Arlington grapplers bow out early at Mat Classic

TACOMA — The Eagles had a rough Day 1 at Mat Classic XXIII on Feb. 18.
Arlington wasn’t able to advance a wrestler to the second day of the state wrestling tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

“It is what it is,” said Arlington coach Shaun Williams. “You come here, and of course I’d like to win three gold medals, but I know that probably isn’t going to happen. We had the ability to place some guys, but sometimes things don’t go your way.”

Arlington brought three wrestlers to this year’s Class 4A state competition and the highlight came from freshman Bryce Thomas who showed patience and persistence when he needed it to force a 6-4 win over Adam Romano of Graham-Kapowsin in the first round of the 119-pound bracket.

Thomas then took a loss to Central Valley’s Colton Orrino in the second round and took Kentridge senior Nick Aliment into overtime before eventually losing 4-3.

“That is the kind of effort I would expect out of everybody,” said Williams of Thomas who trailed early and had to attack the final two rounds and overtime to stay in the match. “He did really well for a freshman and it being his first time here.”

Arlington sent another freshman at 119 pounds, Connor Gonzales, who look an early loss to Bryce Evans of Rogers and Beau Gleed of Moses Lake.

“I think sometimes when the younger guys get here, they realized their goal and they are happy with how far they’ve gotten — because it takes a lot of skill to get here,” said Williams. “I think that happened to (Gonzales), he got caught up with everything around him.”

Finally, senior Nathan Shortt made his second straight appearance at state, but took a loss to Thomas Jefferson’s Zeke Nistrain and then to Federal Way’s Joseph Coronell in a close, 14-12 match.

“I think Nathan is happy with where he was this year,” said Williams of the 152-pounder. “It’s been a long year for him and I think he’s happy to be done.”

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