state wrestling crown
Borderite Steven Burden defeated rival David Barber of Orting 8-6 in overtime to win the 152-pound state wrestling championship February 16-17 at Mat Classic XIII in the Tacoma Dome.
Burden and Barber were on a collision course from tourneys start, both dominating their way to their finale fracas. Burden pinned La Centers Jeremy Woods at 3:08 of their first round bout, won a technical pin over Kiona-Bentons Jesse De La Pena in round two and pinned Vashons Josh Gardner at 1:36 of their semifinal set-to.
Burden went into the championship clash with two pins and a technical pin. Barber climbed onto the mat with two tech pins and a major decision over Jenkins Stewart Eggleston, the 2000 state runner-up. The stage was set as two of the finest wrestlers in the state from any weight class or division came together, each seeking the 152-pound title.
It was a thrilling match, Blaine coach Craig Foster noted, that ended when Burden took down Barber with a double leg attack 30 seconds into overtime.
Burdens victory puts him on an 18-name list of Blaine state champs, where he joins his brother Danny. Eight of the champs earned their titles under coach foster. Burdens victory at State was his second OT win over Barber in a week, the first coming at regionals on February 10 when he edged the Orting grappler 6-4.
other Borderite grappling action, Blaines Zac Waters,
the 184-pound wrestling wonder competing in the 275-pound
heavyweight class, had the attention and admiration of the
crowd in his David vs. Goliath encounters.
He is probably the lightest state placer at heavyweight in the history of Washington wrestling, Foster explained. He was the darling of the crowd. Many people cheered and rooted for him as he was so small and appeared such an underdog.
The latter appellation was most inappropriate for the majority of Waters encounters. He took an 8-5 first-round decision from Grandviews Wes Schlosser and defeated Newports Cody Donais 12-10 in OT in second round action.
Waters was pinned at 5:57 by Quincys Russ Teeter in their heavyweight semifinal, but came back to edge Cascade-Leavenworths J.P. Gomez 4-3 in OT in the consolation semi. Waters then lost 4-2 in OT to Ilwacos Chris Becken. Three-out-of-five against the states large, economy-sized grapplers was quite a feat.
As coach Foster noted, Waters wrestled smart and with guts and determination. His performance was truly inspiring.
Borderite Tyler Glahn lost an 8-4 opening round decision to Montesanos Jordan Bradbury at 125 pounds. Bradbury went on to finish runner-up for the third straight year. Glahn was eliminated in the consolation round, dropping a 4-0 decision to Ephratas Matt Dillin, who went on to place sixth.
Blaines Joe Button was edged 4-3 in the first round by Washougals Lee Leifsen, who eventually finished fourth, and was decisioned 5-2 by Jenkins Jared Reddinger in the consolation round of the 140-pound category.