler, to pick up his first tournament championship. Sequim Gazette photo by Mark Couhig
By MARK ST.J. COUHIG
Sequim wrestlers produced a fifth-place finish in the Rainshadow Invitational Wrestling Tournament, the Wolves’ own annual get-together of teams from across the region.
The Port Angeles Roughriders topped the field, their first team win in the tournament’s 14-year history.
The Wolves were led by Derek Fruin, who picked up a first place in the 135-pound class. It was the first tournament win for Fruin, a sophomore at Sequim High.
Fruin had two pins and a decision on his way to the championship.
Wolves coach Len Borchers had good words for Fruin: “It’s nice to have a champ. Derek really turned it on in the finals.”
Borchers said the fifth-place team finish was “about what we expected.” He said he was pleased with the number of team members who finished high enough to contribute to the team total of 214 points.
In addition to Fruin’s victory, Sequim had three wrestlers finish in third place, three in fourth, two in fifth and five in sixth.
Borchers said his team had made progress toward “getting ready for the district (tournament).”
Port Angeles edged out North Mason 251 points to 245 to take the team victory. The Roughriders were led by Andrew Symonds, the champ in the 140-pound class, while Nathan Cristion picked up a victory at 189. Cristion is undefeated on the season and entered the tournament ranked second in state.
North Mason’s Pedro Joaquin, champion of the 119-pound class, was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. Joaquin is ranked first in state in his weight class.
This was the first time Borchers was called on to serve as coordinator of the Rainshadow Tournament. He noted the number of teams was down from previous years, citing more competition from other tournaments and tight school budgets.
Borchers said the tournament was nevertheless a success and gave credit to his predecessor, Steve Chinn, who produced the tournament for more than a decade.
“He had it pretty well mapped out,” Borchers said.
The event is also a fundraiser sponsored by and supporting the Sequim Wrestling Boosters. The revenues are targeted toward travel and tournament expenses and also will help fund the purchase of a new wrestling mat, a big-ticket item with an estimated cost of $10,000.
Bucs top Wolves
The match-up between two of the Olympic League’s stronger teams on Jan. 5 went in favor of host Kingston, though the Wolves tested the No. 19-ranked Buccaneers.
Kingston topped Sequim 49-18 on the strength of four pins and five wins decided by four points or less.
The Wolves picked up three pins of their own, all in the first round. Derek Fruin, Sequim’s 135-pounder, pinned Chaz Zacharoff in 28 seconds. At 171 pounds, Dakota Hinton pinned Zach Gormanson in just 48 seconds while Sequim 103-pounder Royhon Agostine pinned Austin Gormanson in one minute, three seconds.
At 189 pounds, Sequim’s Chris Falkey came up just short in an 8-7 defeat to Derek White while Sequim heavyweight Clay Charley dropped a 2-1 match to Kingston’s Jack Welker.
Bulldogs, ’Riders up next
Sequim is back on the road today, Jan. 12, in Belfair to face the North Mason Bulldogs, ranked No. 4 in the 2A classification by washingtonwrestlingreport.com.
Sequim hosts Port Angeles, the No. 16-ranked class 2A team, on Jan. 14. Junior varsity starts at 6 p.m., followed by varsity action at 7 p.m.
The Wolves are at the Bainbridge Island Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 15.
The following week sees Sequim in just one match, a Jan. 19 match-up with North Kitsap in Poulsbo.