TACOMA — Her initial goal was to become the first female wrestler at South Kitsap.
While that did not come to fruition, sophomore Amberlee Brasch had another historical accomplishment for the Wolves: the program’s first girl to place in the state wrestling tournament.
Brasch pinned Kelso’s Mykal Baron in 2 minutes, 46 seconds Saturday to place fifth at Mat Classic XXIV at the Tacoma Dome.
“That was the big goal for me,” she said. “I wanted to get my name up on the wall.”
Brasch advanced to the 137-pound semifinals after winning her first two matches before losing a 6-1 decision against Auburn’s Katrynia Todd, who eventually won the state championship. She also lost a consolation match against Todd Beamer’s Vanessa Dixon, 3-1, in overtime before beating Bacon.
“She shot in and I put her in a hard cross face that put her on her back,” said Brasch, referring to the move that pinned Dixon.
Brasch was among three South competitors who placed at state.
“I’m just really proud of the kids,” Wolves coach Chad Nass said. “We didn’t come in with anyone with state experience and we left with three medals.”
Senior Eddie Meisner, who captured a regional title, won by injury default to finish fifth at 220. Meisner lost in the quarterfinals against Woodinville’s Jake Hollister, 6-2, and later versus Kyle Lesmeister, 10-3. Hollister and Lesmeister placed second and fourth, respectively.
“I had a mediocre weekend,” said Meisner, adding that he recently was accepted to Arizona State University and is contemplating playing football or wrestling for the Sun Devils. “I knew what I was in for. I just didn’t wrestle to my full potential.”
Nass had a different perspective.
“I think when he reflects back on it he will be pretty proud,” he said. “He’s earned it.”
Damien Medeiros did that in a different way. He advanced to state after a wrestler who placed higher than him at regionals was rendered academically ineligible. Medeiros, who maintains a 3.5 grade-point average, became the first alternate from the school to advance to state. Medeiros, a junior, lost a 3-2 decision against Ferris’ Drew Sharkey to finish eighth at 285.
“What a story,” Nass said.
It started early during the winter sports season when Medeiros, who never wrestled before the season, went to pick up a math textbook he left in his locker. He was approached by Nass and assistant coach Adam Kanouse to tryout.
Now, Medeiros cannot wait for next season to begin.
“We have a lot of juniors this year that started for varsity,” he said. “We should do a lot better.”
In addition to the three medalists, sophomores Joel Sherman (120) and Tristan Hartmann (182), junior Bryce Broome (152) and senior Daniel Muttillo (195) also advanced to state. Hartmann.
Nass said Hartmann sustained a knee injury during his final match at regionals that left him unable to compete at state. Sherman and Muttillo both were eliminated after two matches, while Broome won once.
With only two state competitors graduating, Nass said he expects the returnees to use their performance in Tacoma as motivation for next year.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Hopefully, they can build on that.”