Interlake Saints 132-pound wrestler Aidan Campana is completely focused on advancing to the Mat Classic 3A state wrestling tournament this February at the Tacoma Dome.
Campana, who fell one match short of advancing to the state tournament last year, captured first place in the KingCo 3A 132-pound championship match courtesy of a 13-2 win against Redmond’s Jobe Zuniga on Feb. 3 at North Creek High School. Campana said the KingCo tournament was much tougher this season than in previous years.
“Before it wasn’t even a full weight class,” Campana said of the KingCo tournament 132-pound division. “This year we had pigtails (matches to grant admission to the tournament) and guys dropping down from different weight classes. It was a good challenge for me to set myself apart from other wrestlers and get ready for the next competition. It is a really big opportunity for me.”
Campana is excited for the regional tourney, which will take place from Feb 9-10. Last season, Campana lost 6-5 at regionals with a berth to the Class 3A state tournament on the line.
“That just told me I needed to push myself even harder. That is what I have done this year. I worked out every day in the offseason and I think it just helped me out this year and has been the biggest part of my success,” Campana explained. “My goal is to make it to state (tournament) and place.”
Interlake grappler Cole Manchester defeated Mercer Island’s Eli Pruchno 10-2 in the KingCo 3A 138-pound title match. Manchester said he had previously lost to Pruchno the past two times they faced each other.
“I made some mistakes in my first two matches. I watched tapes, learned and improved. That was all there was to it,” Manchester said of his win against Pruchno. “I knew I needed to have a comeback match. What a better place and time to do it. I want to be a role model for my little brother (Luke). He means the world to me. It really shows the fruits of your labor when you work hard consistently.”
Interlake wrestlers Lucas Varela (160), Nathan Burns (182), Alexis Anaya (220), captured second place in their respective weight classes at the KingCo 3A tournament.
Newport wrestler Matthew Dalton captured first place in the KingCo 4A 132-pound title match, registering a pin in the third around against Inglemoor’s Anthony Bautista. Dalton, who has wrestled for the Knights for the past four seasons, was mobbed by teammates and friends along the edge of the mat following the triumph.
“It is my last year wrestling so it is great to just come out here and be able to tell people that I got this,” Dalton said of the individual KingCo title. “It was pretty important to me. Last year I took third place.”
Newport 285-pounder Charlie Baumann pinned Issaquah’s Brandon Lee in the first round of their championship match.