If the Tahoma Bears go on to win the South Puget Sound League North Division wrestling title this season, they will owe a big thank you to Auburn coach Brian Peterson. The Bears enjoyed a...

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If the Tahoma Bears go on to win the South Puget Sound League North Division wrestling title this season, they will owe a big thank you to Auburn coach Brian Peterson.


The Bears enjoyed a reversal of fortunes Wednesday night after Auburn mistakenly had been awarded a dual-meet victory on tiebreaker criteria. And it was Peterson who walked back into the Tahoma gym to point out the error, some 10 minutes after the original decision.


“I think everyone in high-school sports should be very proud of the Auburn coach,” said Tony Davis, Tahoma athletic director. “I don’t think anyone would have known (about the mistake). … He came in and said, ‘You guys should have won this thing.’ It was really a classy thing to do. I was blown away by that.”


Neither Peterson nor Tahoma coach Chris Feist were available for comment yesterday. They were en route with their teams to Idaho for this weekend’s Tri-State Classic.


The teams finished in a 31-31 tie after Auburn’s Brett Young pulled off a major decision — good for four points — at 119 pounds, the final match of the night. Coaches and officials huddled to go through the tiebreaker criteria. The tie couldn’t be broken via the first two criteria (forfeits and unsportsmanlike conduct; there were none of either). Next was the number of pins by each team. At first glance, officials called that a 3-3 draw, which meant the match would be decided on which team had more technical falls. Auburn had one and was declared the winner.


In the parking lot, however, Peterson apparently combed over the results again and realized Auburn had just two pins (the other was the technical fall) and Tahoma had three. He came back to report the mistake. According to Davis, the scorebook had not officially been signed yet, and the error was discovered within 30 minutes of completion of the match. So, the change was made.


Auburn (2-1) came into the season ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, while Tahoma (2-0) was No. 5. Both are expected to have a shot at ending Enumclaw’s six-year chokehold on the division title. The Hornets (3-0) have extended their dual-meet winning streak to 51 despite heavy graduation losses, and they aren’t conceding anything this season.


“We’re going to see if we can keep it rolling,” Enumclaw coach Lee Reichert said. “Our goal is to win the league title again. The kids are working hard. I think it’s going to take a good team to beat us.”


Enumclaw faces two good ones back-to-back, at home against Tahoma Jan. 19, then traveling to Auburn Jan. 20.


Swim powers square off


Two of the top boys swim programs go head-to-head tonight at 7 as Mercer Island travels to Mount Rainier for a nonleague dual meet.


Mount Rainier is the two-time defending 3A state champion. Mercer Island won the title the year before. The Islanders were third at state last season and second in 2002-03.


This will be the schools’ seventh meeting in the past eight years, according to Mount Rainier coach Rick Wertman.


“It’s a tradition now,” he said. “We look forward to it. There should be some pretty fast swims.”


The Rams also have a nonleague meet Jan. 18 with O’Dea, last season’s state runner-up. Mount Rainier had 11 swimmers and divers contribute points to the 2004 title, and eight are back.


“This is a special class,” Wertman said. “We’re hoping to make a big splash again.”


Sandy Ringer: 206-718-1512 or sringer@seattletimes.com