WINTHROP – Oroville finished second from the top at Districts, with Nick Perez, wrestling 140 and Gabe Beltran, wrestling 285, taking championships.
“We had to scratch five wrestlers from the District Tournament due to minor injuries, illness and overweight, limiting our possibilities,” said Hornet Coach Chuck Ricevuto.
Despite their second place team finish with 160 points, the Hornets were well back from Kittitas, which had 270 points. Lake Roosevelt finished in third with 127.5 points, followed by Pateros, 121; Springdale, 112; Selkirk, 100; Brewster, 96.5; Kettle Falls, 82; Wellpinit, 4 and Republic, three.
Bringing home second place finishes for Oroville were Mike Lynch, 140 pounds and Duke Sykes, 171 pounds. Davis Castillo, 119 pounds; Alex Alvarez, 145 pounds and Ned Mathis 285 pounds finished third, while Alex Kelly, 125 pounds and Alex Beltran, 215 pounds, finished fourth and Eddie Ocampo, finished sixth.
These top ten finishers for the Hornets will represent Oroville at the Regional Tournament. Taylor Maldonado, 152 pounds, had a seventh place finish at Districts and will be the first alternate to Regionals, while Angel Camacho, 135 pounds, finished eighth and will be the second alternate.
“There were some disappointing performances during key bouts that will hit us hard all the way to the Dome,” said Ricevuto. “At this point in the season it is all about getting kids through in the best position possible. Seeding at Regionals is crucial for advancement to the State finals in Tacoma. Warden and Kittitas will have the numbers to outlast the rest of the competition and will probably go uncontested at State.”
Ricevuto said the Hornet’s chances for a third or fourth place plaque at State grew even dimmer with some poor District performances and lack of junior varsity wrestlers participating at Districts.
“We simply can’t choke when we should be peaking,” the coach said. “We will send 10 entrants and two alternates to the Regional tournament this Saturday at Reardan. These are lower than normal numbers so the pressure will be on ‘the few’ to not only win but to score bonus points for team success. It will all depend on how many kids the Southern District teams send and how well our kids perform under pressure.”