Chimienti, Wachsmuth earn Mt. Hood wrestling titles for Clackamas
Clackamas' Dominic Chimienti and Noah Wachsmuth each had a turn in the spotlight at Saturday night's Mt. Hood Conference wrestling championships at Gresham High School.
Wachsmuth pinned his way to the 145-pound title, stopping David Douglas' Jahzriel Peak in the second round to become a two-time district champion.
Chimienti earned his first district crown when he scored a 14-6 major decision over top-seeded Josiah Green of David Douglas, highlighting Saturday's qualifying for the Feb. 16-17 OSAA Class 6A wrestling state championships at Portland's Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Six other Cavaliers earned berths to the state tournament as Samuel Zavelytsya finished second at 113, Ben Harvey placed second at 120, Cory Ewry was second at 220, David Nicola was third at 113, Ethan Edgerley was third at 160, and Johnny Ryan finished fourth at 138.
"You always want more," Clackamas coach Jayson Wullbrandt said. "I'm happy with how we wrestled, but when you're wrestling elite guys, you still need to keep those matches close."
Wachsmuth, a junior who won at 132 pounds as a sophomore, went 4-0 with four falls in the two-day tournament and outscored his four opponents by a combined 26-1 margin before putting them on their backs.
"I'm super-excited," Wachsmuth said. "I knew I was going to pin the first two or three kids, and then I knew the final was going to be tougher."
In the final, Wachsmuth used a single-leg takedown 35 seconds into the first round and a two-point near fall to take a 4-0 lead against Peak. He then started from the bottom position in the second round and caught Peak with a granby roll, pinning the David Douglas junior's shoulders to the mat with 1:04 remaining.
"I wrestled really great today," Wachsmuth said. "Now, I've got to go to state with the same game plan -- keep pinning kids, which is a lot easier than going all three rounds."
Chimienti, seeded second at 170, had a first-round bye before he pinned Gresham's Austin Pick in the first round of the quarterfinals, and then pinned David Douglas' Abdi Abdullahi in the third round of the semifinals.
Against Green, Chimienti used two takedowns and a two-point near fall to open a 6-2 lead in the first round. He then added a penalty point, an escape, another takedown and a three-point near fall to extend the lead to 13-3 and all but put the match out of reach before the end of the second round.
"I started off pretty well with shooting in and taking him to his back," Chimienti said. "Once I was ahead in points, I could play it a little more defensive and just hope that I didn't have to worry about him shooting in on me as much.
"I felt if I could lock up with him, I'd have a better chance at controlling the match, so I tried to stay tied up as much as possible
Chimienti, a junior, got a late start to the wrestling season after a successful run with Clackamas' state championship football team. He then went through a month of fits and starts before finally hitting stride in January.
"You always felt like Dom was just getting going and then he had to stop," Wullbrandt said. "This last month was great, because he finally had a solid month of wrestling and training, and came in at the right weight in the right bracket and was able to take advantage of that.
"Dom is a super-strong kid and he wants to bind guys up, and he did a great job of just doing what he does well."
Now, he's going to the state tournament for the first time.
"It's awesome," Chimienti said. "I couldn't be more excited. I'm loving it. I can't stop smiling right now.
"That last match and my semifinal match, I felt like if I hadn't come prepared and been as excited as I was, either match could have easily gone the other way. Both matches, I felt like I really had to dig deep to pull them out."
In the other finals involving Clackamas wrestlers, Zavelytsya got pinned in the third round against David Douglas' Tairiq Crawley at 113, Harvey surrendered a first-round fall to Oregon City's Sage Brown at 120, and Ewry dropped an 11-6 decision to David Douglas' Daniel Serik at 220.
David Douglas put 11 wrestlers into the finals and won individual titles at 106, 113, 132, 138, 152, 182 and 220, racking up 409.5 team points to repeat as district champions. Oregon City finished second with 304 points, followed by Barlow (237), Centennial (219.5), Clackamas (207), Gresham (134) and Reynolds (116).