Blaine wrestlers spent much of the regular season traveling to big tournaments to take on some of the best wrestlers in the state and, in some cases, in the country. Because of that, Blaine hasn’t always placed near the top, at least in team score.
That strategy seems to have prepared Blaine well for the post-season, as the Borderites got a confidence-boosting first place finish at the Class 2A Sub-Regional tournament on February 7-8 at Sedro-Woolley High School. Eleven wrestlers placed in the top four and qualified to the regional tournament.
“I know I probably downplay our guys and how tough this tournament is,” said Blaine head coach Tom Hinz, after explaining that he expected Blaine to take first place. “It is a great honor that we’re having this success, but these guys put in so much work.”
Four Blaine wrestlers won championship titles: Jack Cheatham at 138 pounds, Gavino Rodriguez at 182 pounds, Colton Pedersen at 195 pounds and Owen Hansen at 220 pounds.
Seven other Blaine wrestlers qualified for the regional tournament: Cael Button, second place at 113 pounds; Baruc Vazquez, second at 160; Luke Westfall, second at 170; Adam Macauley, third at 126; Tyson Kirk, third at 195; Xavier Stephens, Third at 285; and Alex Welch, fourth at 152.
Nahum Vazquez (132), Nicolaas Chandran (170) and Rahul Chandran (285) all placed fifth in their weight classes, coming up just short of qualifying for regionals, and Tim Pomeroy took sixth at 106.
“This was the first time placing in a tournament for some of those guys,” Hinz said. “Everyone was wrestling well. I think we are peaking at the right time.”
Blaine won with a team score of 280, well ahead of second place Burlington-Edison and third place Sedro-Woolley (those schools scored 243.5 and 220, respectively).
The 11 who qualified will wrestle on February 15 at Regionals, at White River High School in Buckley, Washington. The regional tournament is the qualifying event for the state tournament on February 21-22.