Malik Haythorne shines for Hazen at Mat Classic XXVI

March 5, 2014

Malik Haythorne’s senior season of wrestling was emblematic of his entire Hazen High School team — growth was evident.

A year after failing to win a match at the state championships, Haythorne nearly wound up capturing a Class 3A state title. He settled for second place at 152 pounds as the Mat Classic XXVI wrapped up Feb. 22 at the Tacoma Dome.

By Greg Farrar Malik Haythorne (left), Hazen High School senior, works to get a takedown against Decatur senior Christian Aragon in his first round 152-pound bout during the 3A state wrestling championships Feb. 21 at the Tacoma Dome.

By Greg Farrar
Malik Haythorne (left), Hazen High School senior, works to get a takedown against Decatur senior Christian Aragon in his first round 152-pound bout during the 3A state wrestling championships Feb. 21 at the Tacoma Dome.

Haythorne’s tournament run began with a pin against Decatur’s Christian Aragon, progressed with a 7-5 overtime decision against Bainbridge’s Dylan Read, and reached the title bout with a 12-7 victory over North Central’s Cody Kiourkas.

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Hazen wrestlers tackle pancreatic cancer

January 2, 2014

Highlanders host annual fundraiser

From the moment wrestlers step onto the mat, a match becomes a one-on-one battle of skill between opponents.

It may seem like the ultimate individual sport as the athlete approaches the mat alone, but that couldn’t be farther from the case — just ask the Hazen High School wrestling team.

Contributed Rory Magana (second from left), Hazen High School wrestling coach, stands with his wife Alyssa, mother Susie and brother Kyle at last year’s Taking Down Pancreatic Cancer event.

By Rob Nichols
Rory Magana (second from left), Hazen High School wrestling coach, stands with his wife Alyssa, mother Susie and brother Kyle at last year’s Taking Down Pancreatic Cancer event.

“We all need each other in this sport, even if it’s an individual sport,” said Hazen senior Jairo Barahona. “In the end, we all depend on each other.”

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Liberty hires new wrestling coach

July 5, 2013

Liberty High School has hired Wright Noel as the wrestling coach, according to a release from Athletic Director Stark Porter.

Noel is not new to the Patriot wrestling team, having coached as an assistant for the past seven years.

“Wright is an excellent choice to lead the Liberty wrestling program,” Porter said in the release. “I’ve enjoyed working with Wright and look forward to his continued leadership.”

Noel, who has more than 20 years of coaching experience, replaces longtime coach Manny Brown.

 

Patriots’ wrestlers leave state battered, but better

February 28, 2013

Hazen sends three grapplers, down from eight last year

By Greg Farrar Joanna Moreira, Liberty High School sophomore, complete with nosebleed, is declared the 10-5 winner over Centralia’s Jenna Gillaspie in her first-round, 137-pound bout during the state 3A wrestling championships Feb. 15 at the Tacoma Dome.

By Greg Farrar
Joanna Moreira, Liberty High School sophomore, complete with nosebleed, is declared the 10-5 winner over Centralia’s Jenna Gillaspie in her first-round, 137-pound bout during the state 3A wrestling championships Feb. 15 at the Tacoma Dome.

 

Her face was caked in sweat, her shoulders had mat burns and her nostrils were leaking red. And yet, Joanna Moreira could not stop smiling.

The Liberty High School wrestler had just defeated Angelica Vaschenko, from Franklin Pierce High School, in the second round of consolation at the state tourney in Tacoma. The win, a 12-8 tussle of wills, assured that the 137-pound Patriot from São Paulo, Brazil, would finish better at state than in 2012.

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Hazen wrestlers defeat their rivals from Liberty

January 31, 2013

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.

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Hazen High School wrestlers fundraiser takes down cancer

January 31, 2013

Rodney Magana, Hazen High School wrestling coach Rory Magana’s father, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October 2010, and died from the disease just eight months later, in June.

In 2013, an estimated 45,220 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a disease that is expected to claim more than 38,000 lives in the coming year.

By Rob NicholsHazen High School wrestlers and coaches gather for a group photo after competing in the Taking Down Pancreatic Cancer event to raise funds and awareness for the disease.

By Rob Nichols
Hazen High School wrestlers and coaches gather for a group photo after competing in the Taking Down Pancreatic Cancer event to raise funds and awareness for the disease.

The fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, it has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. About 74 percent of patients will die within the first year of diagnosis and 94 percent will die within five years, according to the American Cancer Society.

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Liberty’s first female wrestler defies odds

January 2, 2013

By Laurel Bluhm
Joanna Moreira, Liberty High School sophomore (right), wrestles her opponent at the Auburn Mountainview Girls Tour in December.

Just a day before competing in last year’s Mat Classic, Liberty High School wrestler Joanna Moreira stood high up in the rafters of the Tacoma Dome and stared down at the 12 perfectly placed mats laid across the floor.

“I remember just looking at those 12 mats and saying, ‘I got this far, and tomorrow I’m going to dominate,’” she said.

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Hazen takes second in December tournament

January 2, 2013

Following a year when Hazen High School sent a record eight wrestlers to the state tournament, expectations are high for the 2013 team.

In early December, the Highlanders took second place at the Redmond Team Dual Tournament.

Derek Nichols, Hazen High School sophomore, has the top position in a match at the Redmond Team Dual Tournament in early December.
By Rob Nichols

Hazen went 3-1 for the day, defeating Henry Foss, Redmond and Federal Way high schools.

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Hazen High School sends school record eight wrestlers to state tourney

March 2, 2012

The Hazen High School wrestling team posted its most successful regional tournament performance ever after placing fifth out of 15 teams at the 3A Eastside Catholic Regional Feb. 11, advancing a school record of eight individuals to the Washington state tournament.

At 160 pounds, Andre Faciane and Jose Ramirez became the first pair of Hazen wrestlers to qualify for the state tournament in the same weight class.

Faciane became Hazen’s first regional champion under coach Rory Magana and the current coaching staff in a 17-8 major decision over Andrew Kennedy, of Bishop Blanchet.

Freshman Derek Nichols made it to the 106-pound finals but lost a down-to-the-wire battle (9-6 decision) to senior Justin Mah, of Franklin.

Zach Moore (113), Austin Clark (132) and Jose Ramirez (160) all took third while Daniel Karpman (138), Jeremy Guilbert (195) and Justin Russell (220) all took fourth place.

O’Dea ultimately won the match with 201 points.

The Hazen team finished second at the Seamount 3A wrestling championships Feb. 4, trailing behind Highline which won with 208 points.

Derek Nichols (106 pounds), Zach Moore (113), Austin Clark (132), Daniel Karpman (138), Andre Faciane (160) and Jeremy Guilbert (195) won 3A league titles at the match.

Liberty wrestler finishes sixth at Mat Classic

March 2, 2012

When the last chapter closed on the 2012 Mat Classic, all it said about Hamilton Noel’s performance was that the Liberty High School senior finished sixth in the 160-pound division at the Class 3A Tournament.

Not a word about his heart, of which he displayed plenty in the Tacoma Dome. Not a comma about his tears, of which there were a few. Not a period about how he stepped on the mat weakened by an unspecified ailment that made him look almost nothing like the champion that dominated at regionals.

At the end, the fact that Mercer Island’s Blake Johnson, the wrestler who won the 160-pound state title was the same one Noel defeated at the regional finals seven days earlier, seemed to do nothing but add insult to an already injured warrior.

In 2010, then-145-pounder Noel lost to Olympic High School’s Brandon Yeik, 13-7, in the state finals.

In 2011, 152-pounder Noel lost to Enumclaw’s Josh Musick, 6-2, in the state finals.

The win against Johnson was the fourth in five tries for Noel. Noel stepped onto the mat for the regional finals having won two of their three encounters this season.

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