WRESTLING: Kentlake’s Eley shines at Panther Classic

Greg Eley didn’t feel like wasting time Saturday afternoon.

Greg Eley didn’t feel like wasting time Saturday afternoon.

So he didn’t.

Kentlake High’s 160-pounder, one of the area’s top wrestlers, ripped through his first three opponents in the Panther Classic at Snohomish High, needing all of 6-minutes, 39 seconds to dispatch his first three opponents and earn a berth in the finals.

Once there, Eley changed directions, but the same victorious results followed in a 13-11 decision over Beamer’s Ben Draeger.

“He got to the finals and took care of business,” said Kentlake coach Pete Reardon. “I think it is a real confidence booster. At the other tournaments we’ve been to, he placed third. Third at Decatur, third at U-High (Northwest Classic) and third at Vashon.”

Eley highlighted an impressive weekend for local wrestlers. Austin Carrillo (145) was the only other Kentlake wrestler to join Eley atop the podium. Like Eley, Carrillo registered three pins and finished with an 8-4 decision over Kamiak’s Anthony Jackson in the final.

“(Carrillo) was pretty dominant,” Reardon said.

The duo’s performance helped the Falcons take fourth in the 16-team tournament with 146 points. Snohomish walked away with the team crown, amassing 215.5 points followed by Kamiak at 162. Kentwood continued to impress, finishing in third with 161 points.

Kentwood sophomore Ruben Navejas, who took fifth at state last year, was the lone Conqueror to bring home a title. Navejas dominated the 103-pound weight class in typical fashion, collecting four pins en route to the title.

Navejas put away Glacier Peak’s Joe Bratz in 4:25 for the title.

It was the second title in eight days for Navejas, who also won the 103-pound crown a week earlier at the Pacific Coast Invitational at Hudson’s Bay High in Vancouver.

Hayden Peterson (112) and Cody Quinn (145) added second-place finishes for the Conquerors. Peterson lost by major decision in the finals to Ares Carpio of Beamer. Quinn dropped a 5-3 decision to Olympic’s Brandon Yeik in the championship match.

K-M crowns 3, takes second

Kent-Meridian couldn’t have done much better at last Saturday’s Liberty Invitational.

The Royals crowned three champions – Jesus Valdez (103 pounds), Andrew Smith (140) and Nick Hall (285) – en route to taking second place at the eight-team tournament.

Liberty won the tournament with 175 points followed by Kent-Meridian at 157.

Valdez proved to be in a hurry, whipping through all three of his matches in pinning fashion. Valdez worked over Foss’ Andrew Hahn in the finals in 1:38 and wrestled a grand total of 4:20 in his three matches combined.

Smith didn’t have quite the same speed, but did post the same results. Smith outlasted Liberty’s Noel Wright in the finals, 11-4.

Meanwhile, Hall, who has blossomed into one of the area’s top heavyweights, throttled River Ridge’s Dillon Duval in 1:27 in the championship match. Hall wrestled just two matches during the one-day tournament, both of them resulting in pins.

K-M’s Nick Lemmon (160) also earned a berth in the championship match, where he fell to River Ridge’s Michael Fukimori, 11-4.