Wrestlers move to postseason
By Konner Hancock - Staff Reporter
The Highline wrestling team finishes dual meets 1-6, but remains confident for the National Junior College Athletic Association's Regional and National tournaments.
The NJCAA Regional tournament is for wrestlers in the northwestern region to compete and see who will make it to the National tournament and top their weight class.
Despite the poor dual meet record and not placing top 5 in any tournaments this year the T-Birds are still ranked No. 8 out of all 23 competing colleges in the NJCAA.
Last year Highline "finished 12th, with 4 All Americans, I am confident that we can place top 4 with 4-8 all Americans. But what I think doesn't matter, performance is up to the athletes. If they can push themselves every day to be a little better than the day before they will be fine. Without the work we could all be sitting at home watching the national tournament online," said Assistant Head Coach Bradley Luvaas.
This year the team has had a constant struggle with keeping a healthy lineup, but this past week after the Clackamas Open the squad was able to fill every weight with at least one wrestler.
Luvaas is most proud of "The fact that we have a full line up for regionals," he said.
The T-Birds have one of the youngest lineups going into regionals. There is a total of 12 freshmen out of all 22 wrestlers on the team.
However, among the few sophomores there is one All-American, Andrew Ramirez at 133 lbs. and four qualifiers for last year's NJCAA Nationals tournament, Heavy weight Teban Mansaray, 165 lbs. Justin Wielding, 184 lbs. Taylor Johnson and Connor Rosane.
The team is very young this year, but they have to go out and prove themselves, said Luvaas.
"It doesn't matter if I think they are ready, they have to be ready…I think that all of our athletes are capable of making it to nationals and doing well," he said.