SK flexes its muscle

As the centerpiece of Saturday’s Central Kitsap Invitational, the rematch of last year’s 160-pound state final between Mike Johnson of Tahoma and South Kitsap’s Brent Chriswell didn’t disappoint.

At least it didn’t disappoint half the crowd gathered to watch two of the best high school wrestlers in the state go at each other for the third time in less than a year.

Johnson, the defending state champ, got in on Chriswell late and won a low-scoring but even match to highlight a day that saw some of the state’s best gathered in one room.

“We had a good day but kind of a tough day, too,” co-coach Chad Nass said. “Some of our better kids were in some really tough weight classes today and that worked against us. Sometimes that happens and sometime it doesn’t. But all in all, we had a pretty good day.”

South took the CK team title a year ago on its way to a 10th-place finish at the state meet. Saturday, Enumclaw took the team title with 214 points while defending state champ Lake Stevens was second at 155.5. South Kitsap placed fifth with 108.5 points.

“Overall, we had some adversity this week with some kids being out,” Nass said. “But I’m pleased with how our kids performed. We wrestled hard today.”

Chriswell, who moved up to 171 pounds this year, won his first three matches by fall to move into the finals against Johnson. But like last year, the two spent most of the match fending off attacks.

Chriswell led most of the way but Johnson got in on Chriswell with 10 seconds left in the match to pull out a 4-2 win. Johnson stayed unbeaten on the year with the win while Chriswell suffered his first loss of the season.

“My legs gave out – I don’t think I had enough power in them,” Chriswell said. “It was a fair match. I’m disappointed but I’m looking forward to state.”

That was Johnson’s third straight win over Chriswell dating back to last year’s CK Invite. A fourth match up should come in four weeks at the Mat Classic in Tacoma.

“We want to beat him when it counts the most,” Nass said. “I think this kind of gives us more motivation to work on things and get better.

While the Johnson-Chriswell match stole most of the meet’s thunder, some of South’s other wrestlers were quietly making noise of the their own, most notably Lenny Schwartz.

Schwartz, going at 189 pounds, advanced to the sem-ifinals before losing to eventual champ Dan Mayfield of Central Kitsap. Schwartz ended up settling for a tie for fifth but of late has been performing very well on the mat.

“Lenny had just a great day,” Nass said. “He’s really coming on.”

Josiah Kipperberg ended his day tied for third after losing to Enumclaw’s Chase Smith, 5-4, in the 103-pound semifinals. Smith had beaten Kipperberg earlier in the year at the Pacific Coast Tournament but Kipperberg is slowly making up ground.

“I know Josiah is disappointed but he closed the gap on (Smith),” Nass said. “He’s knocking on the door. Pretty much everyone in the state thinks that (Smith) is the No. 1 guy in the state.”

Other South wrestlers to place included Jesse Barich, fifth at 135 pounds, Bobby Arendsee, fifth at 140, Brady Winslow, fifth at 145 and Kyle Saltsgaver who finished third at 215.

The meet is always a good barometer for the upcoming postseason, Nass said, and the Narrows League was well represented. Host CK had three wrestlers in the finals, two of whom won, while Olympic also had an individual champion. The Cougars placed third as team while Olympic was ninth.

North Kitsap, looking to improve under second-year coach Jon Cooke, took its lumps but also gained valuable experience.

“We had a good first round but then the level of competition kind of got to us,” Cooke said. “So we were kind of disappointed.”

The Vikings finished 12th as a team with 69 points with heavyweight Danny Glushko coming out of the meet as the highest placing individual. Glushko tied for third at 275 pounds and was the highlight of the day for Cooke.

“We had quite a few fifth-place finishers but in a tournament like this, it’s disappointing,” Cooke said. “But we learned, we saw what competition is all about.”

Glushko won his first match by pinning Tahoma’s Matt Mitchell in just 55 seconds but then faced Olympic’s Paul Kogut. Kogut won 11-4 on his way to the title.

“He had a good day,” Cooke said. “We lost to (the eventual winner) so that was a good day for us.”

Other placers for the Vikings included Matt Grimes, who tied teammate Kyle Cetnerowski for fifth at 119 pounds, Cory Bast tied for fifth at 160 pounds and Mike Storey who tied for fifth at 189.

Cooke said his squad is more geared for duals meets since it lacks any individual stars that could excel at a tournament. The Vikings are 3-0 in Narrows League Bridge Division action but still have to face South later this month.

Central Kitsap Invitational

Team scores — 1. Enumclaw 214, 2. Lake Stevens 155.5, 3. Central Kitsap 139.5, 4. Rogers 135.5, 5. South Kitsap 108.5, 6. Auburn-Riverside 104.5, 7. Tahoma 99, 8. Shelton 97, 9. Olympic 81.5, 10. Newport 81.5, 11. Davis 74, 12. North Kitsap 69, 13. Federal Way 59, 14. Bremerton 49, 15. South Whidbey 44

Championship results

103 pounds — Chase Smith (Enum) d. Kraig Wilson 7-5. 112— Michael Mangrum (AR) d. Kelly Kubec (LS) 6-4 (OT). 119— Josh Monson (LS) d. Fredy Sanchez 9-4. 125— Eric Jones (AR) d. Jonathan Muski (Enum) 6-0. 130— Ryan Nunez (CK) md. Justin Rambow (Rog) 15-6. 135— Brad Parker (Enum) p. Tony Smetzler (Shel) 2:58. 140— Zack Anderson (Enum) d. Kevin Manalo (CK) 10-7. 145— Andrew Johnson (Tah) md. Kai VanLeuven (LS) 15-6. 152— Marshall Giovannini (Rog) d. Zac Burnett (LS) 7-0. 160— Chris Grady (Rog) md. Taylor Dewater (Tah) 16-6. 171— Mike Johnson (Tah) d. Brent Chriswell (SK) 4-2. 189— Daniel Mayfield (CK) md. Zack Novack (Tah) 11-2. 215— Kevin Shields (Enum) d. AJ Weber (Oly) 6-5. 275— Paul Kogut (Oly) p. Zach Corbett (Shel) 1:26.

Other South Kitsap results: Josiah Kipperberg (103) tied for third; Jesse Barich (135) tied for fifth; Bobby Arendsee (140) tied for fifth; Brady Winslow (145) tied for fifth; Lenny Schwartz (189) tied for fifth; Kyle Saltgaver (215) tied for third.

North Kitsap placers — Matt Grimes (119) tied for fifth; Kyle Cetnerowski (119) tied for fifth; Cory Bast (160) tied for fifth; Mike Storey (189) tied for fifth; Danny Glushko (275) tied for third.

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