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Posted on Feb 26, 2015

Rowell fourth at Classic

Kateri Rowell placed fourth at Mat Classic XXVII this past weekend in Tacoma.
The sophomore traveled all the way to the Tacoma Dome only to face a trio of opponents from her own region.
But before she faced the familiar foes, she opened with an 11-5 win over senior Grace Finley of Yelm and followed that with a 15-4 major decision against senior Emily Posey of Kalama.
Rowell, who has a season record of 23 wins and 14 losses, was kind of a mixed bag this season. Last week she limped into fourth place, barely qualifying for state. This week, she was the fourth best wrestler at 110 pounds, and that was against the top-16 wrestlers in the state.
“She’s a roller coaster,” said coach Troy Stephens. “When she’s on she can beat anyone. Even when she’s not she fights.”
Rowell entered the semifinals against Grandview’s Marrizza Birrueta. The senior pinned Rowell in the second round and went on to win her third straight state title.
Rowell dropped into the consolation round and faced senior Tamika Pierce of Richland. Last week, Pierce won their match-up with a pin. This past weekend, Rowell won 5-1. She scored all her points in the second round off a reversal and a three-point nearfall.
In the consolation finals, she lost to senior Amanda Gilliam of North Central, 20-13. The two were scoreless in the first period.
FYI- All five wrestlers Rowell faced at state earned medals.
Rowell (23-14) • 4th
110 pounds
Rowell d. Finley (Yelm), 11-5; Rowell md. Posey (Kalama), 15-4; Birrueta (Gview) p. Rowell, 2:44; Rowell d. Pierce (Rich), 5-1; Gilliam (NC) d. Rowell, 20-13.

Zahlee Stephens (22-12)
120 pounds
Stephens opened her first trip to the Dome with a third-period pin against sophomore Jaleen Roberts of Kent Meridian, but fell to senior Caitlin Horrocks of Skyview 13-0 in the quarterfinals. She was eliminated from the Classic after losing to senior Maritza Bravo of Centralia 9-0.
“It’s an accomplishment to make it this far,” said coach Stephens. “She is one of the few who has (from Quincy), especially where she started the year.”
Stephens p. Roberts (KentM), 5:03; Horrocks (Sky) md. Stephens, 13-0; Bravo (Cent) md. Stephens, 9-1.

-Kurtis J. Wood/sports@qvpr.com

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