Seniors go out on top at Classic

Eli Narte grapple with an opponent at the state wrestling tournament held last weekend.  - JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo
Eli Narte grapple with an opponent at the state wrestling tournament held last weekend.
— image credit: JESSE BEALS/Staff Photo

Roberts, Brooks and Lyons end their prep wrestling careers on a positive note.

TACOMA – It’s not how you start, but how you finish.

And three Bainbridge wrestlers are happy with how they rounded out Mat Classic XVIII last weekend at the Tacoma Dome.

Brian Robert took sixth in the 160-pound category, while Ian Brooks placed eighth in the 152-pound category, while Anna Lyons finished first in her group at the girls invitational.

Robert lost a tough match to Foster Orton from East Valley out of Spokane for fifth place.

After a scoreless first period, Robert scored on an escape, then tweaked his ankle as he tried to escape Orton’s grasp. It was all Orton from then on, as he scored two takedowns and an escape for the win.

Despite the loss, Robert said his coaches were still proud of him.

“Before State they said if I placed because of my injury (they would be happy),” he said. “I’m happy with that, but I wish I could have done better. I’ve never been injured in my four years until right before State.”

To get there, Robert dropped a 6-2 decision to Bellingham’s Reid Chivers, but defeated Mike Gottbreht from River Ridge 8-4, then outlasted Keoni Nisley from Lakes in a 2-0 decision with the only score coming on a reversal.

Brooks defeated Leif Woldseth from Franklin Pierce in his opening match by pinfall, but was pinned by eventual champion Derek Driscoll from W.F. West High School out of Chehalis in the quarterfinals.

“I would have liked to have given him a hard time, but I wasn’t in my position,” he said. “I haven’t seen anybody close to that level this year.”

Brooks rebounded to shut out Columbia River’s Jordan Wigington by a score of 6-0.

“I definitely improved from last year,” he said. “I felt like I made it my match instead of letting him (Wigington) take over.”

On Saturday, Brooks lost to Josh Kartchner from Columbia River by a 12-2 major decision and was pinned by Evan Thorpe from Bishop Blanchet in the second period.

Lyons won all of the matches in her group by outlasting Christina Cox of LaCenter in a 1-0 decision, pinning Kirsten Schumacher of Fife in the first period and defeated Jennifer LaDean of Lynwood in a 4-3 decision.

“I was pretty confident,” Lyons said. “No one was going to take this away from me. It’s my last year, so there’s no way.”

While she doesn’t know if there will be any other female wrestlers to follow her at Bainbridge, she was interested in the news that a separate girls tournament is in the works, debuting as soon as next season. Nearly 160 girls participated in this year’s invitational.

“I wish they would have done it this year,” Lyons said. “That would be good because there’s enough girls now.”

Eli Narte and Matt Ritualo didn’t make it out of the first day of competition.

Ritualo fell to Mt. Si’s Kyle Heath and Devin Moorman of Yakima’s West Valley High School, while Narte lost to eventual champion Jim Belleville of Black Hills and Michael Takemura of Bellingham.

The freshman wasn’t deterred.

‘‘I’ll be back,” Narte vowed.

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