The Issaquah Eagles wrestling team won the KingCo 4A tournament compiling 215.5 team points on Feb. 3 at North Creek High School.
Issaquah, which outscored second place Mount Si by 29.5 points, advanced six of its wrestlers to championship matches in their respective weight divisions. Issaquah grappler Kaleb Solusod defeated Bothell’s Jay Smith 9-4 in the 170-pound championship match. It was the second consecutive year Solusod captured an individual championship at the KingCo 4A tournament.
“I think I’m the first one in my family to go back-to-back (titles). It feels really good to solidify my name in there twice,” Solusod said.
Solusod had the utmost respect for Smith before and after the match.
“I wrestled him last year in the finals. He is really strong. I was just trying to survive longer than he was. I tried to pin him but he was just so strong,” he said.
Issaquah head coach Kirk Hyatt said Solusod exudes a stoic nature on the mat.
“He doesn’t ever change his expression. He has this calmness about him. He is just steady Freddy and does his job. It is fun to watch,” Hyatt explained. “He has got a goal to go to state (tournament). He is wrestling really solid right now and is making his move.”
Issaquah wrestlers capturing second place in their respective weight classes at the KingCo 4A tournament were Carson Tanner (113), Caulain Saper (145), Kamil Solowiej (152), Caleb Lee (220) and Brandon Lee (285).
The Skyline Spartans saw all three of its finalists take home first place medals from the tournament. Nick Beatty (195), Kenta Despe (113) and Cole Turner earned individual titles in their respective weight divisions. Turner edged out Skyline teammate 7-6 in the 120-pound championship match. Turner wasn’t excited to face his friend in the finals.
“I didn’t like it. Max is good,” Turner said with a smile. “Having him as a practice partner is a great thing. There is so much we learn and we’ve improved on at practice.”
Eastlake sophomore Matt Brookshier captured an individual title in the 152-pound weight class courtesy of a hard-fought 7-5 win against Issaquah’s Solowiej. The 2017-18 season has been memorable for Brookshier after a self-proclaimed average freshman season last year.
“Coming off not that great of a season last year, this felt awesome,” Brookshier said of winning the KingCo tournament in his weight class. “It was just a great win. That felt amazing.”
Brookshier said Solowiej presented him with a formidable challenge due to his height.
“I knew he was a much lankier guy than me so I tried some different things. Normally I go for leg rides on guys but I couldn’t get any leg rides going today. I was just went all-out and was trying my best,” he said.
Eastlake junior Cameron Knusten captured second place in the 182-pound weight division as well.