Wrestlers place fourth at "Mad Mats" Tournament

Dec. 13, 2003, midnight | By Kristina Yang | 17 years, 1 month ago


After two days of intense matches, Blair's varsity wrestling team scored 182 points to place fourth out of 19 schools at the countywide "Mad Mats" tournament, an invitational competition hosted each year by Magruder High School. Eight of the 13 Blazers who entered the tournament placed in the top six of their weight class, and five placed in the top three.

Of the thirteen wrestlers, senior Hansel Cedeno (189) found the most success at the tournament, relying on agile footwork and lightning-quick takedowns to pin four consecutive opponents. Cedeno pinned Rockville's Patrick Haddon in 17 seconds to place first in his weight class; he also received an award at the end of the tournament for having the most pins in the shortest amount of time: a mere two minutes and seven seconds.

Two other Blazers, seniors Herb Morsha Taylor (275) and Muamba Muanankese (215), advanced to the final round along with Cedeno, but were unable to claim victories. Morsha-Taylor lost by three points to Gav Katsotis of Urbana after six minutes of grappling, while Muanankese was taken down by Churchill's Andrew Friedson in the last of three close rounds; both placed second in their individual weight classes.

Senior Cesar Sosa (119) and sophomore Josh Osorto (103) both placed third, though several teammates argued that Orsoto should have placed higher, contending that a questionable referee's call in the last second of his final match unfairly gave the win to Magruder's Zach Tolbert. Senior co-captain Scott Nguyen (112) placed fourth, while senior Alan Coleman (135) and junior Chris Fitzgerald (130) both took sixth.

Head Coach Jake Scott was very pleased with the team's performance at the tournament, which was also its first match of the season. "This was really a great start to the season," Scott said. "Lightweights, heavyweights, everyone did a great job and wrestled with a lot of heart."

Blair will compete in two more tournaments before the end of the season, the "Damascus Holiday Tournament" on Dec. 19 and 20 and Springbrook's "Grapple at the Brook" on Jan. 16 and 17. Its next regular-season match will be at home on Wednesday, Dec. 17, against Springbrook.

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Kristina Yang. Kristina Yang is 1/10 of the Blair girls' volleyball team. When not on the court, she most likely to be running away from Magnet math homework, trying to pay off her three speeding/redlight tickets, or feeding her bubble tea addiction. She would also like to … More »

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