By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer

The White Pine wrestling team finished third over the weekend in the divisions at Pahranagat Valley High School on Saturday. The Bobcats had 10 wrestlers qualify for the state championships, scheduled in Primm on Feb. 22.

Coach Mike Gamberg called the third place finish “a bit of a disappointment” considering they sent five number one seeds into the tournament, but he still remains confident his group going to state can compete with anyone.

“It just made their road to the finals a little bit tougher,” he said. “But you know what, when it comes down to the state tournament everything is flying and everyone understands what the goal is. Number one was to get there, number two is to win it.”

Of the five number one seeds White Pine sent into the divisional round, only one wrestler won his weight class. That was the coach’s con, Chris Gamberg, who wrestled at a weight of 126 pounds. Gamberg won his division last year at 106 pounds. He said the step up in weight made the matches harder, but he has been getting better as he has been getting bigger.
“The timing was right in the match. It just felt great to win again,” Chris Gamberg said.

Emmitt Finicum almost secured the top seed in his division at 152 pounds. Ahead 8-0 in his final match, he admitted that he was overconfident and made a mistake that ended with him getting pinned, leading to a second place finish. As a senior, Finicum has qualified for state all four of his years in school, but has yet to win one.

“I was for sure the better wrestler but there was no excuse for making a mistake like that,” Finicum said. “I got in a bad spot and he threw me and made me pay for it.

“It’s my senior year now. I know this is my last chance. I have family coming out to watch so yeah there is pressure. But I’m just going to go out there and try my hardest and let the chips fall where they may.”

The wrestlers who will be competing for state championships in Primm will be: Gamberg as a number one seed; Joe Lyons, Emmitt Finicum and Harveen Singh as number two seeds; Drue Ashby, Joe Pauley and Monty Moore as number three seeds; and Jay Mabson, Robert Drain and Kyler Coburn and number four seeds.