Tigers take third at district, send 13 to regionals

Photo by Brent Baker — The Tigers' Ryker Marchand looks for instruction moments before he pinned his Cashmere opponent on Friday, Feb. 3. Marchand finished third at 126 pounds to qualify for regionals.

Photo by Brent Baker — The Tigers’ Ryker Marchand looks for instruction moments before he pinned his Cashmere opponent on Friday, Feb. 3. Marchand finished third at 126 pounds to qualify for regionals.

OMAK – At the start of the season, even Tonasket wrestling coach Dave Mitchell wasn’t sure what to expect from his youthful squad.

With 13 Tigers advancing to this weekend’s regional meet, including four freshmen and four sophomores, Tonasket’s third place finish Saturday at the 1A District 6 tournament was what Mitchell had hoped for.

“I’m proud of this young team,” he said.

Chelan won he district title with 304 points, followed by an Omak squad revitalized by the returns of state veterans Dylan Green and Austin Covington to the mats. The Pioneers racked up 267 points to the Tigers’ 243, Cashmere was fourth with 180, followed by Cascade and Okanogan.

Tonasket claimed two district titles — one of them a bit of a surprise. Jared Stedtfeld (113) surprised no one with his championship, but fourth-seeded Christian Diaz (106) was certainly not the favorite to take his weight class.

Collin Aitcheson (120) and Jeffrey Stedtfeld (126) each took second place, while Ryker Marchand (126), Dalton Wahl (132) and Chad Edwards (285) finished third. Fourth-place finishers guaranteeing themselves trips to regionals included Tim Frazier (106), Marwin Baron (113), Levani Sabakhtorashavili, Quinn Mirick (160), John Rawley (182) and Frank Holfelz (195).

Austin Knowlton (145) and Tanner Good (285) both finished fifth and are alternates.

Also competing were Dyllan Walton (138) and Kevin Aitcheson (152), who each won two matches; Caleb Lofthus (152) won one before losing and injuring his ankle; and Joel Cosino (132), Ethan Knowlton (138), Esgar Mendez (138) and Morgan O’Brien (160).

“I was happy to see such a great crowd of supporters from Tonasket at the tournament,” Mitchell said.

The Tigers travel to Colville on Saturday, Feb. 11, for Region 6/7 competition. The top four regional finishers advance to the Tacoma Dome, Feb. 17-18. The first session begins at 9:30 a.m.

About Brent Baker

Brent, is a former reporter/photographer for the Gazette-Tribune and sometimes works as a freelance sports reporter for the G-T. Prior to working at the G-T, he was the sports editor for Sunrise Publishing from 2000-2005 in Michigan. He subsequently owned and operated Buckland Media, a high school sports website, in Michigan until 2010. He and his wife Kim, who have an adult son, moved to Tonasket in 2010. Brent worked as a full time reporter/photographer at the G-T from 2011 - 2014).

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