The top high school wrestlers in Washington relied on technique and moxie to earn medals at Mat Classic XXXII on Feb. 14-15 inside the cavernous confines of the Tacoma Dome.
The Washougal boys (10 wrestlers) finished 13th in the 2A standings; the Camas boys (four wrestlers) took 14th place in the 4A ranks; and the Washougal girls (six wrestlers) placed 18th in the girls division.
Lees, Shelley place in top five
Washougal senior Scott Lees, who finished fourth in the 2A 152-pound weight class, never missed a practice during his four years as a varsity wrestler, according to his coaches. He also received academic all-state honors and finished his high school career with 134 wins and 29 losses.
“Scott is a strong leader whose shining example should be a model for all future Washougal wrestlers,” Panthers boys coach John Carver said.
Senior Gus Shelley placed fifth at 160 pounds, winning his first two matches to advance to the semifinals. Henry Jones (195 pounds) and Bryce Williams (220) finished eighth for the Panthers.
In the girls’ competition, Washougal captain Aleksi Donahue took fourth place at 120 pounds. Donohue did an “amazing” job leading her team all season, according to her coaches. Senior Josalyn Ortiz (130) earned an eighth-place medal by winning her final match by one point.
“We had a strong season,” Carver said. “Both boys and girls were league champions and sub-regional champions. The girls were regional champions while the boys were regional runner-ups, and both teams finished in the top 20 at state.”
Malychewski returns to finals
Camas senior Gideon Malychewski advanced to the title match in 4A’s 160-pound weight class, where he faced returning state champion, Pasco’s Isaiah Gonzalez, who topped Malychewski 16-8.
Malychewski finished his high school career as a three-time Mat Classic placer, two-time finalist and 2019 state champion.
Fellow senior Colby Stoller wrestled his way to a fourth-place finish at 220 pounds after finishing second as a junior. And sophomore Porter Craig showed why the future of Camas wrestling looks bright, finishing fifth in the 106-pound weight class.
Papermakers coach Cory Vombaur is excited about the future of the program.
“We continue to develop wrestlers with our youth, with over 100 wrestlers competing in the Camas Wrestling Club this season,” he said.
Camas’ middle school program also had a great year, with the Liberty Lions going undefeated and the Skyridge Skyhawks going undefeated in dual meets outside of Camas.
The Papermakers and Panthers are not about to rest on their laurels — club wrestling is getting started as both programs prepare for next season.