At the Viking Girls Invitational wrestling tournament on January 24, Genesis Vazquez and Rayanne Mutchler placed for the first time at a major tournament, leading the Blaine girls wrestling team to one of its best ever tournament finishes.
Vazquez tied for third, Mutchler tied for fifth and the Borderites placed 19th out of 32 teams at the tournament held in Puyallup.
While 19th place might not sound that great, head coach Damon Higgins said that Blaine brought five wrestlers and went up against many teams with wrestlers in nearly all of the 14 weight classes – a huge advantage for earning team points.
“What I’m looking at is, I had five wrestlers and they’re all pretty new to the sport, so this is an accomplishment,” he said. “For Genesis and Rayanne to get a place at a major tournament is an absolute bolster to everything they’re doing on the mat. My pride for the weekend is really great.”
Both Vazquez and Mutchler lost early matches and battled their way through the consolation bracket to place in the tournament. Vazquez lost her first match and pinned three opponents in a row to earn third place at 110 pounds, and Mutchler won three out of five matches at 170 pounds.
Two days before the Viking Invitational, Blaine hosted the Scramble Championship on January 22, with wrestlers from eight of the smaller regional wrestling schools. It was the largest all-girls wrestling event ever held at Blaine High School.
All Blaine girls won at least one of their three matches. Taylee McCormick, Blaine’s lone senior on senior night, won her first match by pin in about 10 seconds and finished the night with a second win.
The Scramble Championship isn’t officially scored.
On Saturday, February 1, the Blaine girls travel to their final tournament before the postseason, the Berserker Invitational at Curtis Senior High School in University Place, west of Tacoma.