Twice as nice

"Feeling pressure isn't something to which Central Kitsap High School's Preston Chadwick is accustomed. But his knack for staying calm and relaxed was thrown out the window Saturday at Mat Classic XII, the 4A state wrestling championship at the Tacoma Dome.The defending state champion overcame his nerves and captured the 112-pound title by defeating John Sommer of East Valley (Spokane) 5-3 in a nail-biting overtime victory.The pressure of being a defending state champion is so unbelievable, Chadwick said. I was so nervous. Last year I was so calm, cool, going in there and wrestlin'. This year I was shaking. Two hours beforehand I was sitting there agonizing.While Chadwick was earning his second title, Olympic's Ozzie Saxon was earning redemption, winning the 130-pound championship in his first trip to state. Saxon, who was denied trips to Mat Classic as both a sophomore and junior by injuries, left little doubt about his fitness this year, surviving a tough semifinal matchup with Gabriel Ramos of Eisenhower to beat Southridge's Eric Schwartz 7-5 in the final.Ahead of Ramos 9-4, Saxon was caught off-guard and nearly pinned. He recovered to score an insurance point and win 10-7.I had to block out the crowd and I stayed focused, Saxon said. If you lose focus, that's when you get beat. That's what happened in my semifinal match, and I got thrown.Olympic coach Darryl Smith said practice, and Saxon's natural instincts, allowed him to escape his semifinal predicament.It goes to show at this level just one mistake and you could get caught, Smith said. My eyeballs rolled back in my head when I saw that head-and-arm (hold) coming in. I was like, 'Oh, man, we don't want that to happen.' But Oz fought off his back.Oly's Justin Breckel repeated his fifth-place finish of a year ago, rebounding from a stunning quarterfinal pin at the hands of Bothell's Jamison Hyatt.It feels good to end my high school career on a winning note, Breckel said after pinning Moses Lake's Brandon Root at 3 minutes, 44 seconds of their placing match. I made mistakes in the quarterfinals, but I have no regrets because I did everything I had to do to get to state. I left it all out there.Chadwick triumphed despite a tough early-round draw. CK coach Doug Pecha said Chadwick had an unlucky draw, but left no doubt who was the best.This year he beat a guy who took second in state to get to the semifinal, beat a guy who took second in state to get to the finals, and beat a guy in the finals who took third in state, Pecha said. I said before there were four tough wrestlers (Chadwick included) and he had to wrestle all three of them.The championship match could have created a stir of controversy had Chadwick lost.Leading 3-2 with five seconds remaining, the referee awarded a stall point to Sommer, unbeknownst to Chadwick.I didn't realize I'd been teched for stalling, Chadwick said. I was kind of shocked when I looked at the score at the end of regulation. I thought it was over.But Chadwick somehow maintained his composure and used a final burst of energy to earn the winning takedown.Looking like a dog chasing his tail, Chadwick circled Sommer nearly five times before he could get around and register the two points.I was thinking this can't go any longer, Chadwick said. I just had to push myself. I was thinking I didn't do all those drills to lose in overtime.Despite the controversial stall call, Chadwick said it's better it went to overtime.It's actually more satisfying now, he said. An overtime victory in the state championships with 15 seconds left ... it's a storybook ending to a great career. Unbelievable.A supporting cast of wrestlers led by Scott Martin (140 pounds) and Lawrence Ng (103) thrusted the Cougars to a fourth-place finish - the highest the school ever has placed.Martin advanced all the way to the final before losing to Ferris' Daryl Garnder 10-8 in overtime. The thrilling match had Martin come back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the score at 8-8 and send it to overtime.Both wrestlers visibly exhausted, Gardner was able to gather enough strength to grab Martin's legs, lift him up, and slam him down for a takedown.Ng, a junior who only started wrestling two years ago, said he exceeded his own expectations when he captured third place with a 4-2 overtime win against Enumclaw's Mike Roggenkamp."

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