Washougal wrestlers send eight to regional tournament

Wrestling in the sub-regional tournament for the final time as a senior, Washougal’s Chism King wanted to make a statement.

“It’s my last year. I got to out with a bang.” Those were King’s words after being named Outstanding Wrestler of the five-team meet Saturday, at R.A. Long High School. He pinned his last two opponents in less than a minute to capture the 112-pound sub-regional championship.

“It was neat to be named outstanding wrestler, and it gives me a lot of motivation,” King said. “I’m going to continue to work harder so I can be ready for whoever gets in my way.”

Head coach John Carver said the road to the Tacoma Dome gets tougher for King. On the opposite side of the bracket at the regional tournament, Saturday at Tumwater High School, is a state-ranked wrestler from Tumwater.

“Chism didn’t have a lot of competition at subs, but that changes at region,” Carver said. “We’re going to push him hard because we want him to excel there this weekend.”

Washougal seniors John Barrette and Brendan Casey faced each other for the 160-pound sub-regional championship, just as they had done at the Columbia Gorge Invitational two weeks before. This time, Barrette brought home the championship.

“John and Brendan have been riding a see-saw all season,” Carver said. “Our goal is for both of them to bring home a state medal.”

When Barrette and Casey wrestle each other, it’s like two Panthers tangling in the jungle. If they happen to meet in the finals of a tournament, it’s no different than any other day of practice.

“It’s nice knowing no matter what happens, we’re both going to bring home a medal,” Casey said. “When I’m wrestling somebody who knows me so well, it forces me to do different moves and use ones I don’t normally use. That gives me practice.”

“We’re both at the same level, so whoever is having the better day wins,” Barrette. “It’s good to have someone to push you who’s just as good as you are, maybe even better.”

An 8-0 lead after the first round of the finals led Michael Huck to the 140-pound sub-regional championship.

“Michael set a goal at the beginning of the season to be a state medalist,” Carver said. “Winning a sub-regional title is the first step to achieving that goal.”

Two straight losses at state last season taught Huck and Casey to fight harder for their wins and medals in the postseason. Huck had these words of inspiration for his teammates who are trying to qualify for state for the first time.

“If you want it, you just have to go out there and take it,” he said. “It’s not going to just fall into your hands.”

A pin fall victory in the second round propelled Tyler Purkeypyle to the 189-pound sub-regional championship. Carver said the junior picked the perfect time to win his first high school tournament. Purkeypyle said he is so close to state, he can just taste it.

“It felt good for all four of us to walk around school today saying we’re sub-regional champions. My goal and motivation for this week is to make it to state,” Purkeypyle said. “We have eight going to region. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling and have all eight of us go tostate.”

Matt Wilson, Robert Melton and Trevor Johnson are also going to the regional tournament for Washougal. Wilson snatched second at 152 pounds, Melton earned second at 171 and Johnson took third at 275. Jarrett Gregory grabbed fourth at 171 pounds, Hayden Rodgers finished fourth at 189 and Ben McMullan settled for fourth at 275.

The Panthers could not catch R.A. Long in the hunt for the team championship. The Lumberjacks racked up 328 points to finish in first place, followed by Washougal with 227 points.

“Our goal was to beat R.A. Long for the sub-regional title, but we had to settle for second place,” Carver said. “We’re going to go after them at region and at state. Our goal is to be the highest placing team from the Greater St. Helens League at the state tournament.”

WHS girls get three to region

LaDawna Jurgens represented Washougal in the championship round of the girls sub-regional wrestling championships Saturday, at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver. The senior settled for second place at 152 pounds.

“I learned you got to keep your head up,” Jurgens said. “Looking at the stars is the best thing you can do at a match, because if you put your head down, you get stuck.”

Jurgens, Alicia Cain and Hailee Modoc advance to the regional tournament Saturday, at Hoquiam High School. Cain clinched fourth place at 130 pounds and Modoc finished fourth at 171 pounds.

The Panthers took third out of 21 teams at the sub-regional tournament. Erin Tully defeated teammate Tara Duey for fifth place at 112 pounds, and Duey settled for sixth. Mignon Parson placed fifth at 152 pounds and Erin Locke grabbed sixth at 119 pounds.

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