Wrestling for a ticket to the Tacoma Dome

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After finishing in the top half of their respective leagues, the Camas and Washougal high school wrestlers are taking separate paths to Mat Classic XXIII at the Tacoma Dome.

The Camas Papermakers compete in the 3A district tournament Friday and Saturday, at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver. The Washougal Panthers wrestle in the 2A sub-regional tournament Friday and Saturday, at R.A. Long High School in Longview.

“In the last five years, we had won two league titles and R.A. Long won two league titles before capturing number three this year. Now, they’re up 3-2,” said Washougal coach John Carver. “The question now is, can we topple R.A. Long at the sub-regional tournament in Longview?”

The Panthers pounced Mark Morris 45-50 Wednesday, at Washougal High School, to secure second place in the 2A Greater St. Helens League. Chism King, Matt Wilson, Robert Melton and Ben McMullan pinned their opponents. John Barrette earned a 15-0 technical fall, and Brendan Casey grabbed a 16-5 major decision. Cory Wicklander, Michael Huck and Kyle Eakins were also victorious for the Panthers.

Prairie defeated Camas 38-33 in an exciting scramble for second place in the 3A Greater St. Helens League Wednesday, at Fort Vancouver High School. The next day, the Papermakers bounced back with a 56-24 victory over Columbia River.

Camas got off to a good start against Prairie, with back-to-back victories by Dakota Safford and Adam Weiss. The Falcons gained four points in the next match, before Tyler Weiss turned a couple of near falls into a pin fall victory in the third round. Prairie won the next match to cut Camas’ lead to two points.

Miguel Salamanca was in a war with Travis Addy, the same opponent he lost to at the Clark County tournament. The match was tied 1-1 with less than 45 seconds to go in the final round, when Salamanca picked Addy up and slammed him on the mat to score a 3-1 victory.

After a pin fall victory by Vince Huber put the Papermakers ahead by five points, the Falcons won the next three matches to build a 32-21 advantage. Pins by Chris Scott and Tye Lommason gave Camas a 33-32 lead with one more match to go. Prairie scored a pin in the final match to win by five points.