West Linn finds way to first title
Snow/ice can't slow state wrestling tournament
West Linn used a sterling group of individual performances in the final session to win its first wrestling state title, outpacing perennial champion Newberg 288-262 in the Class 6A division of the OSAA/U.S. Bank Wrestling state championships at Memorial Coliseum Sunday night.
The Lions, who tied for third last year, won four individual titles and had 12 placers - seven more than last year - from among its 16 qualifiers.
“We knew we hadn’t won it as a team before, and we all wanted to make that happen,” said senior Jesse Rademacher, who won all five of his matches at 182 pounds by fall. “We peaked at the right time.”
Redmond and Thurston dueled for the Class 5A title throughout the day before the Panthers finished with a 204.5 to 197.5 win.
In the 6A/5A girls finals decided Sunday, North Medford edged defending champion Thurston, 78-65, to win the school’s first wrestling title.
The Class 4A, 3A and 2A boys titles, and 4A girls titles were decided Friday, one day after they were scheduled to be held due to the massive snow and ice storm that hit the Northwest Wednesday. In those finals, Illinois Valley also won its first team title.
In addition to the 185 title by Rademacher, West Linn got individual wins from Oscar Doces (126), Charles Spinning (145) and Henry Dillingham (152).
Newberg, which won the past two team titles and was second the two previous years, had three champions: Lucas Vaughn (106), Isaac Hampton (120) and Hudson Davis (195) all won titles for the Tigers.
Redmond had just one victory from among its four finalists, but won two third-place matches on Sunday to assist in the team score. Anson Widing won at 126 points, scoring three falls on the way to the title. Rider Lee (113), Billy Jackson (120) and Ashton Fields (285) all finished second.
Thurston got wins from Colton Malone (145) and Vaun Halstead (195), each of whom finished unbeaten on the season, and Kanoe Kelly also won at 106.
La Grande defended its title and won its fifth overall with a dominating performance from its 17 qualifiers.
The Tigers had six finalists and three champions to easily outscore Sweet Home 299-253.5.
Kai Carson (126), Joshua Collins (138) and Brysen Penaloza (145) all won titles for La Grande. Ridge Kehr (152), Wyatt Livingston (182) and Kenai Huff (220) all finished second.
Dylan Clark of Henley had two falls and two major decisions to win at 120 and finish at 45-0.
La Pine beat Burns, 195-175.5, to defend its title and win its third overall.
The Hawks got individual wins from Landyn Philpott (132), Devon Kerr (138) and Tag Deluca (160) from among its seven placers. Cache Montgomery placed second at 170, getting three falls before losing to Easton Kemper of Burns in the final. Kemper finished the season at 45-0.
Mason Buss of Siuslaw finished 28-0 to win the title at 195.
Illinois Valley got four individual wins and one second to win its first title, edging perennial champion Culver, 154-149.5 in the final standings.
The Cougars had five finalists, and got wins from Mike Miller (106), Micah Martinho (113), Ryon Martinho (138) and Ryan Griffin (152), who finished unbeaten on the season with a 2-1 win over Kelin Abbas of Culver.
Miller beat teammate James Conn 7-5 in the 106 final.
Micah Martinho won his final over Culver’s Debren Sanabria, and finished the meet with a team-high 26 points on two wins by fall and a win by injury default. Ryon Martinho won with three falls and also scored 26 points.
Culver, which topped IV in the final standings last year 182-101.5, has won 13 titles, all since 2007.
Jacob Beauchamp of Central Linn won the 160 title to finish at 28-0 on the season.
Ash Blomstrom also finished unbeaten at 195 for Toledo.
Logan Clayburn finished unbeaten at 220 for Myrtle Point.
Senior Estella Gutches won the 135 final by fall - her third of the meet, and Skylar Hall won at 100 pounds to propel North Medford. Sadie Hall finished second at 120. A team from Medford had never finished higher than second according to OSAA records. Gutches finished 75th in the state cross country finals as a junior, and then second in the 120 final at the state wrestling meet.
La Pine won its first title in the inaugural year of the expanded girls event, outscoring both Baker/Powder Valley and Sweet Home, 77-71.
The Hawks had three finalists from among its five entrants, with Kira Kerr winning the title at 155. Kerr won all three of her matches by fall to score a meet-high 24 points and finish unbeaten on the season, 11-0.
Julietta Leal (130), and Riley Allison (145) finished second for La Pine.
Chelo Garcia of Siletz Valley won the 105 title and finished unbeaten on the season.
Allison Palluck of Cottage Grove won the 115 title to finish unbeaten on the season, 26-0.
Sariah Zepeda of Gervais finished unbeaten at 135.
Ava Collins won the 140 title for Vale to finish 25-0 on the season.
North Valley’s Breanna Meek won the title at 235 to also finish unbeaten.
Cliff is a lifelong resident of Oregon and has four decades of experience as a writer, photographer, videographer, broadcaster and now producer. He's a grad of Benson and the University of Oregon, and publishes Oregonsports.com as well as OSPN, which is scheduled for delivery as a streaming Mobile App in December.