Federal Way 130-pound junior London Houston, last year’s wrestling state champion, wins her match against TJ’s Octavia Johnson at the All-City meet on Jan. 23. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Federal Way 130-pound junior London Houston, last year’s wrestling state champion, wins her match against TJ’s Octavia Johnson at the All-City meet on Jan. 23. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo

Pin it to win it: Federal Way girls wrestling team become All-City champions

Girls and boys NPSL sub-regional wrestling tournament to be held at Kent Meridian High School Feb. 7-8.

The power of the Eagles girls wrestling team comes from their resilience.

While the team’s participation numbers are down this year, the lack of depth hasn’t dulled their intensity, said Federal Way head coach Travis Mango.

“The girls have taken that chip on their shoulder like, ‘OK, we’re outnumbered a bit. Let’s go fight, let’s still go have fun and go scrap,” Mango said at the All-City wrestling meet Jan. 23.

Federal Way took home the All-City champion title last month with a 40-18 win over Thomas Jefferson and a 57-0 victory over Todd Beamer. Thomas Jefferson beat Decatur 47-42 on Jan. 23.

After a slow start to the season, Mango said something “started to click and come together,” with many of the athletes showing regular improvement match to match.

This year’s team is young, with only three seniors on the squad (Brittney Wehmeyer, Nevaeh Rocha and Jennifer Tongi) Mango said, in some ways, still trying to find their identity outside of the Federal Way big three:

State returner sophomore Kayla McKinley-Johnson (105), returning state champion junior London Houston (130) and newcomer senior Jennifer Tongi (145) are all ranked among the top three in state.

“She’s been electric for us,” said head coach Travis Mango, highlighting Tongi’s 28-3 overall and second in state ranking.

Other top Federal Way wrestlers to watch include Paulina Fabela Santos (110), Nevaeh Rocha (235), Kenya Cruz (170), Meliame Takai (190) Casey Scheschy (135) and Hailey Shamblin (155).

“They know how to be intense when necessary, but they also know how to keep it fun and keep it loose,” Mango noted, who calls himself a high intensity coach. “The girls have been able to work together and rally around one another in key situations.”

As a team, the Eagles sit at sixth in the state rankings as of Feb. 2.

Federal Way expects to be chasing White River, Toppenish and Hanford come postseason, but also is taking the competition one day, one match, at a time.

“Once you get to the Tacoma Dome, crazy things happen — magical things happen,” Mango said.

The girls and boys 2020 sub-regional NPSL wrestling tournament is Feb. 7-8 at Kent Meridian High School, 10020 SE 256th St. in Kent. The tournament begins at 4 p.m. Friday and at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

The advancing athletes will then compete at the regional tournament the following Saturday, Feb. 15 at Decatur High School in Federal Way.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

FWHS senior Max Meagher, center, raises his arms in celebration after a tackle on Oct. 8. Photo courtesy of Bruce Honda
Homecoming season: Upcoming football games, senior nights in Federal Way

Todd Beamer High School’s homecoming is Friday, Oct. 15 vs. Decatur.

Malik Agbo. Courtesy photo
Federal Way Mirror Male Athlete of the Week for Oct. 15: Malik Agbo

TBHS senior Malik Agbo has earned several D1 collegiate offers for football.

t
Federal Way Mirror Female Athlete of the Week for Oct. 15: Eliza Peña

TBHS junior Eliza Peña is an example of what a Titan should be both on and off the field.

tsr
Federal Way Mirror Female Athlete of the Week for Oct. 8: Lana Cory

TJHS junior Lana Cory is captain of the volleyball team.

tsr
Federal Way Mirror Male Athlete of the Week for Oct. 8: Owen Tonseth

TJHS senior Owen Tonseth is a tennis team captain and holds a 4.0 GPA.

Tevita Takai. Courtesy photo
Federal Way Mirror Male Athlete of the Week for Oct. 1: Tevita Takai

FWHS senior recorded nine solo tackles, two touchdowns in recent game against Thomas Jefferson.

Alyssa Iverson. Courtesy photo
Federal Way Mirror Female Athlete of the Week for Oct. 1: Alyssa Iverson

FWHS senior is leading all 4A NPSL girls golfers in points scored this season with 131 so far.

t
Federal Way Mirror Female Athlete of the Week for Sept. 24: Camelia Bryant

Decatur senior is a four-year letter winner in the Decatur girls golf program.

t
Federal Way Mirror Male Athlete of the Week for Sept. 24: Andy Kim

DHS senior Andy Kim and his doubles teammate are undefeated in first six NPSL dual matches.

Most Read