Hazen wrestlers defeat their rivals from Liberty

January 31, 2013

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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By Greg FarrarAbdu Mukhammadjonov (right), Hazen High School sophomore, is about to have his pin awarded in his 113-pound bout against Liberty freshman Kyle Armstrong during their Jan. 15 match.

By Greg Farrar
Abdu Mukhammadjonov (right), Hazen High School sophomore, is about to have his pin awarded in his 113-pound bout against Liberty freshman Kyle Armstrong during their Jan. 15 match.

BAs the nation struggles through a particularly aggressive flu season, many Liberty and Hazen high school wrestlers know only too well the ailments that accompany the illness.

The flu knocked out a good portion of the Liberty wrestlers, and the Highlanders were not exactly healthy themselves, when the two teams squared off Jan. 15.

“It was tough, but the guys that did go out on the mat worked hard and we had a few wins, but we didn’t quite come out on top like we would have liked to,” Liberty coach Manny Brown said.

Hazen emerged as the victor, winning, 46-27, against Liberty, its Renton rival.

“We didn’t have our full lineup against Liberty, but we were able to get some good matches for our kids,” Hazen coach Rory Magana said. “Overall we wrestled better than we have been.”

Abdu Mukhammadjonov, Peter Scheau and a recovering Zach Moore all had pins for Hazen, while Derek Nichols won his match by decision.

“Zach Moore at 120 put in a real good performance,” Magana said. “He’s been pretty sick and that was his first match back, and he looked pretty crisp.”

The wins were particularly sweet for Mukhammadjonov, who notched his first varsity win, and Scheau, who has seen time on both varsity and junior varsity squads this season, Magana said.

“Scheau’s been wrestling pretty tough, even though he’s not always a varsity guy, he’s getting the job done,” Magana said.

Hazen sophomore Nichols defeated his Liberty opponent, 9-5.

“Derek is only a sophomore, but he ended up getting the victory against a senior, so it was a tough win,” Magana said.

Both Alejandro Tachiyama and Zach Toombs had pins for the Patriots, while Conner Small, Alec Bluhm and Zach Arthur won by decision.

“Zach Toombs came through for us,” Brown said. “He hasn’t been as healthy as we’d like to see him, but he bit the bullet and came through for us in that match.”

Tachiyama is a first-year wrestler and 285-pounder who stepped up in a big way for the Patriots, Brown said.

“He came through as a heavyweight,” Brown said. “Fortunately, we have two heavyweights this year. One of them was ill, so Alejandro pinned for 285.”

The 152-pound Small defeated his Hazen counterpart, 8-1. The Highlanders actually brought their 145-pounder up to wrestle Small, to give both wrestlers a different challenge, Brown said.

“I commend them for that. They didn’t have to do that,” he said. “But, when you get to a point where it’s getting toward tournament time, you want to try and get those good matches in so that you push wrestlers a little bit more.”

The rivalry between the two Renton schools is more of a friendly one, Brown said.

“We are kind of working on that rivalry and getting more involved,” he said. “We are neighbors, so there is a little bit of a pride thing going.”

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