WRESTLING: Decatur wins inaugural Hurricane Harris Invitational
By CASEY OLSON
Federal Way Mirror Sports editor
December 12, 2011 · Updated 11:14 AM
It was only fitting that the Decatur Gators win the inaugural "Hurricane" Harris Memorial Tournament Saturday.
The Gator wrestling team not only tallied 208.5 points to win the 17-team tournament inside the Decatur gym, but also crowned four individual champions. Tristan Dawson won the 113-pound title, Nick Karis won at 160, Rowland Gaydosh at 170 and Spencer Smith took the 182-pound championship Saturday.
Robert "Hurricane" Harris was a Decatur wrestler before drowning in September in Lake Tapps. Harris had been at a family barbecue when he went into the lake to retrieve a football that was floating on the water. He then began to struggle and disappeared into the water, according to the reports. Family members swam out to where he was last seen, but couldn’t find him.
Dive units from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office began a grid search for Harris and located his body 54 minutes after he had been underwater, reports said. Efforts to resuscitate Harris were unsuccessful.
“The main thing is he was just a heck of a good kid,” said Decatur’s longtime head wrestling coach Mike Bressler earlier this year. “A special kid you never forget. He would always come by my classroom to say hi and that’s rare for a kid to be mature enough to do that. He was always positive. He was one of those you hate to lose.”
During the 2010-11 season, Harris narrowly missed qualifying for the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament after finishing in fourth place at the South Puget Sound League 3A Sub-regional wrestling tournament at 130 pounds.
“We were really looking forward to this season,” Bressler said. “He had worked real hard in the offseason. He was incredibly athletically gifted and so darn coachable. He thrived to get better. He was just a great kid, so hardworking and dedicated. He was a leader and led by example.”
Dawson's title Saturday at 113 pounds came by a pin in the championship match against Sumner's Travis Filleau.
Karis then started the Gators' streak of three-straight weight-class titles by outclassing Sumner's A.J. Atoigue in the 160-pound title match, 4-2. Karis, who finished in sixth place at last year's Mat Classic, earned the championship berth with three-straight falls in preliminary-round matches.
State tournament veteran Gaydosh followed at 170 with a 1:03 pin of Kentlake's Zack Harris in the title match and Smith won a 6-4 decision at 182 pounds over Timberline's Tyler Saichompoo.
Decatur also got second-place finishes from Kyle Gleed at 285, Isaiah Diggs at 126 and Brandon Zimmerman at 152.
The talented Todd Beamer Titans finished second at the prestigious Battle at the Border 2011 invitational Saturday in Blaine. The Titans finished just three points behind Mount Baker in the 22-team tournament. Kentwood up in third place. Beamer won a total of 52 matches during the tournament and lost only 15.
The Titans crowed five individual weight class champions during the tournament. Beamer actually won four titles in row, starting with Brett Dykman at 113 pounds and running through Aron Set-Hiet at 132. The Titans' other championships came from Tre Uson at 120 pounds, Ares Carpio at 126 and Kristoff Ricketts at 182.
Dykman beat Mount Baker's Carsen Monaghan in the 113 final, 5-2, Uson pinned Kalama's Mikey Clizbe at 120, Carpio dominated Ferndale's Isaac Robison at 126, 17-1, Set-Hiet pinned Kalama's Casey Heaton at 132, and Ricketts beat Sehome's Dante Gray in the 182 final, 13-1.
Raider senior K.W. Williams snagged the 195-pound title at the Panther Invitational Saturday at Bonney Lake High School.
Williams, who finished second at 189 pounds at last year's Mat Classic state tournament, won both of his matches Saturday by pin. Williams needed only 1:31 to beat Bonney Lake's Jordan Schultz in the championship.
The Raiders also got a second-place finish from 113-pounder Michael Roybal.
Jefferson finished eighth in the 13-team tournament, which Bonney Lake won.
The Eagles' Jessy Leifi led the way by winning a title in the 285-pound division at the 2011 Wilfong Classic at Puyallup High School Saturday. Leifi beat Marysville's Skylar Hatch in the final, 10-2, after earning two pins in earlier matches.
Federal Way also got a second-place finish from Anthony Pena at 113 pounds and finished ninth in the standings during the 15-team tournament.
Contact Federal Way Mirror Sports editor Casey Olson at email@example.com or (253) 925-5565 ext. 5056.