Kaess reaches the absolute pinnacle on the mat

Mount Si sophomore Tryon Kaess captures a state title.

Mount Si Wildcats sophomore Tryon Kaess never forgot what happened to him at the Mat Classic Class 4A state wrestling meet in 2018.

Kaess, who went 0-2 in the Class 4A 106-pound tournament last season, was determined to improve his performance this year on the mat.

Kaess simply rose to the occasion with everything on the line.

Kaess cruised to a 7-3 victory against Davis grappler Jaden Sanchez in the Class 4A 106-pound title match on Feb. 16 at the Tacoma Dome. Kaess dominated the entire championship showdown. He led 2-0 after the first round and had a sizable 5-0 advantage after the second round.

“I just tried to stay calm, keep my composure and wrestle smart. I really knew what I wanted to do out there. I wanted to score (points) with high-percentage moves and not on high-risk moves,” Kaess said. “I worked really hard for it (state title). I’m glad I have it.”

Kaess, who said he weighed just 98 pounds last season, said gaining weight helped him significantly in his second consecutive state tournament appearance.

“Last year I went two and out and was just 98 pounds. I’m not 98 pounds anymore, so that is nice. Our coaches had us do a lot of workouts throughout this season and that helped a lot,” Kaess said.

Due to the snowstorms in the North Bend/Snoqualmie region over the previous week prior to the Mat Classic, the Wildcats team didn’t get much practice time in. The lack of preparation didn’t deter a determined Kaess. The sophomore stalwart grappler has already set his goals for his upcoming junior and senior years on the mat.

“I want to be a three timer (three-time state champ) and wrestle D-1 in college,” he said.