Yelm, Rainier Send Wrestlers to State Tournament

By Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 2/15/22

Yelm and Rainier’s high school wrestling programs are capping off a unique season by sending a combined 22 wrestlers to state. The Mat Classic returns this week for the first time during the …

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Yelm, Rainier Send Wrestlers to State Tournament

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Yelm and Rainier’s high school wrestling programs are capping off a unique season by sending a combined 22 wrestlers to state. The Mat Classic returns this week for the first time during the ongoing pandemic, and the coaches are ready to hit the mats.

The Tornados capped off the 2022 regional tournament by placing first with a score of 257.

“Besides the schools from the South Sound Conference in the tournament, we had only seen two of the schools at the tournament compete all season long,” said Yelm’s head wrestling coach Gaylord Strand. “We weren’t sure what to expect, but our guys were ready.”

Following Yelm in the standings were Stanwood (197), Ferndale (154), North Thurston (143), Capital (117), and Arlington (100.5), followed by 13 other schools.

For the Tornados, senior Jeffrey Myers continued his dominance by placing first after pinning each of his opponents. His record now sits at 24-0 on the season. The Platt Brothers, Logan (195) and Brayden (285), continued their postseason win streaks, each placing first in their respective weight classes.

Placing second for the Tornados was freshman Lake Harris (132) and juniors William Carreto (170) and Ray Wright (195). Taking third for Yelm was Tate Oberhansley (106) and Caleb Harris (138), while Caleb Mitchell (168) took fourth place. Placing fifth for Yelm was Jordan Katona (126), Tuff Ford (138), and Dan Snyder (145). Those who placed fifth are now able to compete in the state tournament, unlike prior years where they served as state-alternates.

The Tornados had three other wrestlers place, but they missed the state tournament cutoff. They include Logan Babb-Day and Tamaas Wakefield, who each placed seventh, and Israel Mendez, who placed eighth.

“We did really well at regionals, better than I thought,” said Strand. “But now we need to turn our focus to state. I just want to get on the mat right now and I know the guys do too.”

The Yelm girls wrestling team also saw success during regionals. The team placed in second and has advanced six grapplers to the state tournament. They include first place finishers Cammy Erickson and Maddy Erickson, second place finishers Amailee Niz and Samantha Blank, third place finisher Lily Lawson and fourth place finisher Kylie Minker.



Meanwhile, Rainier saw success of its own in the 2B regional tournament.

Punching their tickets to the state tournament was sophomore Ryder Cruse (285) who placed first in regionals, senior Ryan Doidge (160) who placed second, and freshman Conner Mounts (120) who took third. For the girls, sophomore Katherine Kinahan (190) punched her ticket to state after placing fourth in regionals.

“We haven’t had a girl go to state in seven years, so for Katherine to achieve that, we are incredibly proud of her,” said coach Chris Holtermann.

Holtermann said Kinahan improved her confidence throughout the season and also improved her technical ability on the mat. In the regular season, Kinahan finished with a record of 20-6, winning 70% of her matches. She had her eyes set on the state tournament all year long and now she has a chance to compete in it.

Cruse, who placed first in regionals, sports a 30-8 record on the season as he heads into state. Out of his eight losses, only one came from a competitor in the 2B classification.

“Ryder hasn’t wrestled since eighth grade, so for him to come out here and take first at regionals in his first year back is pretty incredible,” said Holtermann.

Doidge won by injury default in his first match at regionals. Going into his second match, he wrestled the number one wrestler from “the north,” according to Holtermann. Doidge won the match 20-6. Going into the championship round, he took part in a rematch with his “nemesis” from Kalama, who defeated Doidge at sub-regionals. Ultimately, Doidge came up short.

For Mounts, he came into regionals hungry to compete. In his first match, the freshman pinned his opponent. In his second match, he came up short against the eventual regional champion.

For both Yelm and Rainier, the Mat Classic starts at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 18. The tournament will continue on Saturday, Feb. 19.

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