Whidbey wrestlers head to state

Fourteen Whidbey wrestlers will compete in the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament.


Special to the News-Times

Fourteen wrestlers from three Whidbey high schools will compete in the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

Wrestlers from Oak Harbor, Coupeville and South Whidbey moved on thanks to their performance in regional tournaments that took place last weekend.

Oak Harbor’s girls wrestling team found themselves tied for first place with Snohomish at the conclusion of the 3A/4A girls wrestling tournament held Saturday at Monroe High School.

Coach Mike Crebbin said six teams were fighting back and forth.

“It’s good for the sport that everybody has a chance,” he said.

Oak Harbor and Snohomish scored 129 points, Glacier Peak placed third with 128 points, Lake Stevens was fourth with 121 points and Everett was fifth with 114 points.

“It was hard wrestling. It was tough wrestling. Some of the weight classes are stacked,” Crebbin said.

Annabelle Suto placed first at 135 pounds winning via pinfall against Lake Stevens’ Kylee Wickland, to whom she lost to in the subregionals a week earlier.

“We just talked about having the right mindset,” Crebbin said. “Annabelle went out and took a wonderful double-leg shot.”

Oak Harbor had two wrestlers place at 235 pounds. Olivia Hudson brought home first place while her teammate Lotoaigaola Tupu placed third. Crebbin said Hudson and Tupu have been good workout partners throughout the season.

First-year wrestler, senior Brianna Richard, placed third at 130 pounds, improving from her fifth-place finish at subregionals. After losing a match in the quarterfinals, Richard ran the table, Crebbin said.

“She is starting to see the flow of the action,” he said.

Julia Gonzales placed sixth at 100 pounds. Crebbin said that with three wrestlers who placed in past state tournaments, Gonzales wrestled in probably the toughest weight class at regionals.

“She had some really hard-fought matches,” the coach said.

Genesis Egli placed fourth at 125 pounds while Cayla Turner placed eighth at 125 pounds.

“There is so much parity and there’s so many teams there,” Crebbin said. “I’m focused on each kid getting the best result they can get.”

He added that if the wrestlers make it to the second day of the tournament, they are guaranteed to place.

Oak Harbor’s boys wrestling team placed seventh as a team when they hosted the Region 1 3A tournament Saturday.

“We got four kids into state with one alternate,” boys wrestling coach Aaron McBride said.

The Wildcats had 11 wrestlers compete at the regional tournament where Yelm won the team title scoring 175.5 points. Oak Harbor scored 104 points.

Percie Hatfield built on his first-place finish from subregionals by placing first Saturday at 157 pounds.

Josiah Christopherson placed second at 175 pounds, Joel Christopherson placed fourth at 144 pounds and Kenneth Anguiano placed third at 215 pounds.

Carter Parker, who placed sixth at 126 pounds, will go to the state tournament as an alternate.

Hatfield has competed twice previously at the Mat Classic, McBride said. Hatfield placed eighth in 2023 and sixth in 2022. Josiah Christopherson placed seventh at state in 2023 and Anguiano went as an alternate last year.

South Whidbey is sending three wrestlers and two alternates to state.

Kaylie Baker placed second at 145 pounds at the 1B/2B/1A/2A tournament held Saturday at White River High School. South Whidbey coach John Sommer said Baker pinned her first two opponents in under a minute. In the finals, she faced her opponent she beat in the subregional final, Lucyanna Dahl of Blaine, but came up short Saturday.

The boys wrestling team traveled to Vashon Island High School for 1A Region 1 tournament.

Cole Thorson placed second at 157 pounds, and Gavin Baker placed third at 165 pounds thanks to a win over his teammate, Dylan Walker, who placed fourth.

Walker and Evan Welever, who placed fourth at 150 pounds, will go to state as alternates.

Nathan Welever, a freshman competing in his first regional tournament, placed fifth at 113 pounds.

Coupeville’s Jaje Drake placed third at the 1B/2B Region 1 tournament held at Adna High School in Chehalis. Drake practices and competes with South Whidbey wrestlers since Coupeville lacks a wrestling team.

Sommer said Drake, a senior, is in his first year of wrestling.

“The kid is just an incredible athlete,” Sommer said.

Oak Harbor’s Joel Christopherson competes during a regional tournament Saturday at Oak Harbor High School. He placed fourth and will compete in the Mat Classic this weekend at the Tacoma Dome. (Photo by John Fisken)

Oak Harbor’s Joel Christopherson competes during a regional tournament Saturday at Oak Harbor High School. He placed fourth and will compete in the Mat Classic this weekend at the Tacoma Dome. (Photo by John Fisken)