One champion and seven other medallists put the Panther girls wrestlers in the running for another Clark County Championship Saturday, at Skyview High School in Salmon Creek.
In just her first year wrestling, Allicia Cain pinned Heritage’s Diana Chavez and Mountain View’s Avery Miller for the 130-pound county championship.
“My friend Tara Duey kept on encouraging me to go out for wrestling,” Cain said. “She said, ‘it’s really fun, and you’re going out for it [this] season.’ And here I am. I can’t believe I’m a county champion.”
Erin Tulley (112 pounds), LaDawna Jurgens (160) and Kiersta Moore (171) also all reached the finals for the Panthers and placed second. Duey took third at 112, Braman Warren snatched third at 119 and Mignon Parson earned third at 152. Emily Alder finished fourth at 103.
The Washougal girls earned second at Clark County with 84 points. Battle Ground won the championship with 122 points.
“I can’t say that I’m anything but pleased, even though I hate to lose,” said head girls coach Heather Santos. “There are a lot of people saying Washougal graduated its whole team, but these young girls are showing a ton of fight. They love the sport, and they want to learn.”
The Panther boys suffered some tough losses in the first round, but still came away with four county medallists. Chism King captured second place at 112 pounds, Brendan Casey took third at 160, Michael Huck finished fourth at 140 and Robert Melton placed sixth at 171.
“I thought I did well, but I learned I need to get in better shape,” King said. “I gassed out in the finals.”
Casey lost 4-3 to the eventual 160-pound champion Zach Anderson of Ridgefield in the semifinals, before bouncing back with two wins in consolation.
“Zach Anderson is a good wrestler. I thought I had him, but I didn’t,” Casey said. “I’ll get him next time.”
Head coach John Carver said King and Casey both made strides in their losses, and showed good sportsmanship. He echoed those remarks about Huck and Melton.
Washougal heads to R.A. Long High School tonight, before wrestling in the Gorge Invitational Saturday.
“Our performance at county was weakest of the season,” Carver said. “We must build on our setbacks before we head into postseason.”
The Panthers brought a lot of energy back to the jungle Monday, which makes King proud to be their captain.
“I hope we get some good competition at Gorge,” he said. “I’m ready for anybody.”