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Wildcat wrestlers stripped of title

"Oak Harbor High School had its 2000-2001 WesCo 4A wrestling title taken away Wednesday.Confusion over the two-pound weight allowance rule that was reinstated this past January resulted in the reversal of the final score in last week’s meet against Cascade, giving the Bruins the win — and the title. “It was just an unfortunate mistake that we regret making,” said Oak Harbor head coach Brian Farmer. According to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, high school, all wrestlers must be weight certified by a doctor the Friday before December 25 to establish the lowest weight class that a wrestler can safely compete at. The two-pound weight allowance rule was reinstated by the WIAA to allow for growth and holiday eating habits so that a wrestler can compete if their weight falls within two pounds of the class certified. Wrestlers cannot compete lower than the lowest certified class, however, but can compete in a higher weight class. Oak Harbor’s Kevin Lang wrestled at a weight class (103) lower than he was certified to wrestle at (112) during the Jan. 25 home meet against Cascade.“If we had realized we would not have had him wrestling in the weight class,” said Farmer. According to league president Greg Erickson, Oak Harbor reported the mistake to the league office that one of its wrestlers had violated the state rule Wednesday. As a result, the Wildcats forfeit the pin and bout between Lang and Cascade’s Jason Foster. The reversal of the six points turned a 33-26 victory for Oak Harbor into a 32-27 WesCo title for the Bruins.“It is unfortunate, and the difference between wining and losing,” said Oak Harbor High School Athletic Director Jeff Stone. “But it’s right there in the WIAA hand book.” The resulting records for each team placed them at 9-1, but the lone head-to-head matchup of the season went to the Bruins, hence the WesCo 4A crown. The WIAA’s stipulation that no wrestler be allowed to wrestle at a lower weight class was set forth so that rapid weight loss is discouraged. Oak Harbor coaches thought that Lang, who usually wrestles at 112, qualified for the 103 weight class because he weighed 104.2 at the time of the meet. Despite the reversal of the conference title, the Wildcat’s Brian Lang said his teammates know who the real champions are, and this won’t affect the way they approach post-season tournaments.“We don’t really care because we know that we beat them on the mat,” said Brian Lang. “They seem to be real happy with how they won but they will always know that we beat them on the mat.”The Wildcats traveled to Cascade for the District Tournament yesterday, and Districts will conclude later today on the Bruins’ home mat. "

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