Edmonds-Woodway, Meadowdale medal at Mat Classic | Wrestling

LeCompte takes third, Zarei places fourth at 3A state tournament
By David Pan | Feb 22, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Meadowdale’s Aria Zarei attempts to spin out of the hold of Bishop Blanchet’s Zachariah Gomez during a 132-pound match at Mat Classic XXX Friday, Feb. 16, in the Tacoma Dome.

All of the hard work that Aria Zarei put in for the last four years paid off.

The Meadowdale senior wrapped up his high school career not only with an appearance at the 3A state wrestling tournament, but Zarei came home with a fourth place medal in the 132-pound division.

After recording a pin over Edmonds-Woodway’s Salihou Fatty in a consolation match, Zarei lost by fall to Mount Spokane’s Ky Haney in the third/fourth place match Saturday, Feb. 17, at Mat Classic XXX in the Tacoma Dome.

“It was a good way to end the season,” Zarei said of his fourth place finish. “I worked really hard for the last four years. I started off late in the sport. I made it up with the hard work. I feel good about fourth place.”

Zarei opened the tournament with a pin of Bishop Blanchet’s Zachariah Gomez at the 4-minute, 58-second mark and then defeated Kelso’s Jordan Miller 8-1 in a quarterfinal match on Friday, Feb. 16.

That victory sent the Meadowdale standout into a semifinal match against eventual state champion Austin Almaguer of Kamiakin, who won by a fall at 4:57.

“I’ve never been here before, so getting to the semifinals especially, was the best feeling,” Zarei said. “Every match was tough. … I had to battle every match. Every win was rewarding.”

The loss sent Zarei into the consolation bracket where he ended up facing Fatty for the third time in the last three weeks. Zarei won two of the three meetings – state and the Sub-Regional tournament.

“He’s a tough kid,” Zarei said of his district rival. “I was just happy to come out on top this time.”

Fatty rebounded from his loss to defeat Lakes’ Zander Coakley 8-2 in the fifth/sixth place match.

Two other Warriors earned medals. Junior Grayson LeCompte finished third in the 126 division, improving upon his eighth place finish at 120 in last year’s tournament.

LeCompte defeated Southridge’s Giovanni Penaloza 3-0 in the third/fourth place match.

The Edmonds-Woodway junior won 17-2 over Lincoln’s Jeremiah Duncombe in a first round match and then pinned Nathan Hale’s Huge Curtis in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals.

“Grayson did really well,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Brian Alfi said. “We felt going in that Grayson could have been in the finals.”

Mount Spokane’s Blake Haney, who went on to win the division, recorded a pin of LeCompte in the semifinals at the 4:40 mark. LeCompte rebounded with a 7-3 victory over Duncombe to advance to the third/fourth place match.

“He had a natural feeling for wrestling on the mat,” Alfi said of LeCompte. “He’s gotten better on his feet. He does a really good on top.”

LeCompte has the opportunity to become a three-time state placer next year.

Teammate Howie Hare finished eighth at 120. Hare won by disqualification in the first round before losing by fall to Mount Spokane’s Casey Howerton.

The Edmonds-Woodway sophomore then posted a 6-2 win over Everett’s Daniel Ramirez before being pinned by Mount Spokane’s Riley Buth. That loss sent Hare into the seventh/eighth place match, which he lost 8-6 to Bethell’s Ryan Brown.

“He’s worked incredibly hard to get better on his feet,” Alfi said. “He’s winning more of his takedowns. He has a good feel and he’s so methodical.He’s very good on his approach to things and he works hard.”

Freshman Baylor Denkinger went 1-2 at 106 in his Mat Classic debut. Senior Generous Yeh also went 1-2 at 220 and senior Robbie Simanton went 0-2 at 195. Edmonds-Woodway sophomore Vatoria Keyes went 1-2 at 235 in the girls tournament.

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