Five Blaine wrestlers traveled to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for some of the toughest high school wrestling in the west at the Tri-State Tournament. The top high school wrestlers from Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon competed on the mats of North Idaho College during the two-day tournament December 14 and 15.
Blaine’s squad placed 28th out of 64 schools in its first year attending the tournament, an outcome that Blaine coach Craig Foster said he was happy with.
“Our guys wrestled some quality wrestlers with some great matches,” he said. “It was probably the best Blaine performance at a high-level tournament that I’ve seen.”
Senior Caleb Johnson won five of six matches to place third in the 220 lb. weight division. Junior Kyle Gonzales went 5-2 to place seventh in the 106 lb. weight class. Junior Michael Antczak placed eighth in the 285 lb. division with a 3-3 record in the tournament and some key wins. Junior Jonathan Stewart went 4-2 at 160 lbs., and senior Justin Belding went 3-2 at 145 lbs.
“It helps build confidence to do well against tough competition,” Foster said. “So it was very encouraging to see these guys wrestle the way they did.”
The rest of the Blaine wrestling team competed in the Paul Reiman Classic tournament at Mount Vernon High School Saturday, December 15.
Freshman Stuey Rasar won the 106 lb. championship by pinning all his opponents. Freshman Anthony Frey placed second at 132 lbs., junior Tristan Hunter placed second at 145 lbs., sophomore Billy Dodd placed third at 113 lbs., sophomore Gage Lott was third at 126 lbs. and junior Tyler Peterson placed fifth at 152 lbs.
As a team, Blaine placed sixth out of nine schools with 116.5 points.
The wrestling team’s next match will be over the holiday season, when they will travel to Vashon Island High School for the Vashon Island Rock Tournament, Friday, December 28. There they will compete against 14 teams from across the state.