Regional wrestling canceled; qualifiers advance to state

By: 
Roger Harnack
Publisher

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association has canceled regional wrestling tournaments statewide because of wintry conditions.
"Due to the weather conditions, the WIAA has canceled all boys and girls regional wrestling tournaments in the best interest of safety and equal opportunity for all participants," an announcement from the organization said Friday morning, a day before they were slated to begin.
All regional qualifiers now automatically qualify for the state Mat Classic on Feb. 14-16 in the Tacoma Dome. Each weight will include a 32-entry bracket.
WIAA officials hope to announce the revised Mat Classic schedule Monday.
The announcement comes after the National Weather Service forecast of wintry conditions blanketing most of the state.
A winter storm warning is in effect for the North Cascades, including Okanogan County. That county was set to host one of the regional tournaments for 1A and 1/2B wrestlers.
Colville, Deer Park, Riverside and Lakeside competitors would've been heading to Omak High School for their regionals.
The 1/2B regionals that included Northeast Washington were slated to take place at Oroville High School.
Kettle Falls, Jenkins (Chewelah), Mary Walker (Springdale), Republic, Curlew and Selkirk were among the teams competing there.
Most Northeast Washington teams would have had to cross Sherman Pass to get to Omak or Oroville.
At an elevation of 5,574 feet, Sherman Pass is the highest pass open year-round. The forecast for the pass was for 3-5 inches of snow over the next 24 hours, according to the weather service. Winds of up to 20 mph were forecast to create near-white out conditions.
The girls regional was scheduled to take place in Othello, which is also under a winter storm warning, and in an area where 8-12 inches of snow is forecast.
The winter storm warning and winter weather advisories elsewhere in Eastern Washington are in effect until 4 p.m. Sunday.

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