Prep Report: Kelly makes history for Redmond wrestling

In a weekend filled with great storylines, three of the six Redmond wrestlers who competed at last weekend's regional competitions achieved their goals of making it to this weekend's Mat Classic XXI at the Tacoma Dome.

In a weekend filled with great storylines, three of the six Redmond wrestlers who competed at last weekend’s regional competitions achieved their goals of making it to this weekend’s Mat Classic XXI at the Tacoma Dome.

The top four wrestlers from each weight class in last weekend’s regional round advanced to this weekend’s state tournament, which begins Friday and concludes Saturday.

The story of last weekend had to be the one that made history.

Wrestling at the Region I Championships at Liberty High School, 112-pounder Catherine Kelly became the first girl wrestler from Redmond High to make the state tournament.

Kelly, a sophomore, proved that the third time is a charm as she finally beat Lakewood High senior Amanda Gregory in the consolation semifinals after losing to Gregory in two previous meetings. With a state spot already secured, Kelly took a forfeit in the finals after tweaking her shoulder earlier in the tournament.

Mullen said that all of Kelly’s extra work paid off.

“We’ve been working on it, having her wrestle with our tall guys in the room,” Mullen said. “It’s great what she has accomplished just coming out of junior high. She has worked very hard, is a good kid, and takes coaching well.”

Redmond senior team captain Nolan Thomas earned his trip to state despite a difficult 3-2 loss to Bobby Hawkins of Rogers-Puyallup in the first round. With his back against the wall, Thomas won two straight consolation matches to earn a state spot and a rematch with Hawkins in the 3rd-4th-place match. Hawkins won again, this time 4-0.

“It’s hard when you lose that first one, because it’s a long road back,” said Redmond head wrestling coach Paul Mullen. “He worked very hard…. but the other kid wrestled well.”

Redmond senior Esteban Herrera, who wrestled at state last year, had been suffering from flu symptoms all week and fought his way to a fourth-place finish, which was just enough to punch his return ticket to Tacoma.

After a draining 8-2 victory over Emerald Ridge High School’s Joe McDaniel in the consolation semifinal, Herrera took a forfeit in the final because his illness left him mentally and physically drained.

“Esteban had been real sick all week,” Mullen admitted. “He wrestled in the first round and won, but he just didn’t have a lot left in the tank.”

The story of the weekend, however, had to be the one that made history.

With the tough competition seen every year at one of the most intense prep wrestling meets in the country, Mullen has set realistic goals for his three state wrestlers, adding that there’s always a chance of an upset.

“We’re just going to start practicing tomorrow again, and wrestle as hard as we can,” Mullen said. “Every week’s a new week, and once you get to the show, anything can happen.”


Chris Harrington drove the length of the court and scored the winning layup at the buzzer as the Redmond boys’ basketball team beat Eastlake, 49-48, in a thrilling 4A Kingco contest last Friday night.

With the win, the Mustangs locked up the league’s No. 4 seed to this week’s Kingco playoffs. Redmond played host to Roosevelt in its playoff opener on Tuesday after the Reporter’s deadline.

Friday’s game became an instant classic in the Redmond-Eastlake rivalry as the two teams battled back and forth all night with the Wolves scoring with 7.2 seconds left to take a 48-47 lead. Seconds later, Harrington, who finished with 11 points, came to the rescue for Redmond, which finished the regular season with a 10-6 record in league play and 12-8 overall.

Justin Alexander led the Mustangs with 17 points. Eastlake standout Michael Russo, fourth in the league with 16.5 points per game, led all scorers with 18.


The Overlake boys’ basketball team lost a close one at Seattle Academy, 52-46, on Thursday night to finish the regular season in a tie for fourth place with Cedar Park Christian in the 1A Emerald City League.

Junior guard Hakan Yagiz led Overlake with 13 points, followed by John Stolarczuk with 11 and Dean Poplawski with 10.

Danny Poplawski, who leads the league in scoring with 19.4 points per game, did not play due to a concussion he suffered earlier in the week against Cedar Park.

Overlake (6-6, 10-9) will play Cedar Park (6-6, 8-12) in the first round of the league playoffs at Overlake School Tuesday night, after the Reporter’s deadline.