TACOMA — Ilwaco’s Michael Rodda finished fourth at the state wrestling tournament, while Chris Lake and Keegan Kemmer each took fifth, leading Ilwaco to a sixth-place team finish at the Mat Classic Friday and Saturday Feb. 21-22.
After quickly winning his first match, Rodda went a full three rounds against eventual State 285-pound champ Charlie Harrington of Liberty-Spangle, who went 33-3 on the year. Harrington was riding Rodda with a 5-1 lead in the second round and tried a move, reaching for Rodda’s leg. As he did so, Rodda slipped away for an escape. Rodda eluded Harrington’s remaining efforts at a pin but lost 5-3.
In consolation semifinals Rodda beat Levi Wood of Raymond 5-3. He took Woods down by the leg late in round one, then leaned his head into Woods for a reversal late in round two for a 5-2 lead. Trailing 5-3 in the closing seconds, Wood tripped Rodda but could not score the takedown as time expired.
In Kemmer’s first match, a matchup of 145-pound weight class District champions, he brought down Clay Jeanneret (Chewelah) five seconds into the match, taking an instantaneous shot at Jeanneret’s leg and quickly countering Jeanneret’s defensive maneuver. Kemmer led 6-1 after a dominant first round. Leading 8-3 in round two, Kemmer went for an aggressive move, trying to pin Jeanneret on top of him while on his back, but the move backfired as Jeanneret gained control and held Kemmer down briefly for a pin.
That forced Kemmer onto the consolation bracket, where he beat Kalama’s Blake Vandenberg 19-4, lost to third-place finisher Alex Plasencia (Davenport) in 44 seconds, and beat Trey Rego (Toledo) for fifth.
Lake reached semifinals by beating Life Christian’s Marcus Hamel, then pinning Dylan Bjornberg (Rearden). In semis he lost to eventual 138 champ Colin Silverthorn (Tonasket). Lake then lost to Chris Norris (Dayton), sending him to the fifth-place match against Tonasket’s Carlos Rodriguez.
Lake trailed Rodriguez 4-2 late in the second round but got Rodriguez’s leg to seize just enough control for a reversal in the final second, tying it at four going into round three.
Rodriguez controlled that round for over a minute, but Lake turned it around, getting up and then tripping Rodriguez to build a 10-6 lead with just seven seconds left. Lake hung on for the win despite a late reversal by Rodriguez, getting a fifth-place finish to boost Ilwaco’s team point total.
Serena Kuhn (190), Ilwaco’s only qualifier for the girls’ State tournament, went 1-2.
Malachi Taylor (113) and Tristan Walker (120) each lost a fifth-place round, finishing 3-3. Aidan Auttelet (152), Jackson Wilkin (182) and Bryan Sparks (285) were all 1-2. Aidan Cohen-Tjaden and Tanner Brasket were each 0-2.