High school wrestlers in Washington have begun to travel the road that could lead them to glory at the Tacoma Dome.
Camas and Washougal kicked off the journey with four finalists and two champions at their respective district tournaments Friday and Saturday.
Panthers Stephen Camden and Tyler Purkeypyle captured championship medals from the 2A sub-district tournament at Washougal High School. Matt Wilson and Rogelio Sanchez both settled for second place, and Wyatt Eakins, Jesse Reagen, Josh Economides and Matt Leifson all followed in third place.
Papermakers Bryant Elliot and Tyler Weiss stood on the top of the podium in the 3A district tournament at Hudson’s Bay High School. Marcus Hartman and Vince Huber grabbed second place, Tye Lommasson and Wesley Gilge took third place, and Tyler Markham and Bryan Murray finished in fourth place.
These eight wrestlers from Camas and Washougal will have an opportunity to wrestle for a spot in the Mat Classic Saturday. The Panthers are going to the 2A district tournament at Centralia High School, and the Papermakers head to the 3A bi-dsitrict tournament at Bonney Lake High School.
Camden had the most exciting championship match of the bunch. The junior rallied back from a 3-1 deficit in the final two minutes to force overtime. When his opponent attempted a throw, Camden locked him in a bear hug and took him down to mat for a 5-3 victory and the 160-pound 2A title.
“When it goes to overtime, you know it’s not over. You still have a chance,” Camden said. “I wasn’t going to let one point determine the match. I just gave all I had at the end.”
In the 190-pound 2A championship match, Purkeypyle was determined to pin Hockinson’s Noah Schultz-Rathbun for the third time this season. He did so in the final two minutes.
“I wasn’t going to walk off that mat without a win,” Purkeypyle said. “My goal now is to wrestle in the regional finals. That way I know I’m going to state.”
Elliot made a big splash in his first district tournament by capturing the 106-pound championship medal. Mountain View’s Benny Dixon Elliot’s lead down to two points in the final 30 seconds, but the Camas freshman maintain control for a 7-5 victroy.
“That match went just like a planned. It got a little closer than I wanted, but I just wrestled smart and finished it,” Elliot said. “Standing up on the podium was my favorite part of the day. The view from the top is amazing.”
Like his two losses in the Clark County tournament, Weiss found himself on the wrong side of a one-point match with Kelso’s Jaden Allen. But that’s when the Papermaker went to work.
Weiss twisted Allen into a pretzel to gain a reversal and a 2-1 advantage heading into the last two minutes. He then put Allen away on a near fall attempt for five more points to win the 132-pound 3A title.
“I just have this motivation to work hard and keep winning,” Weiss said. “I want to be the best, and you got to work hard to be the best.”
Stephen Camden’s sister Haven captured the 124-pound girls sub-district championship Satuirday, at Heritage High School. Taryn Lommasson wrestled in the 106 title match for Camas, but settled for second place. Erin Locke and Jessica Biron took third place for the Washougal girls, Braman Warren and Romney Kellogg grabbed fourth and Tara Duey finished fifth.