Sharp, O’Keefe advance at TOC
RENO — Making the second day of the Tournament of Champions is a big deal. The depth of competition is second to none.
Carson managed to send two wrestlers — 132-pound Kyle Sharp and 145-pound Brady O’Keefe — to today’s final rounds of competition at the Reno Event Center. Action starts at 9 a.m.
It’s the second straight year that O’Keefe has advanced and the first time for Sharp.
“We went about 50-50 on matches we could have won,” Carson coach Paul Carter said. “I’m not too upset. We had some (strange) things happen at the end. We’re moving two guys on, and that’s more than we‘ve done the last couple of years so I’m happy with that.”
Sharp, after a first-round bye, pinned Daniel White of Borah-Idaho in the third round. He pinned Lehi’s Antonio Mackintosh in the second round and then lost 7-1 to Poway’s Adrian Tovar before pinning Columbia’s Flavio Rosales in the first round.
“Coach Carter talked about wanting to get guys to the second day, and I was one of them,” Sharp said. “I wanted to help out the team.”
Sharp doesn’t know about any of his upcoming possible opponents because he spent his extra time running around the complex in an effort to lose weight. He is still a pound over the allowable weight heading into today’s action.
O’Keefe also received a first-round bye and then pinned Junior Gutierrez of Gooding High and beat Martin Martinez of Cibola, 13-7. He lost to Ryder Shinkle of Crook County before advancing with a 10-4 win over Cameron Killian of Maple Mountain. He faces Kyle Baker of Easton-Pennsylvania today.
Cody Cunningham (170) and Brady Rivera (182) both went 2-2 as did Nicholas Lani (138) and heavyweight Aaron Cowee.
Cunningham won his first two matches, knocking off Todd Durham of Eagle-Idaho by pin and then edging Taylor Olsen of Locust Grove-Oklahoma, 3-2. He was pinned by Trey Ronayne of BASHA-Arizona and then dropped an 8-5 decision to Clark Woodward of Crook County. Cunningham, who missed last year with an injury, has done a good job this year.
“I thought I wrestled pretty well,” Cunningham said. “I went against pretty tough kids. The first guy was pretty good. He was strong, but not as good as the second guy I wrestled. I think I’m progressing well. I was rusty early, but now I’m getting back into it and feeling good.”
“He’s been wrestling tough,” Carter said. “We talked before the tournament about winning the close matches, and that’s what he did in that second match.”
Rivera dropped a 10-6 decision to Josh Roetman of Kotzburg High, and after a bye, knocked off Jake Sylvester of Spanish Springs by fall and beat Ramon Yslas of Pomona 6-0 before losing 9-4 to Isaac Ortiz of Pine Creek in an elimination match.
Lani (138) was pounded 25-9 in his opening match, but rebounded with wins over Zach Davidson of West-Tracy and Nick Ottum of South Anchorage-Alaska before dropping an 11-2 decision to Josh Cortez of Temecula to finish 2-2. Cowee won by pin in his first match, got pinned in the second round, received an injury walkover in his third match and dropped a 7-2 decision to Tucker Gammell of South Fork-Utah. The losses were the first of the year for Cowee.
Brandon Basa (106), Sammy Mercado (113), Sheldon Miller (225) and Austin Martinez (126) all won one match. Nolan Shine (152), Alex Estrada (126), Connor Sievers (195) and Michael Freeman (160) went winless. Martinez suffered a knee injury, forcing him to forfeit his third match. His status is day-to-day.