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Hazen wrestlers just miss 3A title, send 10 male and two female wrestlers to regionals
Hazen Wrestling narrowly missed taking the 3A Kingco/Seamount Championship wrestling tournament by a margin of 4.5 points. Mercer Island edged the Highlanders out after re-taking the lead in the team points race late in the finals matches.
While the Highlanders fell short, they wrestled very tough despite the absence of wrestlers at 170 and 285 pound weight classes, according to their coach.
"If we had our 170 and 285 pound wrestlers there is no question that we take the title," said Coach Rory Magana in an email. "It is what it is…"
Hazen crowned three champions and had five finalists. The team will be sending 10 wrestlers and one alternate to the 3A regional tournament at Skyline next weekend. These 10 wrestlers will fight for their chance to chase a State Championship at the Tacoma Dome on Feb. 21 and 22.
In addition, Hazen will also be sending two girls to the female regional championship.
At 106 pounds, Tyson Mowrey won his bracket by pinning his way through. After trailing 2-0 through the first round, Mowrey elected to start in the neutral position. In dramatic fashion, he defended his opponent's shot and put him on his back at the edge of the mat in a defensive counter move. Tyson earned the fall just inside of the mat border. Mowrey is a freshman that Magana called an "awesome addition to the team." Mowrey earned a No. 1 seed in the regional championship.
At 138, Zach Moore won his bracket by earning a technical fall. He dominated his opponent to the point that the match was stopped in the third round because he had racked up a 15 point lead. Moore's technique was solid this weekend. He is only a thirrd year wrestler but he might be the most technically sound wrester Hazen's ever had, according to Magana.
At 182, Jairo Barahona wrestled the best tournament out of all of the Highlanders. In all of his matches, there was never a point where he was in trouble. He won his first match by first-round pin. In his semi-final match, he won by major decision in a match that we had been anticipating all season. He then dominated a really solid wrestler to get into the finals. In the finals he electrified the crowd when he hit a feet-to-back move so exciting that it shocked some and excited others.
"The best part about it was that he pinned a wrestler that he had been pinned by just a month ago, and he did it in the first round," Magana said.
With that pin, Barahona put Hazen in the lead for the team championship by 1.5 points. The lead was short-lived, however, as Mercer Island nailed down the team championship in the next match by pinning a Mt. Si opponent.
The Highlanders had two finalists who fell just short of the title, but Magana said he has the highest confidence both can turn the tables next time they wrestle.
Derek Nichols lost his 126-pound championship match to a very highly ranked two-time state tournament placer from Mercer Island. Malik Haythorne lost his finals match to another state-placer who was ranked high at 160 pounds. "Sometimes champions have to lose in order to stay grounded," Magana said.
In the female tournament, the Highlanders will send two girls to the regional championship. At 145 pounds, Shauna Barnhart took 3rd place. Barnhart has been battling injury all season, but has started to peak just in time, according to her coach.
"She's scrappy and isn't afraid to roll with the guys," Magana said.
At 155, Raven Svenson did what she's done all year: finished in the top three. Svenson took third place this weekend after losing a tight semifinals match to a Lindbergh wrestler.
Hazen results are:
106- Tyson Mowrey- Champion
113- Greyson Wittstock- 4th place
120- Thien Bui- 4th Place
126- Derek Nichols- 2nd Place
132- Nik Vargas- 4th Place
138- Zach Moore- Champion
152- Malik Haythorne- 2nd place
160- Daniel Palanciuc- 4th place
182- Jairo Barahona- Champion
195- Omar Orozco- 6th Place Alternate
220- Parker Trewet- 4th place
145- Shauna Barnhart - 3rd
155- Raven Svensen - 3rd