Lake Stevens flexes muscle in state tuneup | Wrestling roundup
The top-ranked Vikings overpowered the field in their regional championships as they readied for another run at a state title.
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SNOHOMISH — Top-ranked Lake Stevens is headed to state with a head of steam.
The Vikings, who won state titles in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011, overpowered the field at the Class 4A Region I Championships on Saturday, claiming seven individual titles on the way to the team crown.
Lake Stevens had 284.5 points, followed by Yelm with 182.5 and third-place Snohomish with 117.
Mat Classic begins Friday at the Tacoma Dome, with Lake Stevens expected to get a challenge from defending champ Tahoma for the big trophy.
Eric Soler, who won a state title at 126 pounds for the Vikings last year, cruised to the regional title at 145 with two pins and an 11-0 major decision.
Another returning state champ, Noah Cuzzetto of Edmonds-Woodway, escaped with a 6-5 victory over Yelm's Darren Harris in the final at 113.
Class 4A Region III
At Heritage High School in Vancouver, KingCo 4A wrestlers swept the top four weights, and Skyline (158 points) finished a solid runner-up behind Union (167.5) of Vancouver for the regional team title. Issaquah (104) was third. Woodinville's Ryan Christensen (state runner-up at 160 last year) won at 182 pounds, improving to 35-1 this season. Christensen has not lost to an in-state opponent this season. Other KingCo winners were Eastlake's Eric Harper at 195, Skyline's Sean McAlhaney at 220 and Issaquah's Jonathan Norris at 285. Brandon Davidson of Bothell won by injury default at 152.
Class 3A Region I
At Marysville-Pilchuck, defending state champion Jessie Lopez of Everett pinned two of three opponents on his way to a regional title, and Stanwood edged Oak Harbor for the team crown. Lopez, the 132-pound state champ last year, won at 145. Stanwood got championships from West Weinert (106), Zach Schut (152) and Garrett Arrona (195).
Class 3A Region III
At Kelso, KingCo 3A champion Mercer Island finished one point out of third place in the team race and got dominating performances from Taylan Yuasa (106) and Nick Chandler (170) on their way to individual titles for the Islanders. Yuasa won twice by pins and got a 17-2 technical fall, and Chandler pinned all three of his opponents. Vancouver's Mountain View was the team champion.
Class 3A Region IV
At Sunnyside, Glacier Peak's Sean Elledge, the defending state champion at 182, got an 8-3 decision over a Southridge wrestler to claim a regional title. Elledge's Grizzlies took fourth place in the region, which was dominated by Eastern Washington schools. University of Spokane was the team champion. Matthew Floresca of Shorewood won at 126.