Three Spartans head to Mat Classic

Three Spartans advanced to the Mat Classic XV state wrestling championships, which began yesterday afternoon and winds up today at the Tacoma Dome.

Heading up the BHS contingent is senior Nick McCallum (215 pounds), who earned the championship at last week’s Region I meet with an exciting overtime win.

His title was the only one grabbed by the Metro League, as the conference was overran by the Seamount League schools. With a 31 win and 3 loss record, McCallum opened yesterday against Dan Ratfield of Burlington-Edison.

Taking a third-place medal in Regionals was junior John-Michael King (130), his final win also coming in overtime. King, 21-16 and a second-place finisher at Metro the previous weekend, surprised many in his march to State.

“He wrestled smart,” said head coach Steve Hohl. “He showed a lot of technique, style, and used high percentage moves that led to several quality wins.” His first opponent was Mike McPeak of Clarkston.

The third Spartan to move on was sophomore Zach Smith (125), placing fourth at the White River tournament. After leading the Bainbridge mat men in almost every statistical category in his first two seasons, Smith takes a sterling career mark of 60-13 into his opening match against No. 1 seed Nate Uehara of River Ridge.

Four islanders finished fifth at Regionals, one spot out of qualifying, and are alternates in case of injury in their weight classes: seniors Stevie Devine (103), Alonso Valenzuela (112) and Peter Mandell (189), and sophomore Angelo Ritualo (140).

Last year’s state champions Sedro Woolley appears to be the favorite, sending 14 men to the championships. Hoping to unseat the Cubs are Region I first- and second-place teams, White River (10 entrants) and Clover Park (10). With a few opportune victories from the local trio, Bainbridge could realistically crack the top 10. See Wednesday’s Review for Mat Classic results.

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