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Four Mercer Island Wrestlers Place at State

Phil Frazier, TJ Blackburn, Colton Knebel and Kyle Shanafelt all finished in the top-8 of their respective weight classes on Saturday at the Mat Classic state wrestling championships.

Mercer Island head coach Creighton Laughary was realistic on Friday about his wrestlers chances at winning an individual state title at the Mat Classic wrestling championships at the Tacoma Dome.

"I don't know about champions," Laughary said. "That's awful hard."

Winning a state title did end up being about of the Islanders reach, but that did not stop four Islander wrestlers from posting resepectable top-8 finishes in their weight classes.

Phil Frazier made the semifinals of the 171-pound 3A division, before falling to state-title favorite Jacob Fry 6-5 in the semifinal match. Frazier than rebounded to score a victory over Sam Rykken of North Central to lock down the third spot.

Colton Knebel, another semifinalist, finished fourth in the 189-pound division. Knebel dominated day one, but lost close matches on points on the second day.

Kyle Shanafelt finished fourth in the 135-pound division, rebounding from a second-round loss to win three staright before falling to Mitchell Bocook of North Central in the 3/4 match.

TJ Blackburn took eighth in the 215-pound divison after slipping against Jimmy Trull of Bellevue and David Dempsey of O'Dea.

The Islanders as a team finished their day currently sitting in ninth place.

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