Hermiston’s Jordan Franklin became the first non-Washington athlete to win a match at Mat Classic on Friday morning, and he wasn’t the only one.
The Bulldogs went 3-4 during their first-round matches at the Tacoma Dome, and by the end of the day, five guys were still fighting for medals.
“It’s exciting,” Hermiston coach Kyle Larson said. “They got an opportunity to skip regionals and make it to state. We are proud of them.”
Trevor Wagner was the only Bulldog left on the championship side of the bracket at the end of the session, advancing to the 160-pound quarterfinals with a pin of Ian Mortensen of Shorecrest in 4:50.
Wagner, a sophomore, won his first match, pinning Stone Anderson of Gig Harbor in 4:55.
“We get him through the semis, he’ll place in the top six,” Larson said.
Hermiston opened the tournament with losses by Hunter Dyer (120 pounds) and Gage Shipley (126), but Franklin righted the ship with a 7-4 decision over Sam Smith of Peninsula at 132 pounds.
Freshman Jon Lee, who is No. 5 in the state rankings at 220, pinned John Scotto of Yelm in 3:38 of his opening bout.
Lee would drop his second match, an 8-2 decision to Falemaia Weggen of Spanaway Lake.
“The score doesn’t show the match,” Larson said. “We had that kid dead tired and on his back. It was closer than the score showed. We expect him to come through the back door and earn some points for us.”
Lee won his consolation match, pinning Kevin Quiroz of Rainier Beach in 3:21 to stay alive.
Gage Nelson of Yelm pinned Dyer in their first-round match in a time of 1:21, while Shipley lost a 9-1 major decision to fourth-ranked Ryan Davis of Yelm.
Dyer and Shipley shifted to the consolation bracket, where they both have won two matches, with plenty more to go to weave their way through to a medal match.
Dyer pinned both of his opponents, while Shipley posted a 3-1 decision over Bridger Paradis from Prairie, then pinned Indigo Weappa of Bainbridge in the second round.
Franklin, who lost his second match 3-1, joined the fray in the consolation bracket, where he pinned Howard Hare of Edmonds-Woodway in 42 seconds.
“I was fired up to see those three win,” Larson said. “Hopefully, they keep it going in the morning. In the consolation round, there are guys who are ready to fold their tents. I told them to give them a reason to.”
Junior Dustyn Coughlin, in his first year of wrestling, dropped his opener at 285 pounds — a 4-0 decision to William Christman of Gig Harbor. From there, he had to injury default out of the tournament with a broken hand.
“They were hand fighting and he knew something was wrong,” said Larson, who said a trip to the hospital confirmed the break. “The trainers saw right away it was dislocated. It’s a terrible situation for him. He was in a match he could have won.”
At 195, freshman Sam Cadenas lost his opening match, getting pinned by Jake Flynn of Gig Harbor in 58 seconds. Flynn, a senior, is No. 6 in the state rankings.
After winning his first consolation match, Cadenas was eliminated from action as Will Inghram of Stanwood pinned him in 2:23.
In the team race, Mt. Spokane leads with 84 points, but Yelm is just two points back. Hermiston is 20th with 33 points. There are participants from 59 schools in the 3A tournament.
The Bulldogs will be back in action Saturday morning at 9:45 a.m.