Edmonds-Woodway girls host their first-ever dual wrestling meet

Junior standout Keyes wins back-to-back tourney titles
By David Pan | Jan 31, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Edmonds-Woodway’s Emily Hood attempts to break free from the hold of Mariner’s Tina Tran in a 105-pound match during the first-ever dual meet hosted by the Warriors Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

A night of firsts left the Edmonds-Woodway girls wrestling team brimming with confidence and encouraged about the future.

The Warriors hosted their first-ever dual meet against a combined Kamiak and Mariner squad Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

The visitors handed the Warriors a 45-30 loss after taking an early lead by winning the first three matches. Edmonds-Woodway, however, finished strong, recording three pins in the final four matches.

Junior Vatoria Keyes, a two-time state participant in the 235-pound division, was impressed by how her teammates competed in their first home meet.

“I thought it went really, really well,” said Keyes, who won by forfeit. “We wrestled good. We used the moves that we’ve been practicing and they were all really confident and excited to be there. It’s really cool.”

Senior Charlotte Torio recorded a pin over Mariner’s Alondra Gonzalez at 145. Junior Destinee Harris won by fall over Mariner’s Brenda Martinez at 155 and junior Kendell Summers also pinned Mariner’s Gracelynn Dawson at 190.

Keyes was glad to see four years of hard work pay off for teammate Torio.

“She’s been on the team all four years,” Keyes said. “It’s really cool to see her be able to wrestle a whole match in the pit.”

Hosting their first-ever home match was something the Warriors were looking forward to for a year, coach Terry Ray said.

Wednesday’s match lived up to the expectations.

“Our girls performed really well,” Ray said. “They went out with the necessary aggressiveness that we wanted to see. Nobody went out afraid. It was a really good match for us.

“Overall, every girl that went out did a really great job. They worked their plan. Keep in mind, we have some really young wrestlers on the squad.”

One such wrestler is Harris, who came out for the team for the first time this year.

Edmonds-Woodway started out the year with 24 wrestlers but came into last week with 18 after injuries forced some to the sidelines.

“The goal for next year is getting 40 girls out and go for it,” Ray said. “We’re getting some excitement about wrestling and girls wrestling in particular.”

Ray added that he’s hoping that some siblings of current members will be joining the team, which is composed mainly of juniors and sophomores.

“A majority of our team are first-year wrestlers,” Keyes added. “The improvement I’ve seen this season is spectacular. They’re going out and wrestling like they’ve been doing this their whole lives.”

Keyes looks to be peaking at the right time. The Edmonds-Woodway junior has won back-to-back tournaments – finishing first at the Everett Lady Classic on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Everett High School and the Lady Knights Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Mariner High School.

Keyes won a 2-1 decision over Thomas Jefferson’s Goddess Ma’Alona-Faletogo in the 235 finals at Everett.

“Last year, I wrestled her and she beat me,” Keyes said. “I felt really confident that I could beat her. That confidence really carries me through the match.”

Keyes followed up with a 12-4 majority decision over Federal Way’s Tanae Hitchye in the 235 finals at the Lady Knights Invite.

“We were both kind of equally matches in strength,” Keyes said.

After opening with a pin, Keyes won 7-1 and 6-5 decisions to advance to the finals.

“I don’t usually go to the third round in my matches, so today was kind of a tough day,” Keyes said. “But I feel I wrestled really well.”

Up next for Keyes and her teammates are the Sub-Regionals Friday and Saturday, Feb. 2-3 at North Creek High School in Bothell.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.