The Ocosta High School wrestling team traveled to Adna on Saturday, Feb 11, to compete in the 2017 WIAA 1B/2B Region 1 Wrestling Championships. Individually, wrestlers were vying for a top-five finish and a berth in the state tournament. As a team, the Wildcats were looking to be in the mix for a Regional title. The OHS contingent included 10 wrestlers, the coaching staff, the Wildcat Cheer Team, and a great group of parents and supporters. At the end of the day, the Cats qualified nine wrestlers to the State Tournament and finished in third place in team standings with 114 points, behind Ilwaco(215) and Adna(158).
Wrestling for Ocosta were sophomores Daniel Quinby and Tucker Deranleau; Juniors Noah Martin, Gabe Elder and Hayden Hoff, and seniors Kaleb Orton, Sam Quinby, Matthew Hart, Cosmo Silver, and Kalvyn Scott.
Three in finals
Three Wildcats wrestled their way to the championship finals, each wrestling tough matches, but finishing in second place. Kaleb Orton, wrestling at 120lbs, started his day with a first round pin against Marcus Hamel of Life Christian. In his semi-final match, Kaleb won by a 9-3 decision over Wilfrido Mendaz of Ilwaco. In the finals, he faced Tony Merino of Ilwaco in a rematch of the Sub-Regional final. This time, Merino came out on top in a 15-8 decision. Orton is a three time state participant, with hopes of bringing home hardware from this year’s Mat Classic.
Sam Quinby will also be making his fourth trip to state, having placed fourth his freshman year. His day started with a pin over Mason Rogers of Kalama. In the semi-finals Sam beat Aaron Slape of Adna 10-4. The championship finals pitted him against Louie Ketchum of Concrete. Ketchum is a three-time state participant and two-time placer. Quinby scored first with a takedown, but Ketchum reversed to tie at two apiece after one. Ketchum seized advantage in the second with a three point nearfall, then added two more in the third to come out on top, 7-2.
Wrestling in the 152lb division, returning state participant Matthew Hart started his day by drawing Wildcat teammate Gabe Elder. Hart won with a pin in the second period. In the semi-finals, Hart controlled William Woodward from Darrington throughout the match, and finished with a 10-2 major decision. In a rematch of their Sub-Regional championship match, Hart faced off against Matthew Slape of Adna. The two battled for three rounds, but Slape pulled out the win with a 7-1 decision.
Six more to state
Kalvyn Scott, a State Alternate last year, wrestled to a third place finish and earned his first entry in the State Tournament. Scott pinned Ben Byington of South Bend with one second to go in their first round match. He then lost in the semi-final against Ashton Dowell of Adna. Working back through the consolation bracket, Kalvyn pinned Eli Haynes of Kalama in the consolation semis, then pinned Byington for the second time of the day to claim his trip to state.
Daniel Quinby, Cosmo Silver, Noah Martin, Hayden Hoff and Tucker Deranleau all qualified for State, but took the difficult rout of wrestling through the consolation, loser out round. With everything on the line in their 5th/6th place matches, the Wildcat wrestlers dug in and wrestled tough.
Hoff will be making his second trip to State, after placing sixth last year. For the other four wrestlers, it will be their first time wrestling in the Tacoma Dome. Also wrestling for the Cats, but not moving on this year, was Gabe Elder at 152lbs.
State first round
The Wildcats will wrestle Friday morning in first round action of the 2017 WIAA State Championship Tournament, Mat Classic XXIX. The first round of wrestling begins at 10 a.m., with the second round starting at 4 p.m. Friday qualifiers will move on to wrestle on Saturday.
Information on tickets, parking and up-to-date results are available at www.wiaa.com