|12/12/2012 3:46:00 PM|
Kodiaks wrestlers perform well at challenging Granger Tournament
|Photo submitted by Jaclyn Fritz-O’Brien|
Cascade’s Tristin Parrish works a cradle on an opponent at the Granger Invitational last Saturday. The Kodiaks had five placers, and finished ninth in the tournament.
The up and coming Cascade Kodiak wrestling team faced their biggest challenge to date in the highly competitive Granger Tournament last Saturday. The team finished with 77 points, good enough for ninth place out of 12 teams.
The were five placers including 285 pounder Michael Sorensen, who finished second. Nathaniel Merry (195) was fourth. Mario Menor-Lopez (182), Nikita Stata (195) and Cody Fritz-O'Brien (160) were sixth.
"This was the strongest tournament we will wrestle all year," said Josh Arnold, Cascade's first year head coach. "Chelan, Zillah and Granger were second, third and fourth at State and each squad is still loaded with great wrestlers. Kittitas was also there, the top ranked B school."
Sorensen lost in the finals to one of the top ranked wrestlers in the state, he said. In his semi-final match, Arnold said he worked to overcome an early mistake. Sorensen scored a reversal, then turned his opponent over for a pin.
In the fifth-sixth match, Arnold said Fritz-O'Brien was gaining momentum as time ran out. Menor-Lopez was "great on his feet," scoring take downs, and showing great form on the combinations to get his opponent on his back.
"Nathaniel Merry was the surprise of the tournament. He was down one match to a good kid from Zillah, and he finally got the kid on his back in the last minute for a pin," he said. "Nikita Stata won matches with his arm bar pinning combination. He is very strong, and with a little work on his technique, he will score lots of pins."
Last Wednesday, the Kodiaks wrestled Kittitas and Cle Elum. Neither squad had a full roster so it was not a dual match. There was two rounds of wrestling, trying to get in as many matches as possible.
"Garrett Burris had the match of the night against Cle Elum. Garrett was down by 10 points when he reversed and pinned his opponent," he said. "It was great seeing him not give up and keep fighting in a match where he could have thrown in the towel."
On Dec. 10, Cascade wrestled at Quincy. Results were not available before press time. The Kodiaks are at Cle Elum on Friday, then at the Cashmere Tournament on Saturday. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. in Cashmere.
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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