Goldendale finally hosts home match: No. 1 ranked Granger Spartans too much for Timberwolves on senior night
Goldendale freshman Faith Hastings is seconds away from pinning Granger's Omar Solis during Thursday's bout in Goldendale.
During one of the strangest wrestling seasons Goldendale head coach Matt Dumolt has experienced, the Timberwolves opened and closed their home slate of matches with Thursday's senior night contest with the tough Granger Spartans.
Although the Timberwolves struggled throughout the night, the final score of 69-6 is in no way indicative of the team's lack of skill, it's more so reflective of Granger's elite talent from top to bottom.
The Spartans, easily the top Class 1A wrestling team, could beat most Class 3 and 4A teams in head-to-head competition, Dumolt believes.
But on Thursday, the Spartans showed a packed Goldendale Gym just how talented they are while the Timberwolves proved their grit and determination with some tough bouts against some of the state's top wrestlers.
But on a night honoring Goldendale's four seniors – Cameron Read, Mykhail Lembke, Michael Jagelski and Isaiah Rowley – it was a freshman who stole the show.
Faith Hastings, competing in the 120 pound class, hit the mat against Granger's Omar Solis and admitted she didn't have much faith in herself.
"To be honest, I really did not think I had a chance," Hastings said.
However, she and Solis battled back-and-forth early on, and after almost getting pinned, was able to pull a slick move and escape from his grasp and went ahead 5-3 after the escape.
"When I got the reversal I was like 'OK, maybe I have a chance,'" she said.
Less than a minute later, Hastings took him down, and touched both his shoulders to the mat with 30 seconds left as the crowd went crazy.
"It felt really great," Hastings said of hearing the home crowd behind her. "When you're at home, everyone knows you and they're rooting for you."
Hastings was the only Timberwolf to record team points on Thursday, and is a testament to the strides she's made this year.
"She shows up for weight lifting every morning. She does the work," Dumolt said. "She does everything she has to do. The right things to make herself good. She was able to get out there and show it."
Although Hastings was the only one to score for Goldendale, that doesn't mean the other bouts weren't competitive.
Read, Goldendale's only four-year wrestler this season, has dropped about 25 pounds in the last month and now competes in the 195 pound class after spending most of the season in the 220 pound class.
He matched up against Juan Zamora, who's ranked No. 1 in the state in his weight class. Zamora almost immediately brought Read down and nearly had the pin 30 seconds in, but Read escaped and forced a reset after stepping beyond the circle of play. Zamora continued to hold the upper hand, and with just two seconds left in the opening round, was able to secure the pin and hold off Read.
"It's another world," Read said of wrestling at 195. "It's just something I have to be ready for in a couple of weeks."
Dropping into the 195 pound class gives Read a better chance to compete for a state title at the Mat Classic, which runs Feb. 17 and 18 in the Tacoma Dome. In Goldendale's region alone, which consists of the South Central Athletic Conference West and the Cascade Conference, there were six kids ranked toward the top of the pack in the 220 pound class.
"But he felt he was stronger in the overall picture," Dumolt said of Read dropping to 195. "The kid he wrestled (Thursday) night ... tough, tough kid."
Despite being pinned in the first round, Read got a feel of how the quickness and strategy of wrestling in at 195 plays a bigger part than wrestling at 220.
"I definitely wish it went a little different but in the bigger picture it's a good reality check," Read said. "Put me back where I need to be. Make sure I train a little harder."
He potentially has the chance to see Zamora three or four more times, and is confident he'll adjust to the new style of wrestling and give himself the best chance of winning and making a deep state run.
"I have two weeks to train for him," Read said. "I'll see him again at districts. He's beatable. I'll find a way to beat him."
If there's anyone with the determination and work ethic to make that possible, it's Read, who is set to make his third straight trip to state later this month.
Although Goldendale's two other seniors that competed Thursday didn't come away with wins, they both pushed a pair of top 10 state competitors to their limits.
Lembke went a full six minutes in the ring with Robert Berger, the state's No. 6 wrestler in the 160 pound class.
"Going into the match I knew that it was going to be a tough battle and that it was going to be really hard to go against (Berger)," Lembke said. "I just wanted to go in there and have a positive attitude and give it my all."
That's what he did, and eventually fell with a 7-1 decision in the only bout of the night that lasted a full three rounds.
Jagelski, who competed with Lembke at last November's state cross country meet, also matched up with a No. 6 ranked state competitor, Robert Vasquez. He went back-and-forth with Vasquez for the first half, and slipped away from being pinned early in the second before having his shoulders pinned early in the third.
Goldendale's fourth senior, Rowley, who's had a lot of success this season as a first-year wrestler, was ineligible to compete Thursday, but is set to return for districts on Saturday morning at Zillah Middle School.
The home crowd is what the Timberwolves missed earlier this season after their home-opening meet set for Dec. 15 was postponed, rescheduled, and later canceled for good during the stretch of bad weather in the area.
After the match, Granger head coach Richard Sanchez told Dumolt how impressed he was with Goldendale's home crowd.
According to the coaches, there were more people in attendance on Thursday in Goldendale than some of the valley schools had all season in their home matches.
Senior Mykhail Lembke tries to escape the clutches of Granger's Robert Berger on Thursday.
"We have such great support and Granger noticed it," Dumolt said. "He (Sanchez) said, 'we may have a great team, but you have great support.'"
Thursday's full results
106: No match. 113: Jeremiah Salcedo (Gr) p. Reis Long, 1:20. 120: Faith Hastings (Go) p. Omar Solis, 1:27. 126: Diego Isiordia (Gr) tf. Corbin Riley, 15-0. 132: Juan Ortega (Gr) won by f. 138: Juanito Isiordia (Gr) p. Lucas Anderson, 3:24. 145: Frankie Almaguer (Gr) p. Brian Waddell, 1:50. 152: Anthony Almaguer (Gr) won by f. 160: Robert Berger (Gr) d. Mykhail Lembke, 7-1. 170: Robert Vasquez (Gr) p. Michael Jagelski, 4:21. 182: Jose Campos (Gr) p. Dylan Denning, 1:12. 195: Juan Zamora (Gr) p. Cameron Read, 1:59. 220: Noe Orozco (Gr) won by f. 285: Jose Mendoza (Gr) won by f.