Lincoln claimed two individual championships and qualified eight wrestlers for the Mat Classic at the 3A regional meet on Feb. 15 at Bonney Lake High School.
Senior 195-pounder Aliyas Fletcher won 15-5 over junior teammate Jeremy Lukosh, headlining the day’s success as the two will advance to the state tournament. Lukosh had outlasted Decatur’s Max Henry for a 9-8 win in the semifinals, while Fletcher squeaked past Peninsula sophomore Chance Stolz 3-1 in the other semifinal to advance. Senior Keidrick O’Bannon claimed the other championship for the Abes at 170 pounds, getting a 9-8 win over Decatur’s A.J. Sarno in the finals.
Senior 160-pounder Murad Vagabov was pinned by Decatur’s Brandon Zimmerman early in the finals, but had earlier scored wins over Bonney Lake’s Jared Miester and Jason Day to punch his ticket to the Dome. Lincoln senior Robert Mathews fell to Peninsula’s Kevin McPherson on a late pin in his opener, but recovered to claim third place and advance. Mathews edged Auburn Mountainview’s Yahya Mirazyi 4-3 in the consolation bracket, and got revenge with a 3-2 win over McPherson in the consolation final. Junior B.J. Hawthorne rattled off wins over Shelton’s Colton Paller, Foss’ Hien Ly and Peninsula’s Luke Holsinger to place third in the 182-pound bracket, and senior 285-pounder J.J. Saili took third with first-round pins over Bonney Lake’s David Smith and Peninsula’s Tre Starks. Abes freshman William Willsey pinned Decatur’s Joe Johnson in his opener and eventually qualified for state with a fourth-place finish at 220 pounds. Sophomores Marcus Wiley (138 pounds) and Solomon Sok (126) qualified as alternates to state for the Abes after taking fifth place.
After falling to Hawthorne, Ly qualified as an alternate for Foss at 182 pounds, pinning Enumclaw’s Levi Ward midway through the second round. Falcons teammates Clayton Nichols (160 pounds) and Joey Wurtz (132) fell just short of qualifying as alternates. Wilson’s Alex Gore fell 13-3 in the 152-pound fifth-place match to North Thurston’s Michael LaFrenier, who had earlier eliminated Wilson senior Brant Powers in the consolation bracket.
The Mat Classic takes place at the Tacoma Dome, beginning on Feb. 21 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m., and continuing on Feb. 22 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.