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Lakewood grapplers finish in 10th at Mt. Baker
DEMING — Cougars coach Tom O’Hara can rest a little easier after his team’s performance at the Gus Compton Invitational at Mount Baker High School.
Coming off a 56-18 loss to Cedarcrest Dec. 16, the Cougars regrouped to finish 10th out of 19 teams — most from higher classifications.
“I’m happy because across the board, in both boys and girls, we won more matches than we lost,” said O’Hara.
The highlight of the invitational, which was Dec. 21, was heavyweight Alex Wilson, who finished second after being pinned by Mount Baker’s Alec Postlewaith in the championship match.
“Alex had a great day, going through the bracket, but he ran into a pretty good heavyweight in the end,” said O’Hara.
With a relatively small roster, O’Hara successfully moved all his starters down a weight — a move he will hope lasts the whole season.
“We wanted to do it before the Cedarcrest match, but a couple guys weren’t eligible, and it’s hard because I don’t have enough guys where I can just replace one,” he said.
But they completed the move in Deming, although a few had to sit out because of sickness and injury, but the results were positive as Lakewood had a number of wrestlers go 2-1 on the day, including Waylon Gwyther (145 pounds) Mitchell Fernandes (152), Ivan Clapp (171) and Sean Hackworth (160).
“We wrestled much better,” O’Hara said. “Against Cedarcrest, we were lazy, with our arms behind and acting like we hadn’t even wrestled before. Today we were aggressive, making solid moves and take downs.”
The Cougar girls also had a good day as Allyson Lawson (130), Tasha Postlewaite (135) and Danielle Arenz (103) all had a pair of wins.
The Cougars continue Cascade Conference competition at South Whidbey Jan. 6.
“We’re in a pretty good position, heading into winter break,” O’Hara said. “We show the improvement that we need, and I’m all about the end result.”