O’Brien finishes 6th at state / Wrestling

South Whidbey High School senior Clay O’Brien placed sixth at the 1A state wrestling tournament, Mat Classic XXXI, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16, at the Tacoma Dome.

Four of the five Falcons who qualified for state won at least one match in the tournament, helping South Whidbey finish 34th in the team standings with 26 points.

Colville claimed the team title with 259 points.

O’Brien came to Tacoma ranked eighth in the 182-pound class by Washington Wrestling Report, and he started the tournament with three consecutive wins.

He opened with a 31-second pin over Devin Smith of Klahowya, then pinned (3:33) Salvador Zamora of Cle Elum-Roslyn. A 11-9 decision over Adesalem Jelinek of Lakeside-Nine Mile Falls put O’Brien in the semifinals, where he lost by a fall (2:16) to second-ranked and eventual state runner-up Colby Demorest of Forks.

Demorest’s teammate, fifth-ranked Shane Queen, then pinned (3:51) O’Brien on the way to placing fourth. O’Brien lost by a fall (1:42) to sixth-ranked Jed Cupp of Newport in the match for fifth and sixth places.

O’Brien qualified for state last year as did Falcon Drew Aposhyan.

This time around, Aposhyan nipped Port Townsend’s Carter Swartout 4-3 in the first bout at 120 pounds, but lost by a fall (1:13) to top-ranked and eventual champion Abel Nava of Granger in the second round.

The sophomore bounced back to pin (1:53) Konner Odekirk of Montesano, then was edged 8-6 to eighth-ranked and eighth-place finisher Aaron Lano of Montesano.

Falcon sophomore Caleb McArthur also split four matches.

He started the tournament by slipping by Erik Bucio of Klahowya 6-5 and then lost by a fall (1:54) to Ian Campbell of Seton Catholic. The 138-pounder pinned (0:28) Carlos Venegas of Chelan in his third match, but was eliminated by a fall (2:28) to third-ranked and fourth-place finisher Nate Allen of Newport.

Junior Dylan Davis received a bye in the first round in the 285-pound class. In round two, he lost by a fall (1:02) to Luke Dahlgreen of Forks, who justified his No. 1 ranking by going on to claim the state title.

Davis pinned (4:12) Tyson Delcour of Freeman before losing by a pin (1:27) to 12th-ranked Luke Crippen of Naches Valley.

Freshman Eden Batiste lost both his matches by falls in the 145-pound class, first to Vashon Island’s Ryan Nelson (1:10) and then to Omak’s Anthony Cordona (2:08).

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