The Washougal Panthers defended their home turf against wrestlers from the southern region of Washington state Saturday.
“I love how in sync we are,” said senior Panther Jessica Eakins. “It’s fun when you can share a win like this together. We really are one family.”
Eakins, Yaneli Martinez and Abby Lees clinched championship medals to help the Washougal girls win the team title by more than 50 points. Mialisa Oster and Morgan Ratcliff secured second place medals. Hannah Eakins, Samantha Eakins and Baylee Wright grabbed third place.
“This is the only time people get to come watch all of us wrestle under one roof,” Lees said.
Eakins and Martinez didn’t have to wrestle until the final round. Both came through with pin fall victories.
“It was my only match. I couldn’t lose that one,” Martinez said.
“I spent the day cheering for my teammates,” Eakins said. “I got them ready and they got me ready.”
Ruben Aguilar and A.J. Christianson earned first place in their brackets to help the Panther boys win the team title by 48.5 points.
“It’s the first time I ever placed first at a tournament. Might was well do it at home,” Aguilar said. “This is what Washougal is all about. We work hard every day and we show it on the mat.”
Jacob Brown, Taylor Leifsen, Zach Oster and Nick Wolfe snagged second place. Garrett Duey, Tony Maniscalco, Brandon McKee, Hunter MacPhail and Urich Reyes took third place. Bailey Burk, John Gable and Michael Hickey finished in fourth place.
All of these Washougal wrestlers are still in the running for an opportunity to wrestle at the Tacoma Dome. The boys head to the regional tournament Saturday, at Hudson’s Bay High School. The girls go to regionals Saturday, at Kelso High School.
“Just keep your head in the game,” Lees advised her teammates. “Nobody wants this to be over. We all want to make it to state.”