— Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from its original version to account for Willy Dunn’s year in school and number of appearances at the state wrestling tournament.
Junior Willy Dunn bounced back from an opening round loss to clinch a berth at State by dispatching three consecutive opponents at the 1A regional wrestling meet Saturday at Bellevue Christian.
With a third-place finish at regionals, Dunn earns a slot in the heavyweight bracket of the state’s premier post-season wrestling showcase, the Mat Classic, which gets underway Saturday and Sunday at the Tacoma Dome.
It’s Dunn’s third appearance at the Classic, the second with a slot in the brackets, and it comes on the heels of a resilient performance at regionals, which featured wrestlers from nine different Northwest-area schools competing for a berth at State by finishing in the top three of their respective weight category.
“He lost on the top side of the bracket but then came back to beat the same guy in the three-four match,” Coach Neil MacDiarmid said of Dunn. “It was pretty impressive.”
Though Dunn will be the lone Friday Harbor wrestler with a guaranteed slot at the state 1A tournament, he won’t be traveling alone. Fellow senior Cody West, however, is keeping his fingers crossed.
West, in his first year on the team, qualified as an “alternate” thanks to a fourth-place finish at the regional meet.
As an alternate, MacDiarmid said West (189) would take the place of one of the region’s top three competitors should one of them fail to show up or, more likely, fail to make weight.
Dunn also qualified as a Mat Classic alternate as a freshman.
West made the most of his first time competing at regionals, MacDiarmid said, earning a pair of wins despite coming out on the losing end of two narrow losses, including a defeat in overtime.
“He left everything out there on the mat,” he said.