Testing their strength and skills against several larger schools, South Whidbey’s wrestling team finished in ninth place at the Willie C. Stewart Invitational on Saturday.
Though only two Falcons placed in the top four in any of the weights, three were just shy as the fifth-place finishers at Henry Foss High School. Andy Madsen, a Falcon senior in the 152, outlasted a full field to place fourth. After a first-round bye, Madsen won a technical fall 17-1 against Interlake’s Kevin Richardson. Bellarmine Prep’s Aidan Moore survived a tight match 2-1 against Madsen, bumping the Falcon to the consolation bracket. He moved on by defeating Kent Meridian’s Torrey Luntsford 12-3, but fell in the third-place bout to Grandview’s Brandon Marquez.
Pierce Jackson, a junior in the heavyweight division, fought his way through the consolation bracket to fourth place. He won his first match in quick fashion, a pin against Affi Saleavo in 1:10. But Lincoln’s J.J. Saili avenged his teammate by pinning Jackson late in the third round. Jackson recovered in the consolation bracket, pinning Grandview’s Juan Dominguez in 2:29, and Interlake’s Dean Jones in 16 seconds. Jackson again fell to Saili in the third-place bout.
Three Falcon seniors rebounded after early losses to claim the pigtail bracket for fifth place. In the 182, Jose Chavez was pinned in the first round by Curtis’ Jonathan Bridgeman. Chavez narrowly defeated Kent Meridian’s David N’Guessa 1-0, then quickly pinned Capital’s Ryan Taylor in 34 seconds for fifth place.
After being defeated 12-3 by Lincoln’s Murad Vagabov, Calvin Shimada took down his teammate, freshman Logan Madsen, in 58 seconds. Shimada won the fifth-place match by pinning Curtis’ Hunter Lybbert in 2:48.
James Itaya won three straight matches, though only after barely losing in the first round. West Valley’s Cameron Martin defeated Itaya 7-6, but was later eliminated in the consolation bracket, as Itaya worked through the pigtail field. Itaya dropped Lincoln’s Robert Stewart 11-10, pinned Curtis’ Conner Malloy in 4:05 and beat Henry Foss’ Matt Shlenker 15-7.