Sports

State Meet | Grapplers

Five wrestlers are off to Mat Classic XXIII this weekend at the Tacoma Dome. (Left to right:) Corey Touchette, Dylan Read, Karl Hunt, Mike Grant and Alex Hoover. - Brad Camp/for the Review
Five wrestlers are off to Mat Classic XXIII this weekend at the Tacoma Dome. (Left to right:) Corey Touchette, Dylan Read, Karl Hunt, Mike Grant and Alex Hoover.
— image credit: Brad Camp/for the Review

(The Review will be at the state meet providing live updates. You can follow reporter John Becerra Jr. at http://twitter.com/#!/birsports.)

Corey Touchette and Karl Hunt said they will be motivated to do better at Mat Classic XXIII in the Tacoma Dome after what they felt was a weak performance at the regional meet last weekend.

“I feel like we both could have got first,” Hunt said.

Touchette agreed.

“For me, I wasn’t mentally ready for my semifinal match and that’s why I got sent to the loser’s bracket,” he said. “I should have gotten first.”

Both will have a tough draw for their first-round matchup Friday morning.

Touchette gets Sean Elledge from Glacier Peak, who is currently ranked seventh in the Washington Wrestling Report 3A 160-pound weight category. Touchette is listed just outside the top 10 at 160 pounds.

Hunt drew Dustin Johnson from University Prep, who placed fourth at state last year and is ranked third in the 189-pound category.

Head coach Dan Pippinger feels both Touchette and Hunt have good chances to place this weekend.

Head coach Dan Pippinger feels both Touchette and Hunt have good chances to place this weekend.

“They’ve done a really good job,” he said of his two co-captains and what they’ve done this year in leading the team to an 11-1 dual meet record in the regular season and a second place finish at the Metro tournament. “They model what we’re about. They communicate what we expect from the guys. They’ve done a great job.”

Three other wrestlers will get to see what the big time is like.

Dylan Read starts the 119-pound bracket off against Brandon Matlock from University Prep, who is ranked third and is a two-time state placer.

Alex Hoover starts the 140-pound bracket against Darren Bunke from Shadle Park, who is the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class and a two-time state placer.

Mike Grant drew Joe Janicki from Sedro Wooley, who is ranked third in the 215-pound bracket.

Pippinger said the trio, who don’t have much experience, said it will be great to see them compete at the top level of their sport and see what it's all about.

“They all had the potential” to make it to Mat Classic, he said. “They still haven’t seen in this season what they’ll see this weekend, so they’ll have that opportunity to step up to another level. At this point, I don’t think they realize what that level is – but they’ll find out real quick.”

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