Sports Zone

State titles remain top targets for Colts wrestlers

SPRINGFIELD – The Thurston Colts wrestling team has as much recent success as any program in the area. Under head coach Mike Simons the past three postseasons the girls won the state title in 2020 and ’21 before finishing second last year. The boys team finished 10th in 2020, second in ’21 and third last year.

The goal this year: Have both teams win the state title.

“That’s our goal all year long. We want to win a boys state title and we want to win a girls one,” Simons said. “A big part of a wrestling season is just keeping kids healthy and getting kids in the right weight classes. So many things have to happen, but we’re on course to do that.”

This season the Colts are led by three seniors. Vaun Halstead and Kolton Malone have been the leaders for the boys, and Kaylee Annis has led the girls.

“We have two returning state champs on the (boys) team and they’re both huge … It’s nice to know when you put somebody out there that, you know, 99.9% of the time, they’re gonna get six points for you in a dual meet,” Simons said. “(Kaylee)’s already a three-time state finalist. She was second as a freshman, and she was pretty disappointed about that just because she’s so darn competitive. Then she won back-to-back state championships and is going for her third this year. She would be our first three-time state champion at Thurston High School.”

Halstead and Malone both won individual state titles last year in Class 5A in 220- and 138-pound divisions, respectively. Annis won the 100-pound division as a sophomore and the 105 division as a junior.

It’s not easy to win a team title, there’s a lot that can go wrong in a season. Injuries, weight class problems and burnout just to name three.

“You want your kids to peak at the right time. If I push them too hard at the beginning of the season, before we get to the end they’re burned out,” he said. “We’ve had a pretty good system on having kids ready to compete at the state championships and regionals.”

Thurston hosted a tournament Saturday, with the team coming in second to Mountain View in the boys dual portion of the meet and the Colts finishing second to McKay in the girls tournament. Annis (110), Kristal Zamora (140), Izabella Castleberry (145) and Katelyn Dow (170) all pinned their way through the tournament for the girls.

Springfield also competed in the boys dual, finishing eighth. Michael Owens (152) and Diego Medina (285) went 5-0 on the day.



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