Oregon City's Brown, Marshall pace wrestlers to second-place finish
Oregon City's Sage Brown and Lane Marshall made their way to the top of the winner's podium for the second year in a row during Saturday's Mt. Hood Conference wrestling championships at Gresham High School.
Brown pinned Clackamas' Ben Harvey in the first round of the 120-pound final, and Marshall won by second-round fall over Barlow's Triston Stauffer at 285, leading the Pioneers to a second-place finish in the team race behind David Douglas.
Oregon City 138-pounder Austin Canchola and 195-pounder Honorio Colipano also reached the championship finals and finished second in their respective weight classes, while eight other wrestlers for the Pioneers placed either third or fourth.
Throw in Emma Baertlein, who placed fourth in the 100-pound weight class at the girls' state qualifying tournament in Springfield, and the Pioneers are taking 13 wrestlers to the Feb. 16-17 OSAA Class 6A wrestling state championships at Portland's Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The other wrestlers going to the state tournament for Oregon City are Braden Lucas at 106, Spencer Townsend at 113, Zachary Colipano at 132, Henry Villarreal at 138, Barrett Bicha at 152, Dawson Drews at 170, Henry Schoenfeld at 182, and Zach Zumwalt at 285.
"We're very excited to be taking 13 to state," Pioneers coach Bobby Bates said. "We had 11 last year, so we're improving. And of our 13, we've got only one senior, Honorio Colipano, so we've got a lot of sophomores and juniors who are going to gain some valuable experience."
Baertlein, a freshman, won't count in the team scoring at state, but the Pioneers have high hopes when it comes to the team race.
"I think we can place top 10," Bates said. "We have two weeks to rest up and mend and work on some things, and then we've got some kids that have a really good chance at placing, and other kids that have a really good chance of winning at least one match and absorbing all that there is to absorb in that environment.
"I think we've proven over the course of the season to be one of those top-10 teams. We've been on the mat with almost every other top-10 team in the state and we've gotten our butts kicked a few times, but we've battled and we've been in a couple matches, so I feel good about how we're going to compete."
Brown, a sophomore, was the No. 1 seed at 120 after winning the 106-pound district title as a freshman. He was one of only seven wrestlers at 120 and earned a free pass into the semifinals where he pinned Barlow senior Henry Heiser less than a minute into the first round.
In the finals, Brown scored a takedown and a three-point near fall to jump out to a 5-0 lead over Harvey and then used a single-armed guillotine to put the Clackamas sophomore's shoulders to the mat.
"It's just another tournament," Brown said of Saturday's performance. "I've really been focusing on state, so this is just another day. It went exactly how I planned -- go out and get the pin in the first round and don't give up any points.
"I'm confident for state and just waiting to see how much I've improved from a year ago."
Marshall, a junior, pinned his way to the heavyweight title as the No. 1 seed, opening the tournament with a first-round fall over Barlow's Matthew Jefferis, followed by another first-round fall over Clackamas' Alex Hall in the quarterfinals, and then another first-round fall over Centennial's Ihe Gonzales in the semifinals.
In the finals, Marshall opened a 2-1 lead against Stauffer in the first round and then turned the Barlow senior onto his back with 26 seconds left in the second round.
"I broke him when I was on top in the second round," Marshall said. "I've started to get good with hip pressure and just wearing people out, and I just wore him down.
"It was a good end to the league season, and now I'm just looking forward to the state tournament."
Rahter than defend his district title at 220 pounds, Marshall decided to move up in weight class, hoping to improve his chances of winning a state title even if he may have to give away a few pounds to some of the heavyweights he's likely to face.
"The way I wrestle, I can move a lot better with the bigger guys than I do with the smaller guys," said Marshall, who placed fourth at 220 at last year's state tournament, finishing behind three seniors. "Not saying that they're any better than me, but I'd probably have more tough matches at 220 than at heavyweight.
"I feel good, but I couldn't have done this without my coaches. They've been pushing us hard all year and we've got 12 guys out of 14 weights going to state, plus Emma. I'm ready. I just want it to be here."
At 138, Canchola, the Pioneers' sophomore, lost by a 15-0 technical fall to defending district champion and state runner-up Kyle Beal of David Douglas.
At 195, Honorio Colipano, the senior, went the distance with top-seeded Brody Carlson of Barlow, but could not get the defending district champion off his feet and came out on the wrong side of a 7-0 decision.
The district team race was no contest as David Douglas put 11 wrestlers into the finals and won seven individual titles, finishing with 409.5 points to runner-up Oregon City's 304. Barlow was third with 237 points.
"David Douglas is the better team," Bates said. "We were going to give it our all, and we did, but once the semifinals started, David Douglas had already pulled away and after that it was just a battle for second."