When the final match ended, and wrestlers from Issaquah celebrated raucously on the other side of the mat, your correspondent made his way toward the Woodinville wrestlers.
Their crestfallen faces told the night’s tale while team captain Ryan Christensen (who won his match) paced, seemingly in frustration.
But when Woodinville coach Todd Christensen turned toward this reporter to answer questions, he smiled broadly. “Wow!” he said. “What a battle!”
On a night of high-octane competition, the Issaquah Eagles (10-0) won the KingCo regular season title by knocking off Woodinville (9-1) by a score of 37-32.
“It was a great match,” Christensen said. “(Issaquah has) won the league two of the last three years. They’re a great team, always are. We’ve been in the middle of the pack the last couple years, a 4th or 5th kind of thing. So for us, it’s great to get up there (in the standings) and have a shot at it.
“We had a great turnout in the crowd. The band came out with almost all of our cheerleaders. The boys were excited in the back about tonight, just unfortunately we came up a little short.”
One match that won’t soon be forgotten was between Woodinville’s Cole Morrison and Issaquah’s Damien Piquet-Charles.
The crowd grew increasingly raucous as the grueling match extended to three overtimes.
The score remained knotted at 3-3 and neither wrestler was giving any quarter.
Morrison finally prevailed and one can only surmise the level of exhaustion each wrestler felt as they dragged themselves back to their respective benches.
“It was pretty intense,” Morrison said. “It’s the first time I’ve gone to triple overtime. My forearms are dead.”
Next up for Woodinville are the KingCo Championships (District) that will take place at Bothell High School on February 7th and 8th. Go to WoodinvilleWrestling.com for more information.