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Wildcats win thriller | Wrestling

Carl Caidic's pin in the final match lifted the Oak Harbor High School wrestling team to a 33-30 win at Marysville-Pilchuck Thursday, Jan. 16.


The 17th-ranked Wildcats (2-0, 5-1) trailed the 11th-ranked Tomahawks (0-2, 6-6) by three points heading into the last bout, then Caidic (120 pounds), a first-year wrestler, pinned Justin Collier seconds before the end of the first round.


Another key win came at 132, where two of the state's top wrestlers squared off. Eleventh-Ranked Jeremy Vester nipped seventh-ranked Ryan Daurie 5-4.


Oak Harbor coach Peter Esvelt noted that sometimes how a wrestler loses helps the team win in a "match were every point counted."


He said Mike Engleman's strong effort at 160 in his first varsity match, losing a close decision and nearly pinning his opponent, cost Oak Harbor only three team points.


Garrett Stahl (106), Esvelt said, scored five points in the final 15 seconds in his loss that saved team points.


M-P won the first match with a pin over William Stuntz (126), then Oak Harbor won four straight: Jeremy Vester, Jahleel Vester (138, 13-0); Sebastian Ceaser (145, 5-4) and Mark Johnston (152, 14-11).


The Tomahawks countered by winning the next four. Engleman lost 13-9, then Kekai Tarrant (170), Matt Zafra (182) and Jacob Dugin (195) lost by pins.


Ray Quinday (220) stopped the M-P steak with an 8-2 win, and Jackson Constant (285) followed with a pin.


Stahl lost 13-7 and Christian Bertram (113) won 16-1, setting up Caidic's thrilling finish.


"M-P wrestled well and gave up very few points," Esvelt said. "We had some guys step up in big ways to get us the win. A good first league match in what is going to be a tough league."


Oak Harbor travels to Renton's Hazen High School (6-1) for a double dual meet with Highline (1-4) at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17.


Saturday at 10 a.m., the Wildcats take part in the Jack Reynolds Memorial Tournament Mercer Island.

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