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Diaz, Almachar in Mat Classic top seven
TACOMA — Marysville Getchell’s wrestling program sent three wrestlers to the Mat Classic XXV State Wrestling Tournament at the Tacoma Dome on Feb. 15-16 and two of those wrestlers finished in the top eight in their weight divisions.
Senior Alfredo Diaz took second place in the 285 weight class. He outscored Highline’s Dom Perry 13-0 in the first match and pinned North Central’s Patiole Pesefea in 4:58 in his second match. He pinned Glacier Peak’s Moses Fifita in 3:46 in the semifinal match and moved on to the final match against Decatur’s Kyle Gleed but an injury defaulted the victory to Gleed.
“Well Alfredo’s been solid all season,” said head coach Todd Freeman. “He lost two matches all year and one was by injury default. In his final match at state he was ahead 3-2 halfway through the second round and he caught a heel right between the eyes so he was knocked unconscious for about 15 seconds. With the new rules there was just no way he could continue to wrestle.”
Both Gleed and Diaz were set to compete at the state meet last year, but Diaz was injured the night before the event and Gleed was disqualified right after weigh-in.
“It’s interesting that they both couldn’t compete last year and ended up wrestling each other for the title this year,” said Freeman. “They made the most of it that’s for sure.”
Senior Billy Almachar took seventh place in the 113 pound weight class. He outscored Kelso’s Tyler Workman 6-5 in his fist match. He was outscored by Kamiakin’s Cesar Castillo 9-6. Almachar moved on to pin Stanwood’s Nathan McCaughan in 35 seconds. He was then outscored by Mountain View’s Benjamin Dixon 12-8 in his final match.
“Billy wrestled at 120 pounds all year until the end when he wrestled at 113,” said Freeman. “He had four losses this season and they were all to guys who were 120 pounds.”
Almachar’s success at state is even more exceptional due to the fact that he had to overcome not one but two illnesses in the postseason.
“He was sick for districts and then he got healthy for regionals. Monday at practice you could tell he wasn’t feeling very good,” said Freeman. “He got the norovirus, which is a lot like the stomach flu.”
“He came back on Friday and because he was still dehydrated in his first match his legs cramped and he had to work through that. He was cramping all day. The next day after we were able to get him completely hydrated he had two more matches and he won one and lost one. To be able to place in the top seven with being sick says a lot.”
Senior Cody Stone qualified for state in the 170 pound weight class.
“We bumped him up to 170 because we saw that 160 was a really tough class this year. He was eating everything he wanted but still only got up to 164.” Stone was outscored by University’s Austin Stannard 7-0 in his first match. In his second match, Stone pinned Prairie’s Ronnie Evenden in 3:23.
“He pinned a guy and that was our first pin at state since we are a second-year program,” said Freeman.
Freeman is proud of what the team has accomplished since the start of varsity sports at MG.
“We’ve got a really solid group of freshman and sophomores,” he said. “This year we got three to state so my goal for next year is to get six. We peaked at the right time. For a second-year program to have wrestlers placing at state it really speaks well for the work ethic of these kids.”