For all the hours on the mat, relentlessly practicing move after move, the day-long tournaments, the three-dozen matches during the season and the gauntlet of win-or-go-home postseason action: This is the payoff.
After coming one basket, one possession away from topping a team no other NWAACC team has beaten this season, Peninsula's women had little left to swallow but the bitterest of pills in a 58-56 home loss to Skagit Valley Saturday night.
Sequim wrestlers advanced 15 boys and one girl from the 2008-2009 roster to the West Central District regionals this weekend after a strong showing at the Olympic League district sub-regional tournaments.
Sequim's wrestlers couldn't have looked less like a state tourney-quality team than at last season's Battle for the Axe, dropping matches to Forks, Port Angeles and to a group of junior varsity grapplers.
Peninsula College's women swept the North Division's bottom-dwellers last week, keeping pace with the top teams from the division and setting up a big game Saturday evening against the Bellevue Bulldogs.