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South Kitsap wrestlers capture regional championship
There were no shortage of storylines for South Kitsap.
Among them were three first-place finishers and 12 wrestlers moving onto Mat Classic XXII.
There was junior Conner Hartmann scoring the go-ahead takedown with just eight seconds left to defeat Olympia senior Jordan Pine at 171 pounds for the third time in four opportunities since New Year’s Day.
Not to mention a pair of seniors, Craig Dyess and Chris Nenninger, becoming the first Wolves to wrestle against each other for a regional championship.
It all added up to a second consecutive team Class 4A Region III title for South on Saturday at Central Kitsap High School. The Wolves finished atop the 17-team field with 238.5 points.
South coach Chad Nass, whose program extended its Narrows League regular-season dual match win streak to 170 last month, credited the wrestlers for their hard work during the offseason for maintaining the Wolves’ tradition. He said the dozen wrestlers advancing to state, which begins Friday at the Tacoma Dome, are the most since the mid-1990s.
“We have talented kids and their work ethic really is unparalleled,” he said. “They work like machines.”
At least Hartmann had to be. He never led Pine until he scored a takedown to earn a 6-5 win. Hartmann earned a 6-3 win Feb. 6 at sub-regionals at Foss. The two split their regular-season matches with Hartmann winning at Olympia and Pine claiming the South Kitsap Invitational championship.
Pine took a 4-0 lead entering the second period in their latest match.
“That match is kind of a symbol of who Conner is,” Nass said. “He just kept going, going and going.”
Hartmann said he used a single-leg takedown on Pine to score the winning points. He also scored one point after Pine was called for stalling in the final period.
“He gets tired as the match goes on,” Hartmann said. “I felt if I could keep getting him to stall, I could earn points.”
While Hartmann and Pine have become familiar with facing each other, it is a weekday practice ritual for Dyess and Nenninger. The latter jokingly held a piece of paper stating “This Is Gettin Old” on the award stand. Dyess won 3-1 in overtime, but both will advance to state for the first time.
“We’re great friends,” Dyess said. “It’s awesome that we could be in the final together.”
Perhaps no one was more excited than Barich, who is headed to state for the second time. He led Heritage senior Durant Fish, 3-2, at 135 before he pinned him at 5 minutes, 58 seconds.
After the win, Barich rushed toward Nass and leapt into his arms.
“All three of those coaches have been inspirations to me,” Barich said. “When you get a victory like that, you just get excited.”
He said he knew going for the pin with the late lead was risky, but Barich wanted the extra points to help his team.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to go for the gold,” he said.
Two other juniors, Terrill Wilson (119) and Kris Fenton (140), placed second. Wilson competed at state as a freshman in Kansas City, Kan., but missed last year when he placed fourth at regionals. Only the top three placers advanced to state a year ago. Nass said Wilson has dramatically cut the penalty points from last season.
Junior Greg Morrison (135) and seniors Tom Decker (285), Guy Powell (189), Spencer Ricketson (130) and Hakeem Smith (152) all placed third. They will be joined at state by senior Taylor Lyman (145), who was fourth.
“I’m really proud of the kids,” Nass said. “I couldn’t ask anything more from what they gave the coaching staff.”
Region III Class 4A Wrestling Championships
Saturday at Central Kitsap High School
Team standings: South Kitsap 238.5, Kelso 167.5, Evergreen (Vancouver) 146, Heritage 139.5, Central Kitsap 114, Battle Ground 50.5, Gig Harbor 44.5, Foss 44, Mountain View 37.5, Mount Tahoma 35, Olympia 30, Wilson 26, Bellarmine Prep 22, Shelton 21, Skyview 10.5, Lincoln 6, Stadium 0.
Individuals (top four to state)
103: Michael Nguyen (E) d. Josh Newberg (K) 8-3. 112: Riley Miller (K) d. Matthew Nguyen (E) 4-3. 119: Austin Frazier (H) d. Terrill Wilson (SK) 3-2. 125: Cody Wood (H) d. Kamm Freundenstein (F) 3-2. 130: Kurtis Giberson (K) d. Kevin Rampp (MT) 6-1. 135: Cody Barich (SK) p. Durant Fish (H) 5:58. 140: Kyle Walker (H) p. Kris Fenton (SK) 1:40. 145: Niko Hughes (K) p. Kendrick Spiller (H) 1:05. 152: Davey Browne (GH) p. Ethan Cobb (MV) 6:45 (OT). 160: Craig Dyess (SK) d. Chris Nenninger (SK) 3-1 (OT). 171: Conner Hartmann (SK) d. Jordan Pine (O) 6-5. 189: Robert Clasey (E) d. Dean Hancock (BG) 11-5. 215: Tim Peraza (E) p. David Stenger (W) 2:30. 285: Dean Rogers (H) p. Morgan Yarber (CK) 3:00.
103: Peyton Zeller (E) d. Ty McCullough (She) 3-2. 112: Jerret Canovas (E) d. Joey Troyer (CK) 12-7. 119: Brenden Delagrange (K) 6-5. 125: Garrett McDaniel (K) d. Evan Beck (CK) 9-8. 130: Spencer Ricketson (SK) d. Ian Sprecher (CK) 7-2. 135: Greg Morrison (SK) d. Jensen Chau (F) 6-4 (OT). 140: Josh Knippel (E) d. Ethan Beck (CK) 5-1. 145: Justin Sitch (K) d. Taylor Lyman (SK) 8-6. 152: Hakeem Smith (SK) d. Nate McNicholas (Sky) 8-7. 160: Cort Nutter (E) d. Terrell Henderson (MT) 2-1. 171: Richard Anau (MT) p. Jared O’Neill (K) 2:52. 189: Guy Powell (SK) d. Justin Henry (O) 3-1. 215: Miguel Simon (BG) d. Jake Baker (GH) 10-7. 285: Tom Decker (SK) p. Zane Shaut (BG) 6:47 (OT).