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Arlington grapplers place at Mat Classic
ARLINGTON — Arlington had some success in this year’s 4A Mat Classic State Tournament at the Tacoma Dome, on Feb. 21-22.
The Eagles had two wrestlers who placed, out of six wrestlers they sent to the Dome on Friday, Feb. 21. “We brought five good seniors and a sophomore,” Arlington head coach Rick Iversen said. “The State Tournament is a narrowing process.”
One of those wrestlers who placed was sophomore Jeremy Nygard, in the 106-pound weight class, who took third in State. “He dominated,” Iversen said.
From the start of the tournament, Iversen had high expectations for Nygard. Iversen predicted Nygard would take third.
The tournament didn’t start out so well for Nygard since he lost his first match by only one point. “It was his first defeat all year,” Iversen said. “Jeremy may take State for us two more times, but not this year.”
The game plan for Nygard was to keep the wrestler on his feet in the first match. “We knew we were better on our feet, but the kid got away,” Iversen said. “We almost had him several times, but we ran out of time.”
It was a rough start for Nygard, but he rallied to dominate his other two matches to finish in third. “Third isn’t so bad, out of all the kids in state,” Iversen said.
At the end of season, Nygard was 4-1 in State and 33-1 in the year, Iversen said.
Iversen said he was grateful to have the sophomore for two more years.
Senior Bryce Thomas placed eighth in State in the 138-pound weight class. He entered the semi-finals but didn’t progress. “He came in losing his first match, and lost two more,” Iversen said.
Iversen said he would miss the senior as he goes on to wrestle for the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo. “He is a wonderful kid and excels in everything he does,” Iversen said. “We won’t see another Bryce Thomas.”
The four other wrestlers who made it to State lost out on the first day before the semi-finals.
Senior captain Connor Gonzalez, in the 138-pound weight class, won his pigtail match to get into state but could not advance past the first day. Another senior captain was Scotty Bardell who lost out as well.
“I will miss them a lot for their leadership,” Iversen said.
Heavyweight junior Tyler was another wrestler who made it to State but could not progress past the first day. Iversen said Lindberg won the “most improved player award.” “His grades have improved along with his self-image,” Iversen said.
Iversen said Lindberg had a very strong season as a first-year varsity wrestler, and looks forward to having him next year.