This past weekend at the Region B wrestling tournament held at Strasburg High School, three George Mason High School wrestlers qualified for the Group A state wrestling tournament, and one took home the Region B Championship.
By placing in the top four of their respective weight classes senior captains Danny Seidita (119 pounds), Alborz Alaeddini (145 pounds), and Ze’ev Lailari (160 pounds) will advance to the “big show,” which is being held in Salem, Virginia.
Seidita, the winner of last week’s district tournament and defending Region B champion, was upset at 120 pounds and finished in second place. In a rematch of the Bull Run District finals, Ember Gaitin of Manassas Park used a two-point near fall late in the third period to break a 2-2 tie. Seidita closed the gap with an escape, but could not gain a takedown and Gaitin prevailed 4-3.
Alaeddini placed third, an improvement over his fourth-place finish at last week’s Bull Run District tournament. An 8-2 decision over Appomatox’s Bryan Chapman and a 5-3 squeaker over Shenandoah District champion Ty Wade of Riverheads advanced Alaeddini to the semi-finals, where he lost to eventual champion Myles Carlos of Manassas Park 12-5. In the wrestle backs, he beat Clarke County’s Johnny Longerbeam 5-2 to take third place.
Lailari, who came into the tournament as the Bull Run’s third-place finisher at 160, emerged as Mason’s lone champion. In his first match he easily handled Stonewall Jackson’s Zack Hensley 10-0. A second round 13-8 decision over River District champion Mark Fitzgerald of Chatham landed him in the semis with a rematch against Clarke County’s Ben Wallace, who pinned Lailari in last week’s district tournament. On this day, however, the tables were turned and Lailari ousted Wallace from the championship bracket with a 6-2 victory. In the finals, Lailari was the obvious underdog against last year’s state runner-up and this year’s top ranked Zach Richey from Buffalo Gap. It was a tense match for the entire six minutes. Lailari scored an early takedown to go up 2-0. A quick escape by Richey brought the score to 2-1, where it stayed until the end of the first period. A quick second-period escape by Richey knotted the score at 2 and the period finished at that score as neither wrestler could secure a takedown. An escape in the third period by Lailari pushed the score to 3-2 in his favor. After successfully fighting off several takedown attempts by Richey, Lailari claimed the Region B Championship by a margin of 3-2.
The three Mustangs are now off to Salem for the State tournament which will be held on Friday and Saturday at the Salem Civic Center.