Sports

3 Mustang Wrestlers Earn All State Honors at Tourney

The Seidita-Lailari-Alaeddini express pulled out of the station for the final time this past weekend heading for Salem, Virginia, and the state wrestling tournament. By the time it reached the end of the line, the three George Mason senior captains had earned all state honors.

Ze’ev Lailari (160 pounds) made it all the way to the finals where he fell 3-2 to Zac Richey of Buffalo Gap. Danny Seidita (120 pounds) improved on his last year’s performance with a third place finish, and Alborz Alaeddini (145 pounds) finished in sixth place.

In the tournament’s opening round, all three Mason wrestlers won handily. Seidita and Lailari each won their next match to send them to the semifinals, but Alaeddini lost a 4-3 decision to eventual third-place finisher Nathan Tomlin of Parry McCluer. He came back strong, however, winning two more matches to pull himself into sixth place.

In the semifinals, Seidita lost 5-4 to Austin Compton of Grundy to send him to the consolation bracket where he responded admirably with two resounding victories which garnered him third place. The first was a 13-4 trouncing of Central’s Justin Peters and the second was a dominating 8-1 thrashing of Manassas Park’s Ember Gaitan, thus avenging a 4-3 loss to Gaitan the previous week in the Region B finals. Seidita finished the weekend with a 4-1 record. He also ended his career with 120 victories to place him second all time in Mason wrestling career wins behind 2006 graduate Nick Pitas, who finished with 123.

Lailari won his semifinal match 2-0 with a takedown in sudden death overtime against Madison County’s Anthony Jewett, last year’s 160 pound champion. In the finals he squared off against Zac Richey of Buffalo Gap, who he had bested 4-3 the week before in the Region B finals. This time it was Richey who prevailed by a margin of 3-2. Lailari’s second place finish was the highest a Mason wrestler has placed in the state tournament since David Ray won the title at 152 pounds in 2008.

Afterwards, Mason coach Bryan Harris had nothing but praise for each of his charges.

“All three of our guys gave it everything they had in every match,” Harris said. “That is what we teach and it is the only way they know how to wrestle. A coach couldn’t ask for a finer trio of wrestlers and I feel privileged to have been apart of their careers. They represent Mason wrestling in the best possible way. We will sorely miss their leadership and guidance.”

Seidita and Alaeddini were all state last year and by earning all state honors again this year they join just 14 others in Mason wrestling history to have won multiple state medals.

Both Seidita and Lailari are hoping to continue their wrestling careers at Williams College in Massachusetts. Alaeddini is contemplating MMA.

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