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Kingston High School wrestler Bobby Reece III, North Kitsap wrestler Jake Velarde take home state titles
TACOMA — North Kitsap High School wrestler Jake Velarde and Kingston High School wrestler Bobby Reece III both returned home with state titles from the Mat Classic, Friday and Saturday in the Tacoma Dome.
Velarde began the competition against R.A. Long wrestler Tanner Ackerly. Though he defeated Ackerly 13-3, he said he did not have full concentration on the match.
During his down-time he cleared his mind with a quick nap, he said. The result was a second win, as he pinned Garret Varnell of Sultan in 1 minute 51 seconds.
In the semi-finals, R.A. Long wrestler Josh Johnson challenged Velarde, bringing the match to the third round. Velarde moved on to the finals with a score of 3-1 against Johnson.
Though Velarde's final match was against North Mason wrestler Pedro Joaquin — Joaquin won his first three matches 11-4, 9-0 and 7-3 — Velarde controlled the championship match. Velarde won his second 119-pound state title in a row with a score of 6-2.
In the 140-pound division, Reece gave no hint of hesitation.
Reece began the tournament with a pin against Cedarcrest wrestler Austin Koons with a pin in 1:08.
Though his second match last almost five minutes, Reece out-wrestled Kellen Pelzel, winning with a pin in 4:55.
In the semi-finals, Reece faced Garrett Mullet of Bellingham, who won his first two matches by pin. After defeated Mullet 5-3, Reece faced W.F. West wrestler Andrew White.
Like Mullet and Reece, White had won his first two matches by pin and his third by 6-0.
"He was no easy opponent," said head coach Bobby Reece. "He was tough."
In a battle that lasted all three rounds, Reece claimed the 140-pound title with a 3-0 victory over White.