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Pirate Curtis Winona battles to 2nd place at State

TACOMA–Pirate grappler Curtis Winona and Davenport's Brock Gustaveson met again in the championship match at the WIAA Mat Classic XXXV and the Pomeroy standout battled the Davenport sophomore nearly to a tie, but got pinned and finished his senior season with a respectable second-place in the 190-lb. division for 1B-2B boys.

"It was going pretty good," Winona told the East Washingtonian of his bout with the Davenport wrestler. "In the first round, I was ahead and feeling confident."

Winona held a 4-2 lead after the first round and the two were deadlocked at 4-4 in the second when the Davenport sophomore caught Winona for the win by fall.

"I got excited and made a mistake and he pinned me in the second round," Winona said.

"I was disappointed I didn't get the title but I was pretty satisfied with my career overall," he said. "I'm trying not let it have too much effect on me.

"I can't complain too much," Winona concluded. "I gave it my all and got a lot further than I thought I would."

Winona cruised to the meeting with Gustaveson by pinning junior Oakley Bonewell of Okanogan at 3:52 in the opening round. His eventual opponent had an opening-round bye.

""I had not wrestled him before but I'd watched his matches, and talked with few who know of him," Winona said. "I just went out there with a plan to get the first takedown in first round. He got one escaped but I ended up pinning him in the third round.

Next, Winona took on Kalama junior Zach Foreman, out competing him to a 12-3 major decision.

Winona's "impressive" first day continued with the quarter-final match over Foreman, said Head Coach Mat Slaybaugh. "Foreman managed to wiggle his way out of several near falls to lose by a major decision 12-3."

That win set up the semifinal match against junior Cody Strozyk of Willapa Valley. Winona pinned him at 3:07.

"He was one of my tougher opponents, besides Brock," Winona said. "I was a little nervous for this one, but went out with same mindset as the first: to try to get the first takedown. I was able to succeed and was working for another pin but ended up winning by major decision."

"Curtis came out on fire Saturday, easily winning his semifinal match against Strozyk by pin in the second round," said Slaybaugh. "He looked dominant in Day One of state competition. Against Bonewell, he scored a quick takedown and dominated the match, ending it with a second-round pin."

Gustaveson was in the lower bracket and had a bye in the first round before quickly defeating Victor Canche of Goldendale and winning a 14-6 major decision over Forks High School senior Nate Dahlgren, which put him in the championship match against Winona.

"I'd wrestled Brock a couple years before," Winona said. "Last year at state, I knocked him out of tournament, and this year, I kinda knew he was going to be towards the top, a top contender. During the regular season and playoffs, Winona was able to win one time and lost a couple matches to Gustaveson.

 
 
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