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Beamer foursome heading to the dome
By CASEY OLSON
The best season in the short history of Todd Beamer High School wrestling continued Saturday at the Region II Tournament at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore.
The Titans qualified a total of four wrestlers for Friday and Saturdays Mat Classic XVIII state championships inside the Tacoma Dome. The Beamer wrestlers all finished in the top-four at Saturdays regional tournament, which included teams from the South Puget Sound League South Division and the KingCo League.
Titan wrestlers bound for the Tacoma Dome include senior 160-pounder Peyton Lane, junior 152-pounder Cole Bixenman, 119-pound sophomore Vince Harteau and 103-pound freshman Tommy Fraychineaud.
The solid performance at the regional tournament by the Titans followed a regular season that saw them win their first six dual meets of the season after finishing winless in their first two years in the SPSL South.
The Beamer foursome will be joined in the Tacoma Dome by Decaturs Marcus Loera-Sanchez. The Gator senior finished up in fourth place at regionals after losing to Harteau in the 119-pound third-fourth match, 9-4.
The Puyallup Vikings won the regional team title with 142.5 points over Emerald Ridge (137 points), who took the SPSL South regular season championship.
South Puget Sound League South Division teams dominated their Kingco counterparts with Rogers in third place with 136 points, followed by Curtis (98), Bethel (95) and Beamer (62). In all, the SPSL South took 41 of the 56 state berths available.
Bixenman will be the lone wrestler with Mat Classic experience. As a sophomore, he lost two-straight matches in the Tacoma Dome last year. Bixenman will take on Wenatchees Dayvan Knemeyer in his opening-round match. Knemeyer won the Eastern Washington regional tournament last weekend.
The junior ended up fourth at regionals after losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Marshall Giovannini, 8-3.
Lane was the lone Federal Way wrestler to compete in the championship round at Inglemoor. The senior rolled through his opening three matches, including a pair of pins, to get into the title match. But defending regional champ Alex Pitsch of Bethel was too much, pinning Lane in 3:50.
Lane will battle Capitals Robert Harvey in the opening round of the Mat Classic. Harvey finished third in the Region I tournament.
Fraychineaud will take on Roberto Cruz from Moses Lake in the opening round. Cruz, a senior, won the Eastern Washington region and enters the Mat Classic as one of the favorites to compete for a state championship in the 103-pound division.
At the regional tournament, Fraychineaud lost in the quarterfinals to Puyallup senior Whitney Conder on a 4-2 decision, but battled back through the consolation bracket to finish in fourth place.
Conder went on to win the 103-pound regional title to make a little history of her own. She became the first girl wrestler to capture a regional title in Washington after finishing sixth at the state tournament last year.
The 119-pound bracket is loaded with some of the best all-around wrestlers in the tournament and Loera-Sanchez will see one of them in his opening match Friday morning. The Decatur senior will take on Battle Grounds Anthony Hayes at 10:30 a.m. Hayes won the regional title last weekend.
Harteau will battle Steven Loos from Heritage in his first-round match. Loos finished third in the southwest Washington regional final.
The Mat Classic will kick off at 10 a.m. Friday morning in the Tacoma Dome.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com