Smith takes 1st in wrestling tournament

Blake Smith, a seventh-grader from Oak Harbor Middle School, placed first in his weight bracket at the Washington State Wrestling Association Folkstyle Championships in Spokane Jan. 29 and 30.

Wrestling in the 144-pound schoolboy/girl division, Smith defeated Dylan Pleasants of Fife 10-0 in the semifinals, and then topped Quinton Dickman-Roppel of Sedro-Woolley 6-4 for the title.

Earlier in the month Smith finished third in a two-part tournament in Oregon against qualifiers from Idaho, Northern California, Oregon and Washington.

In the part-one qualifier at Nathan Hale High School Jan. 8, Smith rolled through the competition with two technical falls and two falls.

In the finals at Redmond, Ore., Smith won three of five matches to nab third. Two of his wins were first-minute falls.

Smith competes for the Lynnwood Wrestling Club, traveling to Lynnwood twice a week for practice. He switched from the Whidbey wrestling club several years ago because it did not have anyone his age and in his weight class to practice against.

Blake's mother, Brandy Smith, said, "In wrestling you are only as good as your teammates."

Lynnwood produced three state champions last year.

Smith's next major competition will be the Cliff Keen Reno World Championship April 8 to 10.

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