Hazen wrestling team looks to get back to the Dome

December 5, 2014

By Staff

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NEW — 2:30 p.m. Dec. 5, 2014

Hazen wrestling kicks off the season Saturday at the Edmonds Invitational at Edmonds Woodway High School.

Hazen had its first state placers in more than a decade last year, and the squad looks to continue on that success as the 2015 season embarks.

The Highlanders return three state participants, as well as a handful of wrestlers looking to make a splash in the 3A state rankings.

Senior Derek Nichols will lead the team this year in the 138-pound weight class. Nichols has made two trips to the Tacoma Dome, and is eyeing a spot on the podium in his final year.

“Derek was on the mat all summer and has made tremendous strength gains over the summer,” said Hazen coach Rory Magana. “His technique is looking better than ever.”

Sophomore Tyson Mowrey is aiming for his second trip to the Mat Classic. He fell just one spot short of placing at state in the 3A 106-pound weight class last year.

Raven Svenson is looking to build on her seventh place finish at last year’s Mat Classic. She was just points away from placing even higher her freshman year, and Magana expects her to be a force in this year’s girls state rankings.

Magana also expects big things from Leo Palaganas (145), Nik Vargas (132), Anthony Scott (106), Eric Johannessen (220) and Paul Charbonneau (285).

Hazen’s practices have reached a whole new level this year, Magana said, and the program’s had its highest turnout ever, too.

“Our drilling is flowing, our freshmen and sophomores are soaking up technique like sponges,” he said. “Our wrestlers have a new energy to them that resonates in the room. The most exciting thing about this year’s team is the energy that they bring to every practice.”

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