The wrestling team ranked 8th in State Class 3A had a lot to prove at the KingCo Tournament Finals this past Saturday at Liberty High School, but came up just short of earning their.
The Islanders were just edged out in the tournament to Mount Si HS who had 214.5 points to 209. Bellevue HS was third at 203.5, Liberty HS fourth with 151, Lake Washington HS fifth with 135, Juanita sixth with 51, and Sammamish in seventh with 45.
On a positive note Mercer Island took home the Dual Meet League Conference Champion trophy for the second year in a row, and Islanders head coach Creighton Laughary earned the KingCo Head Coach of the Year.
The top three wrestlers from each weight class, including 11 from the Islanders team, will advance to the regional tournament Saturday at Skyline High School.
In the 106 pound division championship finals Islander freshman Luke Wilson beat Eli Clure of Mount Si HS.
In the 113 pound division Islander sophomore Jake Pruchno placed second after losing to Christian Villani of Bellevue HS in the championship final, and freshman Taylan Yuasa beat Gunnar Harrison of Mount Si HS for third place.
In the 120 pound division it was a dual Islander battle for third place with freshman Trevor Gullstad beating freshman Scott Lee.
MI sophomore Kenji Walker had a tough championship match in the 126 pound division losing to Andy Ewing of Bellevue HS.
Islander junior Luca Caruccio placed third in the 132 pound division with a win over Justin Edens of Mount Si HS.
MI senior Blake Johnson ranked first in State Class 3A lost a tough match in the championship finals for the 160 pound division to Liberty HS senior Hamilton Noel who is also ranked second in State Class 3A.
Islander junior Nick Chandler took second place in the finals of the 170 pound division after losing to Yaroslav Petrechko of Lake Washington HS.
In the 182 pound division senior Phil Frazier ranked first in the State Class 3A took first place in the finals, and junior Islander Brian Rauzi placed second with both earning a spot at regionals.
Junior Islander Andy Picton beat out junior teammate Mikalai Hubarevich for third place in the 195 pound division.
The top four wrestlers in each weight division at the 19 team regional tournament will advance to the State Mat Classic on Feb. 17-18 at the Tacoma Dome. Last year, the team took five wrestlers to the state tournament and four placed, finishing ninth overall as a team.