Windsor wins again at King of the Mat tourney

Healdsburg's Jacob Sloma, left, defeated Napa's Alec Richmond in the 170-pound weight class during the King of the Mat wrestling tournament held at Windsor High School, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Healdsburg’s Jacob Sloma, left, defeated Napa’s Alec Richmond in the 170-pound weight class during the King of the Mat wrestling tournament held at Windsor High School, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

By ALLIE COLOSKY

FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

It was a test of endurance for more than 300 wrestlers at the King of the Mat Tournament on Saturday in Windsor.

Only four wrestlers were able to record a pin in the finals, with the Windsor High School Jaguars beating out Spanish Springs for their second team win in as many years. The other 10 wrestlers in the finals were left dueling for the full three rounds.

One of those who had to endure the entire match was Healdsburg wrestler Jacob Sloma, ranked No. 1 in the 170-pound weight class heading into the tournament.

Sloma said he reached his goal for the day with his win in the finals.

“I just wanted to reach my full potential,” said Sloma, “and ranked first, people expect you to win.”

Sloma defeated Napa’s Alec Richmond 14-2 to win the tournament title and at one point had Richmond on his shoulders as he stood up straight.

Ranked fourth in the North Coast Section, a tournament win is a “step in the right direction,” he said.

“I’m really hoping to improve that,” Sloma added about his ranking. “That would be sweet.”

(See more photos from the tournament)

Windsor’s Noah Au-Yeung, currently ranked No. 1 in the North Coast Section, beat Bradley Smith from Eureka with a major decision to win the 126-pound weight class.

Au-Yeung was joined in the finals by teammates Auston Wilson and Beau Colombini, who won the 113- and 160-pound weight classes, respectively.

The Jaguars also recorded a final win as Dominic DuCharme battled for three full rounds to beat Ukiah’s Joey Gradek 7-1 in the 152-pound weight class.

“It was the top two guys,” DuCharme said of his final win, “and I just had to keep my top spot. This is definitely something to build on.”

2014 NCS finalist and Paradise High School standout Wyatt Wyckoff continued his successful campaign back to the finals, as he pinned Isaac Ruiz from Spanish Springs with 40 seconds left in the first period.

Lower Lake’s William Isaacs and Ukiah’s Nic Iversen held their positions steady, as neither wrestler could gain any ground on the scoreboard through the first two rounds.

“Knowing that Isaacs was going to go I was kind of worried,” said Iversen, “but heading into the tournament I wasn’t worried at all. As one of the top three guys, I’m expected to win.”

Iversen was able to hold Isaacs for the pin in a battle of the top heavyweights in the NCS.

“This just means that I’m better than I think I am,” Iversen said of his win.

Maintaining their energy throughout the day was a big obstacle for many and Sloma said it was hard not to want to fall asleep at some points, while it was the mental toughness that was more difficult for others to overcome at the tournament.

“I was trying to keep him (Isaacs) out of my head all day,” Iversen explained his toughest obstacle for the day. “We are good friends, but on the mat we have to be enemies, of course.”

For many wrestlers, the King of the Mat Tournament was a good measure of progress and a display of improvements need to be made as they chase the NCS playoffs at the end of the season.

“I’m just really working on being an animal on top,” Iversen said. “I know I had a problem with that last year and I’m doing better with that this year already.”

  • social glimpse

    One of our oldest sports…now dumped from “Olympics”, thanks to all those continuing the ancient noble sport of wrestling. Please send clips to Olympic committee to reinstate wrestling for games.