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Dream on: 16-team Duals attract state's top grapplers
With forecasters calling for snow flurries and sub-freezing temps, Doug Dowell was skeptical Saturday's Olympic Dream Duals would go off without a hitch.
Dowell, the tournament co-director, remembered the floods of 2007 closing portions of Interstate 5, forcing two teams to turnaround and cancel.
Not this year.
"We were a bit concerned about the inclement weather, but in the end, all of the teams were able to make it safely to the event," Dowell said. "Overall, the tournament went extremely well."
With the entire 16-school field in attendance at the Kitsap Fairgrounds Pavilion, including Central Kitsap, Klahowya, Olympic, Bremerton and North Kitsap, teams wrestled four times to determine the king of the Duals.
Wenatchee finished on top, defeating A.C. Davis of Yakima 34-29 in the championship match, while Olympic won three consecutive matches — against Olympia, Gonzaga Prep and Auburn Riverside — after an opening-round loss against Hudson's Bay, 39-36, to capture a share of third place.
"The top tier teams can compete with anyone in the state," Dowell said, pointing to Wenatchee and Davis as well as traditional powers Heritage and Yelm, which also attended. "I was very pleased with the level of competition."
Klahowya and Central Kitsap each finished 2-2 to earn shares of fifth place.
The Cougars tied Auburn Riverside 39-39 in a third-round consolation match, but lost the tiebreaker by virtue of total pins and were forced to settle for a fifth-place match against NK to end the day.
"The third round of competition especially demonstrated the parody that existed (between the teams)," Dowell said. "During that round in particular, we witnessed a number of fantastically close matches."
In that round, the Eagles defeated Bethel 43-35 and Olympic defeated Stanwood 42-39.
Bremerton and NK finished 1-3 on the day, with each team beating Gonzaga Prep for a lone win.
The Duals were originally started by former Olympic wrestling coach and tournament co-director Darryl Smith and have now been at the Pavilion four consecutive years.
And Dowell said he intends to bring the event back to Kitsap.
"First and foremost, it provides a stage to showcase the wonderful student-athletes that our area produces," Dowell said of the event. "Hosting such a large event also supports the local economy by bringing all those teams and their families into the area."
The event continues to attract more wrestling fans each year and is garnering attention from schools around Washington state and even Oregon.
And with the economy in flux, corporate sponsorships, grants, a silent auction, the support of Fairgrounds and county staff and other fundraising endeavors continue to make the event possible.
"Over the years, this has involved literally hundreds of hours of planning and hard work to make it happen," Dowell said.
Davis 69, Bremerton 6
Klahowya 44, Auburn Riverside 27
Central Kitsap 43, Bethel 31
Yelm 74, North Kitsap 6
Stanwood 68, Gonzaga 12
Wenatchee 58, Olympia 16
Hudson's Bay 39, Olympic 36
Heritage d. Peninsula (score not reported)
Yelm 66, Stanwood 18
Davis 53, Klahowya 24
Heritage 54, Central Kitsap 18
Wenatchee 73, Hudson's Bay 6
Consolation, second round
Auburn Riverside 47, Bremerton 24
Bethel 39, Peninsula 37
North Kitsap 54, Gonzaga Prep 30
Olympic 51, Olympia 27
Wenatchee 48, Yelm 27
Davis 36, Heritage 33
Consolation, third round
Olympic 42, Stanwood 39
Auburn-Riverside 39, Central Kitsap 39 (Auburn Riverside wins tiebreaker)
Hudson's Bay 44, North Kitsap 24
Klahowya 43, Bethel 35
Peninsula 54, Bremerton 24
Olympia 50, Gonzaga Prep 12
Wenatchee 34, Davis 29
Yelm 53, Klahowya 24
Olympic 43, Auburn Riverside 34
Heritage 45, Hudson's Bay 19
Central Kitsap 60, North Kitsap 9
Peninsula 48, Olympia 24
Stanwood 63, Bethel 18
Bremerton 47, Gonzaga Prep 24