Yelm Grapplers Place First at District Tournament


After 15 Tornados placed in the 3A district wrestling tournament at North Thurston High School on Saturday, Feb. 4, the boys team walked away with a first place ranking at the district tournament.

“We got out there and did really well at the district tournament,” Coach Gaylord Strand said. “I love this time of year. I love seeing the kids accomplish great things during the postseason. I’m very excited for regionals as well.”

The Tornados had four wrestlers place first in their respective weight classes. They included freshman Wesley Thompson, 120, sophomore Lake Harris, 145, senior William Carreto, 182, and senior Roman Gray, 195.

Two Tornados placed in the 113 weight class. Sophomore Tate Oberhansley took second place and senior Vila Lom secured fourth.

Senior Andrew Davis placed second in the 126 weight class, while freshman AJ Erickson placed second in the 138 class.

Senior Dan Snyder, 138, placed third in his respective weight class, while junior Auto O’Neal placed third in the 145 weight class. Sophomore Roman Rosenberg placed fourth in the 152 pound weight class, while freshman Ashton Carreto placed fifth in the same class.

Sophomore Kaleb Holman, 160, placed third in his respective weight class. There were two Tornado representatives that placed in the 285 heavyweight class. They included freshman Jonah Smith, who took third place, and sophomore Chris Hauss in fourth place.

Moving forward, Strand said the Tornados will have a light week of practice before they head to the regional tournament at North Thurston High School. He said this week is all about getting his wrestlers mentally prepared for the tournament.

“Regionals will be tough. I’m hoping we can get eight of those 15 wrestlers through,” Strand said. “I’ll be very happy if there are more. Our goal for this week is to get their focus going in the right direction.”

Nine of Yelm’s 15 grapplers who will represent the Tornados at regionals are sophomores or younger. Strand is not surprised to see his young wrestlers thrive during important moments this season. 

“We have a good young team going forward. Tradition weighs into their success as young wrestlers, but from the youth program up, Yelm wrestling has a strong tradition and these kids expect to win,” Strand said. “When you’re a young wrestler and you’re watching older kids place at state, you get the idea that someday you’ll do the same thing.”

The regional tournament will take place on Saturday, Feb. 11 at North Thurston High School.


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