It’s not normal for a team that finishes the regular season with a 2-7 record to send 10 athletes to the regional tournament. Then again, wrestling isn’t exactly a normal sport.
On Feb. 1, the Hawks traveled north to Stanwood to take on competitors from Glacier Peak, Meadowdale, Shorewood and Shorecrest.
Junior Syd Springberg, unsurprisingly dominated his weight class (170 pounds) by pinning all three of his opponents, while Trung Banh, senior, also pinned the first two wrestlers he faced in the 106 pound class before winning the final round with a 10-2 decision.
Taron Castleton and Brett Potter both finished second in their classes. Taylor Hetherington, Shawn Poole, Tim Zuehl, and Taylor Murgallis all finished in third for a total of eight Hawks in the top three in the WesCo 3A South Division Tournament.
The district tourney was followed with regionals at Sunnyside High School (located just south of Yakima) on Feb. 8. MTHS was represented by a total of 10 wrestlers, six of which were in a pigtail preliminary match. All six wrestlers failed to advance to the next round.
Banh lost in the first round by a 7-0 decision, and was pinned at the 4:31 mark in a loser-out match.
It was Banh’s final match of his high school career under Coach Kanoe Vierra who is retiring at the end of this season.
“I’m kind of happy that my season is coming to a close, so now I can focus on my college career, but at the same time, there’s the mixed emotions that [high school] is ending. I’m glad that [coach Vierra] kept his promise to stay with me and would stick around until my senior year,” Banh said a few days prior to the tournament.
Springberg finished fourth in what may be the strongest region in the state. By placing in the top four he will move on to the state tournament Feb. 17 at the Tacoma Dome otherwise known as the Mat Classic.
When asked about what wrestling in the pressure of the postseason, Springberg said, “There’s definitely a do or die feeling out there. I feel like I can rise to the occasion.”