Sports

Renton schools well represnted at wrestling regionals this weekend

Renton
Renton's Khali Crowl, right, and Sam Nicolas, who finished first and second in the 152-pound class at the sub-regional tournament, square off in practice this week.
— image credit: Brian Beckley/The Courier-Herald

Renton High School wrestlers have dominated the Seamount League this season, but they’ve been chased to the top by talented grapplers from Hazen and Lindbergh.

All three Renton high schools are sending wrestlers to post-season tournaments, including regional tournaments this weekend leading up to the 25th Mat Classic state tournament Feb. 15 and 16 in Tacoma.

Renton won the Seamount League title Jan. 24 by beating Hazen 38-28. Renton won last weekend’s 2A Seamount subregionals at Renton High School; Lindbergh placed second.

Hazen finished fourth at the 3A Kingco subregionals.

This is the first league wrestling title for Renton since 1991, when Gerald George was coach. The next year, George’s assistant coach Keith Eager took over as head coach.

Eager points to many reasons for what makes this team special, including the work ethic of the athletes.

“These kids just work very hard and it is great to see rewards for their efforts,” said Eager.

A core group of wrestlers did freestyle wrestling at the school through Reality Sports, a Christian-based program the provides donation-only wresting to athletes who can’t afford to to travel to other programs or pay for training fees, he said.

And then there were the fundraising efforts to send athletes to camps during the summer and athletes got together to weight train and condition, he said.

Eager’s assistant coaches, James Andrews and Mark Robuck, are helping to build the team’s roster. Andrews, a former wrestler and a teacher at Renton High, is good at talking athletes into trying out for the sport, Eager said. Robuck is a coach and counselor at Dimmitt Middle School, which has helped steer athletes to the Renton High program.

Eager can’t narrow down to two or three athletes who are accountable for the team’s success.

“This is truly a team effort,” he said.

Strong leaders on and off the mat are Khaila Crowl, Emanuel Martinez, Samuel Nicolas, Abraham Cuevas and Alexander Kalinin.

Kalinin, a senior who wrestles at 170 pounds, is Renton’s only returning state competitor. The others have competed at regionals.

“Having a solid core of wrestlers in the room really helps at every practice,” Eager said.

After a strong showing at subregionals, Eager and his wrestlers are ready for the next step.

“There aren’t any easy ways to regionals or state,” he said.

These athletes from Renton and Lindbergh high schools will move on to the 2A regional tournament this weekend, following top finishes at subregionals at Renton High last weekend:

RENTON

(first, league tournament)

Weight class 106

2. Tony Pham, sophomore

3. Tan Nguyen, senior

Weight class 113

3. John Enstonilo, freshman

4. John Prasad, sophomore

Weight class 120

1. Tony Vo, freshman

2. Jahcoreyi Briscoe, sophomore

Weight class 126

3. Andy Tranj, sophomore

4. Kenneth Li, sophomore

Weight class 132

1. Anthony Hunter, sophomore

Weight class 138

2. Abraham Cuevas, junior

Weight class 145

1. Emmanuel Martinez, senior

2. Vladimir Kalinin, sophomore

Weight class 152

1. Khali Crowl, junior

2. Samuel Nicolas, junior

Weight class 160

2. Abel Rodriguez, junior

4. Omar Velasquez, junior

Weight class 170

1. Alex Kalinin, senior

Weight class 182

2. Wilson Sy, sophomore

3. Tyson Guy, senior

LINDBERGH

(second, league tournament)

Weight class 106

4. Chad Ominaka, sophomore

Weight class 113

2. Jaden Schwope

Weight class 126

1. Colton Maddy, junior

Weight class 138

3. Sterling Nugent, junior

Weight class 182

1. Joey Hernandez, sophomore

4. Griffin Mitchell, senior

Weight class 195

1. Trevonn Russel, senior

Weight class 220

2. Nick Truong, senior

Weight class 285

1. James Garcia, sophomore

HAZEN

Hazen wrestlers finished fourth at the Seamount/KingCo 3A subregional tournament last weekend. Seven wrestlers and two alternates will compete at the regional tournament in Kelso this weekend.

Weight class 120

Nik Vargas and Zach Moore

Weight class 145

Malik Haythorne

Weight class 160

Jeremy Hazlett and Jimmy Huynh

Weight class 170

Erik Johannessen

Weight class 182

Jairo Barahona

Alternates

Abdu “Muhammad” Ali and Cole Thatcher

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