Hard work pays off

So what if the Oak Harbor wrestlers finished in the middle of the WesCo North pack with a league record of 4-4, they came through when it counted the most.

The Wildcat wrestling team nabbed second place with 276 points at the 4A North Sub-Regional tournament last weekend, behind Lake Stevens, who took first with 312.5 total points. The Cats beat out Mount Vernon for the second place spot by one-and-a-half points.

“We wrestled really well,” head coach Brian Farmer said. “We’re a young team, I was extremely pleased.”

With the 28 took competitors Oak Harbor took to the tournament on Friday afternoon, 24 earned matches on Saturday. Of those wrestlers, nine earned trips to the regional tournament this weekend in Snohomish.

Junior Patrick O’Brien (171) continued his dominating season by claiming the Cats’ only first place finish. O’Brien tore his way through the competition receiving three pins and a technical fall.

“He really dominated his weight class,” Farmer said.

Sophomore Chris Wichers (135) received a second place finish pinning three out of his five opponents. Wichers lost a hard-fought battle to Tyler Human of Lake Stevens in the final match.

Junior Tony Nicolas (140) also finished in second place after injuring his ankle. In his semi-final match against Mike Studley of Monroe, Nicolas twisted his ankle. He fought through the pain, claiming a double overtime victory. He was unable to compete in the final match however, as coach Farmer wanted to make sure Nicolas didn’t hurt himself worse. With a week of rest he should be ready for the regional tournament.

Sophomore Karlson Miller (103), junior Grayson Miller (125) and junior Blake Ward all advanced to regionals after receiving third place finishes.

Also moving on to this weekend’s tournament is junior Michael Davis (275), who finished fourth.

“Michael Davis beat some big boys along the way,” Farmer said.

Juniors Robert Tafflinger (152) and Ryan Lange (189) both finished fifth and will go on to regionals.

Rounding out the list of Wildcats who will get to attend the regional tournament are freshmen Robert Lemme and Bobby Pegues who will be alternates.

“This is a real tribute to our coaches and wrestlers for all their hard work,” Farmer said.

The regional tournament will take place at 5:30 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 14 and at 10 a.m. this Saturday, Feb. 15 at Snohomish High School.

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