25 Federal Way wrestlers to compete at Mat Classic state tournament

The Mat Classic XXXIV tournament is held Feb. 17-18 at the Tacoma Dome.

Wrestlers from Federal Way will be representing in full force at the upcoming Mat Classic XXXIV State Championship tournament, hosted by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA).

The entire group of 25 wrestlers — 12 boys and 13 girls — will compete at the Tacoma Dome beginning Feb. 17.

All four Federal Way High Schools participated in the regional round of the wrestling postseason across three different locations on Feb. 11. The 4A boys traveled up to Lake Stevens and wrestled at Cavelero Mid High School. Meanwhile, 3A participated at Edmonds Woodway High School, and all girls wrestled at Todd Beamer.

Federal Way High School has the most representation at the upcoming state tournament with nine wrestlers competing at the next level, six of them from the girls’ team. The Eagles had a strong showing from 2022 state qualifier Cheyenne Wakeham, who won her weight division at 140 pounds. Federal Way had a single runner-up at regionals, Liana Wayman, who lost her finals match-up at 170 pounds.

On the boys’ side, senior Elias Rivera finished in third taking down Grayson James from Jackson High School. Federal Way’s Jason Page is the other Eagle making the main draw as Xander Matthews will be an alternate at state.

Decatur High School closely follows by sending eight wrestlers to state this year, five boys and three girls. Victor Santiago finished in third at the 126-pound weight class and was Decatur’s highest place at regionals. Nehemiah Washington and Anthony Zanders will also make the draw for the Gators.

Gator senior Ezra Veloria won her 135-pound regional bracket and goes into the state tournament with momentum as her record before state sits at 25-4, according to trackwrestling.com.

Thomas Jefferson High School was led by 132-pounder Kayle Bearson. Bearson won his regional bracket improving his record to 33-2 on the season. The Raiders also had two other boys qualify for the state tournament, CJ Trevino and Sulaiman Nasseri, who placed third and fourth respectively at regionals.

For girls, the Raiders had four athletes qualify for state wrestling. Junior Alyssa Xiong placed third as the highest finisher, however, Girett Perez-Espitia, Fatimah Aladilee and Dyvhette Fonoti will also represent the Raiders at the top level.

Todd Beamer High School will be represented at the state tournament by three wrestlers. Brother and sister Sekou Bangoura and Aissata Bangoura both finished in second place during the regional tournament. The Bangoura siblings are continuing the family legacy as last year their brother, Alhassan Bangoura, wrestled for the Titans. Andrew Zierath is the third wrestler representing Todd Beamer after he finished in fifth for the Titans at regionals.

The first round of state takes place at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 17, inside the Tacoma Dome (2727 E. D St. in Tacoma), and continues through the weekend. For more information, schedules or tickets, visit wiaa.com.