REARDAN, Wash. — Waitsburg-Prescott’s Tristan Newman became the W-P wrestling program’s first grappler to advance to the Washington State Class B Mat Classic with a third-place finish at the Eastern Regional Tournament here Friday and Saturday.
Newman, competing at 285 pounds, had a first-round bye, pinned a Liberty Bell foe in 1:54, and then was pinned by a Mary Walker wrestler.
Newman then pinned a Lind-Ritzville opponent at 2:41 of the second round, and then won by injury default over a Lake Roosevelt foe.
W-P wrestling coach Lanny Adams ahs coached Newman since he started wrestling in the local youth program.
“Tristan Newman is the first W-P wrestler to compete at the state level,” Adams said. “Tristan began his wrestling career in Dayton with the Little Guys wrestling. Once Waitsburg started the Matbirds wrestling program, Tristan was one of the originals.
“I can honestly say that I have watched Tristan grow up on and off the mat,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to coach him at the Little Guy level and now at the high-school level.”
Newman has made some adjustments to his wrestling style at the high-school level, Adams said.
“We have been working on getting rid of some old habits that worked at the Matbird level, but is hindering him at the high-school level,” he said. “We have focused a lot on getting him to not stand straight up when wrestling.
“The late part of the season, we have really taken Tristan out of his comfort zone and started having him practice shooting drills,” Adams said. “You don’t see too many heavyweights doing single- and double-leg takedowns. That is why we have been practicing doing it. It has worked, too. Tristan has shot in on a couple of his opponents and by the time that they figured out that someone was shooting on them, they were on their back with Tristan on top holding them down.
“Tristan has natural strength and has been improving on his speed,” he said. “Tristan had one heck of a freshmen year. The biggest problem we have had to deal with in practice is finding someone big enough to wrestle him.”
Adams said he and his coaching staff took turns wrestling Newman as long as requirements allowed to help prepare him.
“I think that as Tristan matures on the mat and gains more experience, he will be a contender and be considered as a threat to the other heavyweights out there,” Adams said. “I anticipate more trips to the Tacoma Dome with Tristan.”
The other W-P wrestlers at the regional tourney were all first-year grapplers, Adams said.
Brandon Aceves (132 pounds) and Jesse Rawson (152 pounds) both lost their first-round matches “making the tournament even tougher to stay in,” Adams said, “with the tournament being a double-elimination. That means more matches have to be wrestled to qualify for state competition.
“Unfortunately, those two both lost two matches in a row and were eliminated early on.
“They both wrestled hard, and I am proud of them for their effort and determination,” Adams said.
At 138 pounds, James Thompkins “came into the tournament with an ‘I am going to win’ attitude,” Adams said. “He may not have won all of his matches, but he did give it his all out on the mat. James never gave up once. He was put into some pretty tough moves that should have pinned him, but his determination to not get pinned and his attitude that he is not going to get pinned, (helped him) get out of those predicaments. Unfortunately, he was eliminated from competition.
“After his second loss, he came up to me and told me, ‘Sorry Coach, I lost.’” I told him to not be sorry. He had a great season. This was his first season and his competition had at least five-six years, if not more, of experience on him.
“It is quite an accomplishment to be able to make it this far,” Adams said. “To be able to make it this far in his first year is nothing to be disappointed in. I told him to keep his head high and be proud of his accomplishments this year.”
Steven Grimes, at 170 pounds, also has a never-give-up attitude, his coach said.
“Steven is one of those athletes that every coach wishes he/she had,” Adams said. “It has been a long time since I have seen an athlete with as much heart as Steven.
“Steven is focused on improving his wrestling skills and wants to win,” he said. “He would sit in the stands, watch other matches and analyze them. When Steven would walk out onto that mat, he was ready to wrestle. Once the whistle blew Steven starting moving and continued to move. A lot of Steven’s success this year was due to him constantly moving. He would force his opponent to make a mistake and he would take advantage of that mistake which usually resulted in him getting his hand raised at the end of the match.”
Newman heads to Mat Classic XXV in the Tacoma Dome this Friday and Saturday.
132 — M. Fink, Liberty Bell, pinned Brandon Aceves, W-P, 4:26; Aceves bye; Sims, Reardan, pinned Aceves, 3:24.
138 — James Thompkins, W-P, pinned C. Forman, Kittitas, 5:26; E. Maupin, Selkirk, pinned Thompkins, 2:21; Thompkins bye; J. Anderson, Reardan, pinned Thompkins, 2:44.
152 — B. Alford, Northwest Christian, pinned Jesse Rawson, W-P, 2:38; Rawson bye; Ginter, Pateros, pinned Rawson 2:34.
170 — Steven Grimes, W-P, pinned L. Allen, Lake Roosevelt, :53; C. Payne, Almira-Coulee-Hartline dec Grimes, 4-1; Grimes pinned Renfro, Oroville, :51; Haskins, Selkirk, pinned Grimes, 2:30.
285 — Tristan Newman, W-P, bye; Newman pinned D. Acord, Liberty Bell, 1:54; Dituri, Mary Walker, pinned Newman in second round (no time recorded; Newman pinned Hawkes, Lind-Ritzville, 2:31; Newman inj def over O. Alejandre, Lake Roosevelt.