Wrestlers are silhouetted against a black wrestling mat during the Mat Classic XXXIII on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 in Tacoma, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)

Wrestlers are silhouetted against a black wrestling mat during the Mat Classic XXXIII on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022 in Tacoma, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)

Wrestling: 2022 Kent season preview

Every school in Kent had at least one wrestler qualify for last season’s Mat Classic.

Wrestling season, along with the rest of the high school winter sports season, is right around the corner. Here’s a recap of last season that reviews the furthest finishers for each Kent school along with a look at the current season and each school’s first home competition.

Every single school in Kent had at least one wrestler qualify for the 33rd annual Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome last February. In the overall final standings at the 4A level, Kentwood finished 23rd. Kentridge finished nine spots behind them, coming in 32nd place. At the 3A level, Kentlake nudged their way into the top 25, finishing in 24th place. And Kent-Meridian finished tied for 39th.

In the regular season, Tahoma outlasted Kentwood for the number one spot in the league. Kentwood finished 8-1, Tahoma finished 5-0. Kentridge finished fifth, just ahead of Federal Way High School. The Chargers ended the 2022 season with a 1-5 overall record. In the other division, Kent-Meridian finished second with a 3-1 record, and Kentlake also finished tied for fourth with a 1-5 record.

In the state tournament, there were two wrestlers who placed in the top four in their respective weight classes. Kentlake senior Erik Engstrom finished fourth in the 220-pound weight division at 3A, and for Kentwood, their fourth place 4A finisher was senior Zhumali Chakhlov, who competed in the 285-pound division. Junior Yasar Faizi out of Kent-Meridian came in fifth place at the 152-pound weight class in 3A.

There were three wrestlers who all came in seventh as well and all three are from different schools. At the 4A level, junior Griffin Walden was Kentridge’s furthest finisher at the 113-pound class, while 220-pound sophomore Chase Baker placed in seventh for the Conquerors of Kentwood. Kentlake also had another wrestler place, senior Caden Laudermilk, who wrestled in the 285-pound weight class, finishing in seventh. Sophomore Sarah Wright from Kentwood was the only female from any Kent high school to compete at the Tacoma Dome; she advanced to the third round.

In the upcoming season, second place Kentwood looks to continue its solid 2022 season. The Conquerors’ first home match is Dec. 1 against Rogers High School. Staying in 4A, Kentridge starts its season off against crosstown rival Kentwood on Nov. 30. Kent-Meridian starts its season playing host to Todd Beamer on Nov. 30. For Kentlake, its first match of the year is hosting the 2022 regular season champs, Tahoma, also on Nov. 30.

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