Grapplers easily outdo Arlington

It was all smiles in the Oak Harbor gym Thursday night and for good reason.

The Wildcat wrestling team completed its dual meet season with a dominating 60-7 victory over Arlington, putting their final team record at 7-1 in league and 10-1 overall.

They finished the season second in the WesCo North behind Lake Stevens, who was undefeated and the only team to beat the Wildcats.

“I’m real happy with our kids,” head coach Brian Farmer said. “They looked real good, I think they’ve peaked just right.”

OHHS dropped a hard-fought decision at 189 pound to start Thursday night’s meet, but rallied for eight consecutive victories to go ahead 36-3.

After receiving a forfeit at 215 pounds senior Russell Casimire got things rolling for the Cats, pinning Joe Klasse 32 seconds into the first round. Junior Karlson Miller followed with a first-round pin, only 44 seconds into his bout.

Other key victories during the hot start came from sophomore Bobby Pegues (112), sophomore Robert Lemme (119), senior Steven Lemme (125), senior Grayson Miller (130) and senior Chad Tacia (135).

After losing a decision at 140 pounds, the Wildcats had four straight pins to close the night.

Senior Tony Nicolas (145) started the streak, rallying in the third round to pin his opponent with 43 seconds to go. Seniors Tom Clark (152), Robert Taflinger (160) and Patrick O’Brien (171) closed the night out with big wins.

The victory couldn’t have been larger for O’Brien, who is the only Wildcat that advanced to the state tournament last year and needed the win to give himself a legitimate shot of returning.

“I had to win it for placement in districts,” he said. “This match puts me in good placing.”

Although Oak Harbor lost to Lake Stevens during the season, O’Brien believes his team could pull off a surprise or two in the upcoming district tournament.

“I think our team is good enough to take first at districts because everybody’s peaking right now,” he said. “We haven’t been completely there all year, but we’re just kind of rising up.”

The district tournament runs Feb. 6-7 at Snohomish High School.

189-Ritter (A) dec. Lange, 11-7; 215-Ward (OH) won by forfeit; 275-Casimire (OH) pinned Rogers, 1:28, 1st; 103-K. Miller (OH) pinned J. Goheen 1:16, 1st; 112-Pegues (OH) dec Guzman, 9-2; 119-R. Lemme (OH) dec T. Goheen, 12-3; 125-S. Lemme (OH) dec Woodard, 6-2; 130-G. Miller (OH) dec, Ericson, 18-9; 135-Tacia (OH) dec. Nickelson, 11-0; 140-Gudde (A) dec. Wichers, 16-7; 145-Nicholas (OH) pinned Spear, 1:17, 3rd; 152-Clark (OH) pinned Irwin, 1:27, 2nd; 160-Taflinger (OH) pinned Morin, :59, 2nd; 171-O’Brien (OH) pinned. Myers, 1:08, 1st.

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