Andersen and Jennings in state Mat Classic

It will be a pair of firsts for two Viking wrestlers this week. Senior wrestlers Jordan Andersen and Jerrod Jennings have both qualified for the Tacoma Mat Classic state finals this week.

It will be a pair of firsts for two Viking wrestlers this week.

Senior wrestlers Jordan Andersen and Jerrod Jennings have both qualified for the Tacoma Mat Classic state finals this week.

They won their tickets to a possible state title through regional competition at Snohomish on Friday.

Jennings was a runner-up at the 189 weight class for the Vikings in District competition Friday and Jordan Andersen took third in the 125 weight class to qualify.

Jennings was defeated 6-1 by Stanwood’s Clancy Seymour in the championship match. Andersen grabbed third place by defeating South Kitsap’s Dustin Johnson 5-3.

Pnuemonia eliminated another Viking contender. Clark Hutchman, who qualified for state last year, had to drop out of districts when he learned he had pnuemonia. He previously had wrestled at sub-districts with a 102-degree temperature.

North Kitsap High School wrestling coach Larry Maguire has taken wrestlers to the state finals for many years, but still relishes this level of qualification.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Maguire said, “but it’s always fun and a thrill.”

Winning at state won’t be easy for the two Vikings.

“When you get there, you’re one of the best in the state, there aren’t any easy ones,” explained Maguire. “Not many kids at that level are there because they’re lucky.”

If Andersen and Jennings win their Friday matches, they would continue into competition on Saturday.