Sports

Vashon wrestlers finish second at Port Townsend tournament

Robert Easton pinned four opponents. - Sy Bean photo
Robert Easton pinned four opponents.
— image credit: Sy Bean photo

On Saturday, Vashon returned home with a second place finish in the Port Townsend tournament against 1A Port Townsend, 2A Tenino and 2A South Whidbey.

Assistant Coach Per-Lars Blomgren said he was impressed with the improvement that he saw in the team from a week ago.

“The team wrestled well, and the wrestlers were being more aggressive and took the initiative in their matches,” he said. This was a trait the coaches had emphasized and were very pleased to see take root.

According to Blomgren, the outstanding Vashon wrestler at the tournament was Dominik Stemer, who showed solid development as a wrestler with two victories.

“He was more in a flow, and all of his training really clicked for him on the mat,” said Blomgren.

It is this progression from cerebral wrestling to instinctive wrestling that signifies a landmark step in a grappler’s maturity in the sport, he noted. Stemer’s only loss (3 to 1) came at the hands of Tenino’s best wrestler. In addition, Stemer was awarded the tournament sportsmanship award.

Other noteworthy results included co-captain Geran Webb’s two pins to remain undefeated in the season. Robert Easton pinned his four opponents. Elliot Ellingsen earned three wins because of his strong ability to start from the top position and force his opponents into cradles, according to Blomgren.

Sjors Steneker and Maximo Mandl also showed themselves to be cradle experts, with Steneker going 2-2 and Mandl ending 3-1. Blomgren said Aaron Bomber (4-2 on the day) demonstrated technical precision and great mat presence to thwart his opponents’ attempts to intimidate him. Graeme Britz dominated two opponents for wins and only lost to a state qualifier from Port Townsend.

Last Thursday, the Vashon team lost its dual match against Fife 15-49, but still experienced several highlights. Tucker Lazare recorded his first varsity victory with a pin in the 189-pound class. Blomgren credited Lazare’s long arms and aggressiveness with his successful double leg takedown.

Webb, in the 215-pound class, wrestled up a weight class and had an impressive pin against his heavyweight adversary.

Sam Chapman found himself in a situation the team had drilled on during practice, said Blomgren. During these scramble drills, one wrestler will start in a difficult situation, practice the proper response and thereby be prepared if that situation should arise during a match.

Chapman used the techniques he had learned to fight back and won his match by three points. Many observers consider the Vashon scramble drills to be the best offered anywhere in the state.

In Vashon girls’ wrestling, Iris Spring pinned her opponents on Thursday and Saturday and required less than 60 seconds total of mat time to do so. Island favorite Madeleine Wolczko did not wrestle.

Tonight, Vashon hosts its first home match of the year against Steilacoom in the high school gym, with JV at 6 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m. Over the years this rivalry has showcased excellent wrestling, and tonight’s match should measure up.

— Marian Easton is the mother of wrestler Robert Easton.

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