Mountlake Terrace’s Taron Castleton came into Saturday’s 145-pound finals confident but not overconfident.
The Hawk senior had defeated Glacier Peak’s Mats Haneberg earlier in the season at the Lynden Invitational.
This time the stakes were a little higher but the results were the same as Castleton won a 7-1 decision over Haneberg in the Wesco 3A South District finals at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
“He’s definitely is a great wrestler,” Castleton said. “I really wanted to focus on my match. It turned out really well. I knew I already had beat this guy, so I felt a little more confident and I felt like I would do really well.”
It’s been a challenging season for Castleton, who broke his thumb earlier in the season. He was out, at least in terms of being out on the mat, for a month.
“In the past two weeks I’ve just been putting in constant hours in trying to build up my strength and get my grip back,” said Castleton, who improved to 20-6. “It’s definitely paying off.”
While he was sidelined, Castleton did a lot of running and jump rope training. He also did 250 shots and 250 stand-ups at practice every day.
“Regionals is definitely going to be a lot tougher,” Castleton said. “I’ve got about four state-ranked guys at the regionals, so I’m really looking forward to the challenge. It’s definitely going to be tough. But I think with the support of my coaches and all the effort they’re putting me into great condition, I think I’ll be ready for the challenge.”
Also advancing to the Regionals on Feb. 15 at Marysville-Pilchuck High School were Daniil Oliferovskiy (third at 160), Chapylyn Mack (fourth at 160), Kevin Massy (fourth at 170), Lex Davis (fourth at 182), Illai Wilson (fourth at 285) and Pavel Oliferovskiy (fourth at 138).
Ferndale won the team title, edging out host Edmonds-Woodway 285-278. Meadowdale was fourth and Mountlake Terrace was sixth. Brian Boardman of Meadowdale Middle School was named Wesco 3A South Middle School Coach of the Year.
– By David Pan