"Hern, Hymas wrestle to state"

"With the weight of his own expectations already heaped on his shoulders, Chris Martin finds room to increase the load in his first-round region tournament.Matt Johnson, staff photosTwo South Whidbey wrestlers are headed for the Washington state Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome this week.Junior Brandon Hern and senior Bruce Hymas both made it into the championship matches at last Saturday's Region I 2A meet at Mountlake Terrace High School.Hern won his match to take the 171-pound region title and avenge a second place finish at last year's meet.Hymas lost a close 4-1 decision to Anthony Zender, placing runner up to the Mount Baker wrestler at 119 pounds for the second week in a row. Next Friday and Saturday, it will be different, he said.I'll beat him, he said. I'll win the first two on Friday, then the first one on Saturday, then I'll go to the finals.But both Hymas and Hern know they are in for the toughest wrestling of their lives when they travel to the Tacoma Dome later this week. It could well make the region tournament seem as though it was a low-pressure affair. Hern, who is one of the state favorites at 171 pounds, breezed through the first two rounds at last Saturday's tournament before slipping past Orting's Tony Olson in a 10-8 match. Tied at 4-4 with Olson going into the third period of the bout, Hern engineered two escapes, a take down, and a near pin in the closing minutes to get past a wrestler as skilled as himself.Yeah, he was tough, Hern said.Hern was tougher. Having lost only one match all season, he will compete in a weight division at state in which he is the only participant never to have placed in a state meet. It's a lot to think about, especially for a wrestler used to winning.I hate losing, Hern said. Everyone is tough. There's not a bad guy there.Together, the duo carries the hopes of their entire team, which placed ninth of 16 teams Saturday on the talent of six wrestlers. Adding points to those scored by Hern and Hymas were Chris Hezel, Andy Wills, and Chris Martin. Martin was the highest placer of the three, taking fifth at 171 pounds and earning a trip to state as an alternate. Hezel and Wills placed sixth.Senior Luke Smith did not get the chance to wrestle his best. He was injured in his first-round bout and could not continue the meet.The Falcon wrestlers will joint a contingent of 30 North Cascades Conference wrestlers at the state meet. Mount Baker, the 2000 state champion, led all comers, winning the meet as five of its wrestlers captured region championships.Falcon coach Mike Crebbin is not thinking about the Mountaineers as a team anymore. He is only worried about the individual Mount Baker wrestlers who might get in Hearn's and Hymas' way at the Mat Classic. Crebbin said he has high hopes for his boys.They both should bring home medals as far as I'm concerned, he said.The Mat Classic begins at 11 a.m. Friday at the Tacoma Dome. Saturday's semifinal rounds also start at 11 a.m. "

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