Placing in the top five in every weight class it entered, the Oak Harbor High School wrestling team won the 16-team Lynden Tournament Saturday, Jan. 19.
Christian Bertram and Cody Fakkema won their weight classes to help Oak Harbor, ranked 20th in the latest Washington Wrestling Report 3A poll, score 207 team points. Ninth-ranked Glacier Peak, which is the only team to defeat Oak Harbor in a dual match this season, finished second (182) and Mount Baker, ranked ninth in 1A, finished third (154).
Following Bertram (106 pounds) and Fakkema (132) on the podium were Josh Crebbin (160) and Jon Laningham (182) in second; Jahleel Vester (138), Mark Johnston (145), Jeremy Alonzo (195) and Kenny King (220) in third; and Jeremy Vester (126), Kekai Tarrant (152), C.J. Shavers (170) and Jackson Constant (285) in fifth.
Coach Mike Crebbin said his team is still dealing with illness but had an impressive weekend: "Everyone wrestled well and we are almost ready for the post season. The kids are experiencing the level of competition that if they make the smallest error, it can be the difference between a win or loss. Even the matches we lost, I was impressed with our improvement."
Jeremy Vester wrestled well in losing to Glacier Peak's sixth-ranked John Kim 4-3.
"If we remove a takedown that occurred in the last three seconds of the second round, we win that match," coach Crebbin said.
Sixth-ranked Josh Crebbin, who defeated the second-ranked wrestler earlier in the week, lost 3-1 to Meadowdale's top-ranked Morgan Smith. Smith defeated Crebbin 9-4 earlier this year.
Coach Crebbin said King "wrestled great" and "gained confidence and became more dominant."
He added, "Christian Bertram was another wrestler who really made the commitment to trust coaching and make the necessary changes in position and attack so he could perform at the next level. Also his conditioning was paramount to his win in the finals."
Bertram took his title with 10-0 and 9-5 wins before earning a fall in the finals.
Two falls and wins of 9-2 and 8-4 brought Fakkema his title.
Joshua Crebbin reached the finals with two pins, and Laningham won by fall and injury default before losing 5-2 in the finals.
Oak Harbor (13-1) closes out the dual season with two 7 p.m. road matches this week. First it goes to Everett Tuesday, Jan. 22, and then to Marysville Getchell Thursday, Jan. 24.
Other Oak Harbor Lynden Tournament results:
Jeremy Vester (126): won 15-0, lost 4-3, won by fall, won 9-0, lost 3-2.
Jahleel Vester (138): won by injury default, won 17-1, lost by fall, won by fall.
Johnston (145): won by fall, won by fall, lost by fall, won 9-6.
Tarrant (152): won by fall, lost by fall, won by fall, won by fall, lost by fall.
Shavers (170): lost 16-6, won by fall, won by fall, lost by fall.
Alonzo (195): lost 5-2, won by fall.
King (220): won by fall, lost by fall, won by fall, won by fall, won by fall.
Constant (285): lost 21-13, won by fall, lost by fall.