White Pine High took eight wrestlers to the 2A Southern Regional tournament in Laughlin last week and five of them qualified for the state meet, underway today at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

The Pickens boys, Sven and Eric, both won their weight classes. Zeke Vinson, Kegan Hexem and Jorge Chamorro placed second and Justin Mabson placed third. The top four in each weight qualified for the state meet.

Coach Mark Dolezal said the Bobcats had, “a solid tournament, but with the loss of one wrestler (Sebastian Lyons could not compete due to a skin issue), it took us out of the team race.”Pahranagat Valley was the team champion, their first title in 10 years, with 168½ points. White Pine took fourth place with 137 points.

Eric Pickens (152) had a bye his first match, then won the class with pins over Josh Mattson of Laughlin and Vance Kinsey-Day of Tonopah.At state, Eric will first face Vincent Davis of Yerington. Dolezal said, “Eric is very focused on winning a state title, but will have to be at his very best at state.”Sven Pickens (160) won his three matches. A pin over Chad White of Indian Springs, a 10-3 decision over Garrett Bowen of Pahranagat Valley, and by fall over Tenor Nay of Lake Mead. “The state meet for this weight class is very competitive,” Dolezal said. “Sven also will have to wrestle his best.”His first match is paired with Luke Escamilla of Wells.

Mabson (170) won his first round match over Chris McColough of Tonopah, then a semifinal loss to Tavian Henderson of Spring Mountain, a spot in the consolation semifinal produced a win over Tristan LaCombe of West Wendover, and win in the third place match by pin over Jonathan Dillingham of Pahranagat Valley.

Dolezal said Mabson “was third place at state last year, and has the talent to be on top of the podium at state.”His first state match is with Kris Hall of Battle Mountain.

In the 182-pound class, Vinson won his first two matches. The first one by forfeit over Gavin Plasden of Lincoln County, then a fall over Gilberto Mendez of Laughlin, but he lost the championship match 6-3 to Chris Thornton of Pahranagat Valley. As a second year-wrestler, Dolezal feels “Zeke has a great shot at placing at state.”Vinson gets his shot in a first round match against Ben Plimpton of Pershing County.

195-pound Hexem also won his first two matches. First a pin over Tyrecee Gonzalez of Laughlin, then a 9-3 decision over Gary Farley of Spring Mountain. But in the championship, he was beaten by Reece Thornton of Pahranagat Valley.“He has done very well in some big tournaments this year,” Dolezal said. “And now is in a good position to medal at state.” First round pairings have Kegan against Trayce Ralston of Owyhee.

Chamarro (220) won his quarterfinal match on a 7-6 decision over top- seeded Tayt Leavitt of Pahranagat Valley, then a pin of Matthew Shepard of Laughlin, but a loss in the finals to Kevin Pope of Tonopah.

Dolezal feels Jorge has, “Worked hard the past four years and it is going to pay off this weekend at the Orleans.”

Chamorro’s first match will be with Jose Sanchez of Yerington. Luke Finicum (145) was 3-2 at the tournament, but finished in fifth place to miss out qualifying for state. Dolezal said Finicum, a freshman, “first had to face the eventual regional champion, is expected to be major factor the next three years at the state level.”

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