Borderite grappler A.J. Pieczynski (152) defeated Mount Vernon’s Adolph Rivas 7-3 in the consolation round at last weekend’s Battle at the Border. Pieczynski finished fourth in his division.
Blaine defeated 17 other schools, including Everett and Kentwood, to take this year’s Battle at the Border, a tournament that was slimmed down from the usual 30-odd teams in years past.
Blaine wrestlers garnered three of the six championships won by Whatcom County teams; winners included Jamal Mallak (130 pound weight class), Camden Nix (145) and heavyweight Joel Garza (285).
Shaypher Hendricks (119) and Jeremy Holdaas (215) both got seconds, A.J. Pieczynski (152), Caleb Johnson (189) and Shaffer Hicks (215) got fourth places and Tony Jordan (125) got fifth.
Blaine’s 229 points was enough to outpoint the Everett Seagulls by 13.5 points, and leave Ferndale, at 192.5 and Squalicum (168.5) way behind.
Other Northwest Conference teams in the meet were Mount Baker (120.5), Bellingham (118.5), Mount Vernon (92.5), Anacortes (68), Sehome (67) and Granite Falls (42).
Both Mallak and Nix scored their first ever tournament victories. Both wrestlers have toiled long and hard to get to where they are now, and it’s a nice view from the top.
Mallak pinned both Mat Sallas of Federal Way’s Todd Beamer high school in the second period and Lucas Papadakis of Anacortes in the first. He then decisioned Ferndale’s Tyler Word 19-5 to set up a final with Beamer’s Aron Set-Heit, whom he beat 3-2.
Camden Nix cruised through his weight class like a tank through butterflies, pinning Ferndale’s Shaun Nelson in just over minute and Sequim’s Kenney Henning in virtually the same time. He shut out Beamer’s Tom Bowman 15-0 and then met Jacob Ubl of Kalama, who had pinned all three of this prior opponents on his way to the 145 final. Nix dispatched him 10-1 to take his first crown.
Joel Garza, likewise, went through his bracket of behemoths like a knife through butter, pinning Chris Bousquet of Mount Vernon in 1:20, Bobby Erickson of Longview Mark Morris in 5:40 and Levi Caroll of Everett in 2:42 for the championship.