By Oliver Lazenby
After a season of top finishes, Blaine senior Aidan Button wrestled all the way to the finals match in the state championship at the Tacoma Dome on February 16. His second place finish at 152 pounds led the Borderites to an 11th place team finish.
Though he lost by pin in the finals, Button’s victories throughout the tournament showed how far he’s come as a wrestler. He won his first match by pin and the second two by decisions.
That put him on the mat with Owen Enriquez of R.A. Long High School in Longview, who Button wrestled two years earlier in his first trip to state. Enriquez won the 2017 match, but Button dominated the rematch, winning in a 12–2 major decision.
Weston Lyver of White River High School won the finals match by pinning Button after a single leg takedown.
“I’m happy with how I did and I think I gave it everything I had,” Button said. “My main goal this year was just to have fun and wrestle as far as I could and I feel like I did both of those things.”
Blaine senior Jacob Westfall also placed in the Mat Classic. After losing his third match in overtime, Westfall worked his way up through the consolation bracket to seventh place.
“Jacob and Aidan were our top placers all year long. They’re great kids and they were rewarded with places at state,” said Blaine head coach Tom Hinz. “The whole senior class – they’re a great bunch and they all wrestled really well this season.”
Westfall pulled a tendon in his back about a month ago. He was fine at state, Hinz said, but he hasn’t been able to practice at full speed since the injury.
Two other Borderites – senior Alex Hall at 138 pounds and junior Gavino Rodriguez at 195 – came up just short of placing in the top eight.
Hall pinned his first opponent and beat his second by a 7–1 decision. He lost his fourth match to Cheney High School’s Dylan Straley, who went on to place fourth.
Rodriguez beat his first opponent in an 11–1 major decision and pinned his second. He lost his third match in a fall to Isaac Reavis of W.F. West High School in Chehalis. Rodriguez was leading that match in points when Reavis snagged his arm and pinned him. Reavis went on to place fifth.
Blaine’s 11th place finish made it Whatcom County’s top 2A school. Toppenish High School won the state title at 2A, its third title in the past four years.