Hornets' Smith heads to state

Robinson joins him as alternate

REARDAN – The Eastern Regional tends to be the tougher of the two regionals in 1B/2B wrestling, and while it will take next weekend’s state tournament at the Tacoma Dome to bear that out for certain, it certainly doesn’t look like this year will be an exception to that rule.

With an inexperienced team, Oroville didn’t realistically have a chance at sending a large contingent to the state finals despite having 10 wrestlers in the regional tournament.

The Hornets did have two break through: sophomore Jordan Smith (106 pounds), who took fourth place in his weight class; and junior Taylor Robinson (170), who finished sixth and will attend (but isn’t likely to compete) as an alternate.

The top five in each weight class are automatic qualifiers.

Smith opened with a third period pin of Davenport’s Austin Stauffer to reach the semifinals, where he lost to Kittitas’ Paco Marin. Smith then turned in his second pin of the day – also in the third period – over Jacob Smith of Lake Roosevelt before losing to Selkirk’s Tristan Chantry in the third place match.

“After Districts, we felt Jordan had the best chance to make it through because he had beaten someone he lost to during the regular season,” said Oroville coach Chuck Ricevuto. “He did this again at Regionals (against Stauffer), a kid Jordan lost to twice earlier in the season.”

Robinson had suffered an injury during the district tournament that likely proved costly during the tougher regional weekend.

“Taylor battled a tough injury … that pretty much dictated ‘one arm’ wrestling for the remainder of the tournament,” Ricevuto said.

Robinson picked up a win by injury default over Nicholas Nanez of White Swan, but suffered a technical fall defeat to Wyatt Jenkins of Pomeroy in the semifinal match. Michael Haskins defeated Robinson in the consolation semifinal, and took a tough 7-3 loss to Wilbur-Creston’s Nick Anderson in a match to determine fifth place and the final automatic state qualifier.

“I truly believe he might have been able to win that all-important bout with two good arms,” Ricevuto said.

Michael Ripley and Eddie Ocampo came within one match of reaching the fifth/sixth place consolation final that would have meant a trip to state.

Other Hornets included Ronel Kee (113, 0-2 for the day); Leo Curel (126, 0-2); Ripley (126, 2-2); Angel Camacho (138, 0-2); Corey Childers (145, 0-2); Charles Arrigoni (160, 0-2); Ocampo (160, 2-2); and Ruben Renfro (170, 0-2).

“We had a few kids that had chances,” Ricevuto said. “But we couldn’t capitalize on some 2-4 and 5-7 close losses. But we are happy to be going to State, bottom line.”

The Hornets’ Central Washington League foe Liberty Bell won the team regional title behind the efforts of nine state qualifiers, including two individual regional champs.

Regional tournament bracket