State berths will be sorted out today for FW athletes

It’s a make-or-break day for Federal Way school district gymnasts and wrestlers with much-coveted state tournament berths on the line.

The best gymnasts from around the Puget Sound area will converge on Federal Way High School for the West Central District Class 4A Gymnastics Meet and the top-eight wrestlers from the South Puget Sound League South Division and the KingCo League will take to the mat at Puyallup High School for the Region II tournament this morning.

The gymnastics meet has the potential to be one of the best in recent memory in the West Central District. There are only three team berths into next week’s state championships at the Tacoma Dome and 19 teams vying for them, including SPSL champion and state-title contender Rogers. Federal Way High School, who placed fourth in the SPSL this season, will have to put together a solid meet to return to state after placing third the last three years. Jefferson finished up in fifth in the SPSL this season, Beamer was seventh and Decatur ended up 10th.

“It is always a very competitve meet,” said longtime Federal Way High School coach Bev McIrvin. “We have a very tough league. We are looking good for this week and our goal is to be in the top-three teams.”

Individually, the best five all-around finishers today will also advance to state, as will the top-14 placers in each event — balance beam, uneven parallel bars, vault and floor exercise.

The meet will kick off at 10 a.m. with local teams Federal Way and Todd Beamer competing in the first session, which will run until 1:20 p.m. The session will also include Rogers. The second session, which runs from 3 to 6 p.m., will feature Decatur and Jefferson. Tickets are $7 for adults and $4 for students with ASB cards.

It’s two wins and in for seven Federal Way School District wrestlers today at the Region II tournament at Puyallup High School. Two victories equals a trip to next week’s Mat Classic state championship wrestling tournament inside the Tacoma Dome.

Jefferson’s Kris Lay and Decatur’s Myles Peckman and Taylor McCluskey have pretty good shots at doing just that today. The threesome all rolled to sub-regional championships last week at the SPSL South Tournament.

Lay (112 pounds) and Peckman (145) should have a little easier road to state than McCluskey’s rugged 215-pound division.

“Lay should win the regions, but it is not a guarantee,” said TJ co-coach Shawn Gaspaire. “As for state, he might place top-six depending on his draw. If he draws right, I see him sneaking into third or fourth.”

Peckman’s biggest competition should also come at state in the form of Tahoma’s Andrew Johnson, Auburn’s Shane Onufer and Stanwood’s Riley Cornett.

But McCluskey’s bracket today has four of the top 215-pounders in the state, including Beamer’s Dominique Small, Spanaway Lake’s David Marshall and Eastlake’s Steve Rowe. The four 215-pound wrestlers that advance from today’s tournament should all have a pretty good chance of placing in the top-eight at state.

Other district wrestlers competing today will be Federal Way’s Nick Harteau (145) and Beamer’s Cole Bixenman (145) and Cameron Gillespie (275).

The 22-team regional tournament will start at 10 a.m. with pig-tail matches in each weight class. These matches will feature the SPSL South’s fourth seed and the fifth seed from the KingCo Conference with the winner earning a spot in each weight’s eight-man bracket. Federal Way’s Brian Miloscia (103 pounds), Dustin Holland (135) and Rodell Razor (140), along with TJ’s Stuart Roth (275) will wrestle pig-tail matches.

The championship round will get going at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students with ASB cards and children/senior citizens.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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