The girls varsity wrestling team took seventh in the regional tournament February 12 at Sedro-Woolley High School, and three girls advanced to the state tournament this weekend in Tacoma.
Junior Genesis Vazquez and senior Bries Nolasco took second and fourth, respectively, at 110 pounds and sophomore Milania Rodriguez took third at 135 pounds. Junior Rayanne Mutchler took seventh at 235 pounds, just missing the sixth place state alternate spot. The four girls put up enough points to take seventh in the 42-team regional tournament.
Head coach Damon Higgins, who was voted sub-regional coach of the year last week, said overall he was very pleased with the girls’ performance this past weekend. “Ray[anne Mutchler] is upset,” he said. “Her goal was to make it to state, but the other girls are happy.”
He added this is the most girls wrestlers Blaine has ever sent to the state tournament.
The team has a wide range of experience. Higgins said Vazquez has been wrestling for six years and competed at state her freshman year, while it’s Nolasco’s first year wrestling.
Vazquez said Higgins has played a huge role in the team’s success and really supports the team emotionally during competition. “We all have our own demons,” she said. “And he’s been very helpful and supportive by not letting those bring us down.”
Whatcom County will be sending 18 wrestlers to the state tournament. Mount Baker and Bellingham United, a combined team of Bellingham’s three high schools, are sending five each. Two wrestlers from both Lynden and Meridian will compete, and one from Ferndale.
Vazquez said the girls are looking forward to the feeling of competing at the state championship level. “Feeling the stadium and energy is something we haven’t experience yet this year because of Covid,” she said.
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