By David Pan/Lynnwood Today editor
Lynnwood’s Manual Vasquez was extremely disappointed.
Caught by surprise in his semifinal match, the Lynnwood senior found himself at the wrong end of a cradle move and was pinned.
But Vasquez regrouped and then recorded his second pin of the day to finish third in the 220-pound division at the Panther Classic wrestling tournament Saturday at Snohomish High School.
Vasquez was the only Lynnwood wrestler to place in the tournament.
“I don’t think I’ve reached my potential,” Vasquez said. “I could have done better but my overall finish was good. I came back after losing pretty bad.”
Vasquez made quick work of Westview’s Eli Hirning, recording the pin in 51 seconds.
“I took him down and put him on his back,” Vasquez said. “It was a quick pin.”
The Lynnwood standout improved to 13-6 overall. Last year Vasquez finished the regular season 7-7.
“He wrestled really well the entire time,” said Lynnwood coach Trace Regan. “The match he lost, he got caught and that happens. He’s been superb in practice. He’s bringing it to the mat and it shows. He’s having great tournaments and great dual meets.”
Hunter Lord (160), Mahdi Shahhasioni (195) and Oscar Trombert all advanced to the semifinals but lost. Shahhasioni and Trombert also both lost their third-place matches. Since Lord’s overall match count is getting higher (wrestlers are limited to 33 a season) he did not wrestle in the third place match.
“This is the toughest tournament that we’re going to all year,” Regan said. “There’s some really good quality wrestling going on.”
Lynnwood placed 13th overall. Snohomish finished first.
The tournament came a day after Lynnwood defeated Kamiak 43-33 in a Wesco 4A dual meet at Kamiak High School. Regan previously coached the Knights.
“Our guys really stepped it up,” Regan said. “We asked some guys to do some special things, hard things, to make certain weights and then some guys got injured and others had to step in.”
Lynnwood only has 19 wrestlers on the team and wasn’t expected to challenge Kamiak.
“We wrestled our butts off,” Regan said. “It was really nice to go back and see all my friends at Kamiak High School and go and compete against them.”
Added Vasquez, “We all worked as a team. We all motivated each other. It was great. We set the tempo and went after it.”