The Yelm boys wrestling team secured 10th place overall at the annual Lake Stevens Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 14.
The Tornados had three freshmen and four wrestlers who placed at the tournament, which was held at Lake Stevens High School.
Freshman AJ Erickson had the strongest showing of the freshmen, as he took third overall in the 138 pound weight class. Wesley Thompson, 120 pound class, and Jonah Smith, 285 pound class, each placed seventh in their respective classes.
Senior Andrew Davis placed seventh overall in the 126 pound weight class, while senior Dan Snyder (145) placed eighth. Senior William Carreto (182) placed third overall and will look to go on a run this postseason.
Sophomore Lake Harris (145) was described as having “a great tournament” by Head Coach Gaylord Strand. Harris was the only Tornado who was a finalist, however he finished second overall.
“It was a good tournament, a very good learning experience for our younger guys,” Strand said. “Mount Spokane took first at the tournament and they’ve been our nemesis in state for a while. They look to be really strong this year.”
The top 10 teams at the tournament included Mount Spokane, who took first with 190.5 points, South Kitsap in second with 162 points, Sumner in third with 156 points, Tahoma in fourth with 152.5 points, Lake Stevens in fifth with 136 points, Hanford in sixth with 123.5 points, Graham-Kapowsin in seventh with 118.5 points, Central Valley in eighth with 98 points, Kennedy Catholic in ninth with 96 points, and Yelm in 10th with 91 points.
“Bringing 10 kids, and not a full lineup, I thought we did OK,” Strand said. “I think we could’ve placed higher than some of the teams ahead of us if we had a full lineup, but that’s just the way it is.”
Strand said he sent his junior varsity team to the Rainier High School tournament, which had 17 teams in attendance.
The junior varsity saw some success as five grapplers placed. Freshman Ryan Anderson (106) placed fifth, while sophomore Walter Waldrop (120) placed as well.
Strand said there were two Tornados wrestling each other for fifth and sixth place in the 145 pound weight class, and freshman Ashton Carreto defeated freshman Logan Ketter to secure fifth.
Senior Roman Gray (220) was the only finalist at the Rainier tournament. Gray placed second in his weight class.
“We needed the competition these last two weeks. It was grueling, but it’s the type of competition we’ll see in the postseason,” Strand said. “For our JV, this was their first tough tournament. They were wrestling varsity lineups and now they know what to expect going forward.”
This week, Strand said the team will travel to Central Kitsap on Thursday, Jan. 19 for a South Sound Conference dual with the Cougars. Afterwards, the Tornados will compete at the Bearcat Invitational in Chehalis, which is the last tournament before districts.
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