O'Brien moves on

Of the nine wrestlers Oak Harbor took to the regional tournament last weekend, only one is fortunate enough to move on with a spot in the state tournament.

“It would have been nice to take more kids but the competition was very good,” head coach Brian Farmer said. “We lost some close matches and the kids gave it a lot of heart.”

Junior Patrick O’Brien (171) won two of his four matches over the weekend to claim a fourth place finish and a spot in the 50th annual Mat Classic held this weekend at the Tacoma Dome. It will be the second year in a row O’Brien will make an appearance at the big show.

“I’m going, so I’m happy about that,” O’Brien said. “My goal now is to place in the top eight at state.”

O’Brien received a bye in the first round of regionals, won his second match by pin, lost his next match 13-5, won his next 9-4 and lost his final match of the tournament 7-3 to take fourth.

“Every guy is good when you get to regionals and state,” O’Brien said. “You find some things work and some things don’t work.”

Going into the state tournament as the fourth seed O’Brien will face a tough first-round opponent in a number one seed, James Pearson of Gonzaga Prep. O’Brien has never seen his opponent wrestle before but expects the competition to be tough.

Accompanying O’Brien to the state tournament will be sophomores Karlson Miller (103) and Chris Wichers (135). Both will be alternates for anyone in their region and weight class who gets hurt before the state meet. Miller and Wichers both grabbed fifth place finishes in the regional tournament, just one place away from gaining a guaranteed spot in the state meet.

Junior Tony Nicolas (140), who suffered an ankle injury in the sub-regional tournament finished in sixth place. Junior Blake Ward (189) was the only other Cat to finish in the top eight.

Overall Oak Harbor finished eleventh out of 25 teams on the day with 51 team points. Enumclaw won the tournament with 187.5 points, followed by WesCo North foe Lake Stevens with 146.5 points.

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