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Davis, Dunn, Mehrer will compete in the 1A State Wrestling Tournament | Wrestling
Three Friday Harbor wrestlers placed second at the 1A Regional Tournament Feb. 13 and qualified for the Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome, this weekend.
Sophomore Michael Davis (145), senior Calen Mehrer (215) and sophomore Willy Dunn (285) will compete in the 1A State Wrestling Tournament, also known as the Mat Classic, which begins Friday. Junior Shawn Cutting (160) placed fourth in his division to qualify as an alternate.
It will be Dunn's second consecutive appearance in the Tacoma Dome; he went last year as an alternate (Davis also went to state last year). Dunn is unfazed by the thought of competing in front of a crowd of thousands, against wrestlers from much-larger schools.
"It's a little nerve-wracking, but it gets the adrenaline flowing," he said of the crowds. "You feed off that adrenaline. It gets you pumped up for the match."
Dunn, Davis and Mehrer were wrestling this week in Hall Gym in preparation for the state tournament. But at the state tournament, out there on the mat, mental matters as much as muscle.
"A lot of wrestlers look at me funny because I don't get all screamy and psyched out," Dunn said. "I go through everything before the match in my head. Once the whistle blows, the nervousness goes away."
Mehrer got a taste of state competition at the regional tournament. He was No. 1 seed in his weight division but was pinned midway through the second round by Vashon Island's Geran Webb, who is ranked third in the state and is one of the few wrestlers west of the Cascades ranked in the top 10.
"I was thrown around like a rag doll," said Mehrer, who finished second in the 215 weight class.
Mehrer said this week of practices have been "insane — the toughest practices I've had." He's been wrestling with Dunn and with Coach Neil MacDiarmid.
"He's thick and really stocky. He's a muscle hamster," Mehrer said of his coach. "He's built like most of the wrestlers I'll go against, like someone who should be better than me. It's been really good to wrestle him."
All told, it's been an impressive year for the Wolverines and third-year head coach MacDiarmid, whose 2008-09 squad sent three wrestlers and two alternates to the state tournament.
"We may not win a ton of matches, but where we have wrestlers, they're all going to do well," MacDiarmid said at the beginning of the season. His statement was prophetic.
Seven wrestlers advanced to the Boys 1A Regional Tournament Feb. 13 at Bellevue Christian; five were No. 1 seeds in their weight divisions. One female wrestler, Kia Johns, advanced to the 1A Subregional Tournament at Squalicum High School and, although she didn't qualify for the Girls Region 1 Tournament, MacDiarmid was quick to spotlight her performance in her debut year.
"She always has two or three moves going at a time," MacDiarmid said at the seeding tournament.
Click here for 2010 MAT CLASSIC XXII BRACKETS AND RESULTS.