Home sweet home. At least that’s how Manuel Veiga-Diaz and Sam Dittmar must feel. In celebration of George Mason’s first home meet of the year both wrestlers took the opportunity to display their prowess in front of the home fans this past Saturday and came away with perfect 4-0 marks.
In doing so, they led their Mustang teammates to a 3-1 dual meet mark for the day as Mason ran its season dual meet record to 7-4.
After a slow start and a first round 46-26 loss to Lee High, Mason ran off three straight victories, downing Fauquier 43-32 and Kettle Run 54-25, before finishing the day with a dramatic come from behind 35-32 victory over Mount Vernon.
In that match-up, Mason entered the final bout of the event trailing 32-29 and needed at least a major decision by 112-pound wrestler Danny Seidita to claim the team victory. Knowing what was on the line, Seidita came through with a fall at the 1:40 mark of the first period to send the Mason fans home happy and run his day’s record to 3-1 and his season mark to 13-4.
Several other Mustangs also did well, with Natan Lailari, Mikey Larcamp, Keiyon Tyler and Jackson Thomas all going 3-1 for the day. But it was Dittmar and Veiga-Diaz who stole the show.
Wrestling up at 215, Dittmar had perhaps his finest day as a Mustang wrestler, going 4-0, of which two victories were pins. But it was the 13-8 decision that turned the tide in the Kettle Run match and most impressed Coach Bryan Harris.
“I’ve never seen Sam look better,” said Harris, “He battled a really good kid back and forth and finally came out on top. I think he won that one on sheer determination.”
He added, “That match really got us going and the momentum it generated carried over into our match with Mt. Vernon.”
In that final match-up of the day, Dittmar capped his perfect day with a pin in the second period.
Veiga-Diaz, who is beginning to hit his stride, also went 4-0 and came up just short of a wrestler’s hat
trick, having to settle for a 16-1 technical fall to go along with his 3 pins. In doing so he ran his season record to 14-3.
“Manuel improves with each match.” said Harris. “He learns something every time he steps on the mat and today he looked really comfortable and confident. I don’t think there is a 189 anywhere who is looking forward to meeting him now.”
Saturday also saw the Varsity debut of sophomore Keiyon Tyler, a summertime transfer to Mason. Tyler ended up going 3-1 on the day and his efforts had Harris in a good mood.
This Friday and Saturday, Mason will travel to Spalding High School in Maryland for the “Cavalier Duals,” a two-day dual meet tournament which includes a number of Maryland’s top schools. The Mustangs will wrestle eight dual matches over the course of the tournament.