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Boys Wrestling at the State competition

Headlined by multiple state tournament performers, the Ballard wrestling team had a season to remember
Ballard wrestling coach Jared
Junior Lazlo Davis-Rudin after finishing in fifth place at the state tournament.

One of the members who competed in the tournament was junior Hayden Wiggins. Wiggins, a three-year veteran of the wrestling program, is just one of many top-placing district wrestlers which the school boasts.
“I’ve never been more committed and dedicated to a cause in my life than I have for [Ballard] wrestling,” Wiggins said in an interview prior to a match.
For Wiggins, representing the school is something that he takes immense pride in. When he’s not sprawling and shooting takedowns, he finds many other ways to participate and help in the community.
“I played a total of three sports last year; wrestling, track and football,” Wiggins said. “Although I really liked and saw the team as a big family, football was my third sport so I dropped it in order to focus more on my primary sport, wrestling, but also track.”
Wrestlers put in an incredible amount of work day in and day out for their sport due to their desire to perfect their craft. Many come into the school two hours before their classes start to attend captain practices and gain an edge over their opponents.
“It’s challenging, but that’s not really what I think about,” Wiggins said. “It’s more about the reward for all the work you put in, and being able to win against anybody. That’s what’s in it for me.”
Wiggins has had a phenomenal season on the mat so far, and capped it off regionally with a third place finish at the Seattle Metro District tournament.

“It wasn’t the best result, because I definitely could have won [the tournament], but being the third best at my weight class in my city is still something that I think represents the sacrifice and time I’ve put in,” Wiggins said. “It’s just additional motivation.”
Ballard has had above average success in the Metro League during Wiggins’ tenure with the program. With the boys in red and black getting their hands raised becoming a frequent occurrence, the 2023-2024 season would not be an exception.

“We’re all here to compete,” Wiggins said. “I know that I push myself in practice, and I’m pushed by other people in practice, so we all in a way get better. In a sport like this, where it’s just you and the guy across [from you], I learn from my teammates, and that makes us one of the best teams in the city.”
One of his fellow teammates, Lazlo Davis-Rudin, had an exceptional performance at the Washington State Wrestling Tournament.
Davis-Rudin made school history at the tournament with his fifth place finish, becoming the first Ballard wrestler to place in the State Tournament since former UFC Heavyweight Champion Josh Barnett did back in the 1990s.
“It’s an honor to go to this school and wear the name on my chest,” Davis-Rudin said in an interview before the tournament. “Getting to compete at the biggest stage is something that is from the work that I put in. I like to have fun, but when it comes to getting better we all know we’ve got to lock in.”
For Davis-Rudin, wrestling has been his favorite experience that the school has to offer.
“Wrestling has always been the best [thing about Ballard],” Davis-Rudin said. “I love the coaches, and my teammates are some of the closest people I got.”
The wrestling team’s success is greatly attributed to their teamwork and willingness to cooperate and work with each other in uncomfortable circumstances. They no longer look back to their early morning practices and daily conditioning as challenges, but rather as blessings that got them to their newly found success.

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