TACOMA — Keegan Kemmer and Ghannon Whelden each took fourth place at last weekend’s state 1B/2B wrestling tournament in Tacoma Feb. 15-16.

Whelden, wrestling in the 132-pound division, reached the third-place match on the strength of quick escapes from starts on the bottom. Against Rainier’s Joe Gerrish, wrestling from the bottom in a scoreless tie at the start of the second round, Whelden immediately shook loose and got the reversal. He eventually pinned Garrish’s arms behind his back, then gained further leverage by locking his leg around Garrish’s head, on his way to the pin. Against Adna’s Tristan Ridley, leading 2-0 going into the second, he had a similarly rapid reversal.

In Whelden’s third-place match, though, in a 1-1 tie at the start of the third round, Tonasket’s Rielan Bretz pre-empted Whelden’s reversal attempt, seizing initiative by quickly getting into a leg lock. The two spent the round with their limbs tangled. Finally, late in the round, Bretz narrowly and briefly gained control, scoring a three-point near fall. Whelden rolled on top for a reversal as time ran out, losing the match 4-3.

Whelden also faced Bretz earlier in the tournament in a quarterfinal match. Bretz had used a similar leg-lock strategy in that match and gotten a more lopsided victory, 8-0. Whelden finished the tournament 3-2.

Kemmer, in 138, led 2-0 in his third-place match with Chase Clark of Kettle Falls. He led 2-0 after a take-down early in the second round, but Clark got control of his leg and pinned him.

Kemmer had beaten Clark 9-3 in quarterfinals, taking control of the match in the second round by twice taking Clark down with full-body tackles. Kemmer, who finished the weekend 3-2, lost semifinals 13-1 against Kaleb Horn of Lake Roosevelt.

Trevor Hutson also went 3-2 in Tacoma, winning three straight in 182-pound consolation brackets after an opening-round loss.

In 195, Dakota Shepherd lost in quarterfinals to eventual champion Sutton Moon of Kalama. He went 2-2 in the tournament.

Michael Rodda was 2-2 in the 285 bracket.

As a team, Ilwaco finished tied for eighth out of 45 1B/2B schools.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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