Local wrestler reaches national tourney

  • Written by Derek Johnson, Sports Writer

Sometimes in life, when one goal doesn’t pan out, other blessings will arise if we remain open to receiving them.

Such was the case with Woodinville wrestler Cameron Thoreson, who participated last week in the High School Junior tournament in Fargo, North Dakota. 

Interviewed by phone from Fargo, the recent Bellevue Christian graduate told his story.

"The main reason I was doing this was that I got sick at regionals for my high school (wrestling) season," he said. "I didn’t even make it to State. I never made it past regionals. That was really disappointing. I wanted to do some off-season wrestling to stick with it."

Thoreson spent this spring earning medals in three state tournaments, taking first place in the Washington State Junior Folkstyle tournament, third place in the Washington State Junior Greco-Roman tournament, and 5th place in the Washington State Junior Freestyle tournament.

The Greco-Roman tourney was interesting enough, as it marked the first time Thoreson had ever competed in that style.

"I hadn’t done that before," he said. "But I finished in third place, which qualified me to wrestle for Team Washington in North Dakota at Nationals. I was super excited."

Thoreson and his teammates traveled to Fargo, where they participated from June 14-20. Thoreson competed in two different events, Freestyle and Greco-Roman.

"In Greco you can’t attack the legs," he explained. "It’s all upper body, unlike Freestyle where you can take shots and go after the legs."

And how did he fare?

"I won my first match in Greco, then won the second match, but lost a close third match," he said. "Then in Free Style, I won my first match, but in the next two matches I got torn apart. Those guys were beasts. They were monsters. They had most likely been to tournaments before and knew what was up. So I’m no longer in the tournament."

At the time of our discussion, Thoreson was still watching the remaining matches and rooting on his teammates.

"There are still a couple guys from Team Washington wrestling," he said. "Unfortunately, Chandler Rogers, our national champion, got hurt. He won the tourney in Greco, and it looked like he was going to win it in freestyle too. But he got hurt in his fourth or fifth match. He had an injury default. So he’s on crutches now. That was very unfortunate."

Thoreson was asked to summarize the experience of the past few days.

"I’m really excited that I went through with actually going to nationals," he said. "Even when I won the Greco tournament I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with it. I’m happy I did. It’s been an awesome experience. I met a bunch of really cool wrestlers and learned a bunch of really cool moves. The atmosphere here is very energetic and exciting. The level of competition is incredible.

"It definitely shows me what I need to strive for as a wrestler."

Thoreson, a lifelong Woodinville native, will attend Central Washington University in the fall and will continue to wrestle at the next level.

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