By Tom Rohrer with Libby Kamrowski
On the second day of the WIAA Mat Classic, state championship dreams are realized or lost on the concrete floors of the Tacoma Dome.
For seven Thurston County grapplers and one Grays Harbor contestant, it’s not yet time to wake up.
A year after falling in the championship bouts of their respective weight classes and classifications, Yelm’s Darren Harris and Lucas Eastman of Rochester will have the opportunity Saturday night to fulfill a life-long dream.
The two juniors earned first-round victories by Saturday morning in dominating fashion. Harris took down Roger’s Beau Shatto 46 seconds into the 4A 120 lbs. state semi-final, setting up a championship match with sophomore Bryson Beard of Central Valley.
Eastman advanced with similar ease, pinning Zillah’s Deveny Daniels 1:33 into the first round. The 1A 152 lbs. championship match pits Eastman against Alex Aguilar of Omak High School, beginning at 7:20 p.m. tonight.
Eastman and Harris weren’t the only contestants to right a personal wrong Saturday afternoon, as North Thurston’s Jake Grantham, a state semi-finalist a year ago, advanced to the 3A 220 lbs. title match against Tom Harvey of Mt. Spokane at 9 p.m. Grantham, a senior, defeated Dallas Goodpaster of Prairie 4-2 in Saturday’s semi-final round.
River Ridge’s Elijah Camacho also earned a bid in the state semi-finals a year ago, but fell just short of a championship appearance in the 2A 160 lbs. division. Camacho earned that appearance Saturday by defeating Sedro-Wooley’s Clayton Johnson, setting a up a title showdown with Cedarcrest junior Ely Malametz at 7:40 p.m.
Dom Nakano, a senior at Tenino, came back against Freeman’s Josiah Thompson to post a 9-5 victory in a 1A 195 lbs. semi-final contest. Next up for Nakano is a match against Preston Morris of Vashon Island beginning at 8:00 p.m.
Grays Harbor’s championship representative is Elma senior Tanner Sample, who advanced to the 1A 126 lbs. state championship following a 3-1 victory over Chelan’s Julio Vera. The win sets up a showdown with Granger’s Victor Almaguer tonight at 6 p.m.
On the girl’s side, Tumwater’s Megan Johnson and Yelm’s Shanelle Berry will compete for their respective state titles after dominating victories by fall in the semi-finals.
In the 155 lbs. division, Johnson brought down Lincoln’s D.J. White in the first round, setting up a match with Abby Lees of Washougal at 7:40 p.m.
Berry’s victory in the 235 lbs. division came over Andrea Contreras of Warden and earned her a bout with Enumclaw’s KC Moulden.