Photo courtesy of Don Borin/Stop Action Photography Skyline Spartans sophomore Kenta Despe, right, captured a sixth place finish in the Class 4A Mat Classic state wrestling tournament on Feb. 18.

Despe captures sixth place at Mat Classic

Skyline Spartans sophomore grappler Kenta Despe didn’t let a loss in the Class 4A 113-pound quarterfinals of the Mat Classic Class 4A state tournament dampen his spirits.

Despe, who lost 9-1 to Curtis grappler Ryan Wheeler in his second match of the state tournament, won two of his final four matches capturing sixth place at the Mat Classic on Feb. 18. Following the loss to Wheeler, Despe said he wanted to make it to the second day of the tournament and place.

The mission was accomplished.

“I was an alternate last year. I think I definitely deserve it. I finally saw my name in the rankings. That was pretty nice but I still need a lot of improvement obviously. There is always somebody who is a lot better than you so you always got to keep working,” Despe said.

Skyline junior Nick Beatty lost his tournament opener but rallied to win three of his four final matches in the consolation round, capturing seventh place in the Class 4A 195-pound division. The Spartans finished in 31st place as a team in the Class 4A tournament, compiling 16-team points.

The Issaquah Eagles didn’t have any wrestlers place in the Class 4A state tournament but senior 182-pounder Dean Pearson advanced to the quarterfinals. Pearson won his first match against Glacier Peak’s Josh Erling but lost his next two matches. Issaquah head coach Kirk Hyatt said Pearson is one of the smartest wrestlers on his squad.

“He is always focused at practice. He works at what he does and doesn’t change a lot. He is very consistent and steady. That is why he got here. He has got his own style and nobody gets him out of it,” Hyatt said with a smile.

Eagles’ junior 160-pound wrestler Kaleb Solusod and senior 120-pounder William Tickman each went 0-2 at the state tournament. Eastside Catholic wrestlers Dustin Johnson (138) and Duncan Heger (160) each went 1-2 at the Class 3A state tournament.