TACOMA – The most painful place of all to finish at the state tournament is second, no matter how deserved the accolades for doing so might be.
Tonasket’s Austin Booker was close enough to a state championship to taste it, leading 4-3 heading into the third and final period of his state title match against Levi Godinho at 160 pounds.
But in the final two minutes Godinho (of Castle Rock) scored an escape to tie and a takedown to take a 6-4 lead. With the final seconds winding down and Booker having to take chances to tie it, Godinho pinned him to take the title.
Booker was not viewed coming into the tournament as a favorite for the championship; he took second at regionals and was in the mix with four other regional champions, including Quincy’s Antonio Melendez, who beat him 4-3 last week but finished third on Saturday.
Booker’s performance, along with medal-winning efforts by Jorge Juarez, Jeff Stedtfeld and Collin Aitcheson, boosted the Tigers to a 10th place finish as a team.
Earlier, Booker advanced to the state title match with a 6-3 semifinal victory over Gabe Bunker of LaCenter to ear the right to face Godinho. An archive video of the match can be viewed at wiaanetwork.com or here
Jeff Stedtfeld (126) took fourth place, matching his brother Jared’s senior season finish from a year ago. Stedtfeld started the day with a loss in the state semifinal to Josh Crager of Cascade Christian, beat teammate Jorge Juarez 10-3 to reach the third place match, then lost a hearbreaker, 3-2, to Klint Brown of Lakeside.
Collin Aitcheson (120) took fifth place. He advanced through the consolation bracket with an 8-1 victory over Gage Lott of Blaine, and Carson Horton of Castle Rock, 3-0. Hootie Judd, with whom Aitcheson had tangled with before, kept him out of the third place match with a 5-3 overtime win. Aitcheson claimed the fifth place medal with a 10-1 decision over Rochester’s Bobby Brien.
Jorge Juarez (126), a freshman, finished sixth, losing a tough 9-7 overtime decision to A.J. Morales of Granger. Morales also beat Juarez on the first day of the tournament, and equally wrenching 14-13, last second decision. This time, Juarez led 7-2 until the final seconds, when Morales scored a reversal and three-point near fall to force overtime.
The Hornets’ Jordan Smith (106) was pinned in the first round by Selkirk’s Tristan Chantry to end his tournament run one win shy of the medal rounds. Only four from each weight class earn medals in the 1B/2B classification.
Other CTL medalists
Team placing: 1. Granger; 2. Quincy; 5. Chelan; 9. Tonasket (tied with Warden); 15. Omak; 30. Cashmere; 34. Brewster; 39. Okanogan.
Championship matches involving CTL wrestlers:
106 – Alejandrez (Quincy) def. Peterson (Highland), 4-3
113 – Martinez (Quincy) def. Almaguer (Granger), 4-2
132 – E. Garcia (Chelan) pinned Miler (Stevenson), 5:47
160 – Godinho (Castle Rock) pinned Booker (Tonasket), 5:53
220 – Schwartz (Chelan) def. Hansen (Warden), 6-4 (OT)
Girls 170 – Mitchell (White River) tech fall Carillo (Brewster, 16-1)
Brewster – Medina (113, 6th).
Brewster girls - Carillo (170, 2nd).
Cashmere – Visser (132, 6th); James (138, 7th).
Chelan – Garcia (132, champion); Anderson (170, 7th); Schwartz (220, champion); Garcia (285, 3rd).
Okanogan – Klepec (113, 8th).
Omak – Aguilar (138, 3rd); Trudeaux (152, 6th); Harvill (170, 5th); Cuttrell (195, 8th).
Quincy – Alejandrez (106, champion); Martinez (113, champion); Jimenez (145, 4th); Bushman (152, 4th); Melendez (160, 3rd); Guzman (285, 6th).
North Central Washington area 1B/2B medalists
Teams: 1. Liberty Bell (clinched team title); 2. Lake Roosevelt; 24. Pateros; 30. Oroville.
Championship matches involving NCW wrestlers
106 – Skelton (Liberty Bell) tech fall Marin (Kittitas), 16-0
120 – Osborn (Mary Walker) def. Woodruff (Liberty Bell), 8-0
126 – Ju. McMillan (Liberty Bell) pinned Alvara (White Swan), 3:10
132 – Sorci (Reardan) pinned Ja. McMillan (Liberty Bell), 0:50
138 – Walling (Kittitas) def. E. Fink (Liberty Bell), 8-6 (OT)
145 – Gross (Lk Roosevelt) def. Holsten (Liberty Bell), 13-5
182 – Borden (Raymond) def. Waters (Lake Roosevelt), 6-3
Liberty Bell: Skelton (106, champion); Woodruff (120, 2nd); Ju. McMillan (126, champion); Ja. McMillan (132, 2nd); E. Fink (138, 2nd); Holsten (145, 2nd).
Lake Roosevelt: Pakootas (120, 3rd); Horn (138, 3rd); Gross (145, champion); Waters (220, 2nd); Alejandre (285, 4th).
Pateros – G. Ginter (152, 4th);