By Ira Rose-Kim
Roosevelt’s exerted its indisputable dominance at the Metro championships on February 6th and 7th. The team had five individual champions: Trygve Groh, Ben Kriesberg, Tom Skoog, Jody Cearns, and Jordan Forst. From there, five more wrestlers placed in the top three and a grand total of sixteen wrestlers will represent Roosevelt at the Regional Tournament next Saturday, the 14th. The team has not seen an achievement of this caliber for quite some time. due to the structure of the Regional Tournament’s brackets, the top eight wrestlers at the Metro tournament will make up the entire bracket at Regionals. This greatly raises the chances of the wrestlers who performed excellently at Metros’ of going to the WIAA State Tournament at the Tacoma Dome on the 20th and 21st.
Sophomore Speer Kajamulo was the runner up in the 220 weight class. This makes him tied for highest-placing sophomore with Rory Hayashi who was second to only to fellow Roosevelt wrestler Jody Cearns. Kajamulo claims he wasn’t that confident going into the tournament. “I got really lucky on my half of the bracket and most of the bad guys were on my side,” he admits. He was still proud and satisfied with the results though. “Nobody expected me to do good at all this year. I was super bad last year; I never really learned anything, but I got a lot better,” he confidently explained. Kajamulo hopes to continue his success through the Regional tournament and make the State tournament.
The class of 2016 was also well represented at Metros. Five Juniors will be wrestling at Regionals and two made the finals in their brackets at Metros: Erik Choi and Trygve Groh. Groh won while Choi got second. Both were initially apprehensive about what the State tournament would offer. “I think State’s going to be a pretty big shock considering Metro’s one of the weaker conferences in the State,” Groh revealed. No one of the team are ranked within the State’s top 10. Will the Riders continue to prove their skill once they’ve finished trouncing the same opponents they faced a week ago? Choi thinks so. “I’ve been training all season. I haven’t missed a practice, so I’ve been feeling pretty confident,” he declared. Groh also noted that he felt the team could rack up some wins at State.
It seems that the rest of the team is bristling with a bold energy as well and they’ve very good to reason to be. Skoog and Forst have two of the best records on the team with 24-3 and 32-1 respectively. While it was originally believed that O’Dea had one the Metro tournament by a narrow 2.5 points, the score was rechecked to reveal Roosevelt took the tournament by a significant margin over highly ranked schools like Eastside Catholic which is currently 13th in Washington 3A. While the State tournament’s outcome is unsure at the moment, the Riders’ strength has already been proven at Metro and will surely do well levels beyond.