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Wenlund rides win streak into Regionals

Estacada wrestler Donny Wenlund hopes to ride momentum to a state title.


by: PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: FILE PHOTO - Estacadas Donny Wenlund competes at last years state tournament. He is 31-1 this season at 126 pounds. Donny Wenlund has compiled quite a resume in his time on the wrestling mat at Estacada, highlighted by two second-place finishes at the state tournament. The one thing missing from Wenlund’s long list of accolades is a state championship, but he is determined to change that.

“After coming so close the last two years, it is definitely something I think about,” Wenlund said. “Since taking second last year, my biggest goal and motivation has been winning a state championship. I have worked harder than I ever have to try and get it.”

Two years ago, Wenlund powered through his bracket at the state tournament as a 113-pound sophomore. In the state title bout, Henley’s Zech Bresser halted Wenlund’s run to steal away the championship.

Wenlund moved up to the 120-pound weight division last year as a junior and he rolled through his bracket until reaching the championship match. He was again stopped short of the title by a Bresser, this time by Zech’s older brother, Ronnie.

Wenlund was bumped up another weight class this season to 126 pounds and he hasn’t missed a beat. He entered the week with a 31-1 record and has dominated almost every opponent he has faced. He is primed to go into this season’s state tournament as a No. 1 seed in a few weeks, and he will be a favorite to come out of the 126-pound bracket.

The Estacada senior has seen such a high level of success throughout his career because of his natural ability, pinpoint technique and extraordinary work ethic. He isn’t the only wrestler with those traits, but what sets him apart is his mentality and approach. If Wenlund is going to claim the ever-elusive state title, it will be because of his mind more than his arms or legs.

“I have always been able to stay calm while wrestling, and it has really helped me,” Wenlund said. “It can get really stressful out on the mat and lots of guys will over-think things. I think being able to stay focused and calm gives me a definite advantage.”

One thing Wenlund will never do is lose his cool. He will always be in complete control of his emotions and thought process. He also possesses experience and maturity unmatched by anyone he goes against. His previous trips to the state tournament give him an edge that many wrestlers don’t have. Wenlund isn’t going to get nervous or freeze on the big stage.

Wenlund will also have a strong coaching staff behind him to help keep him on track.

“One of the biggest differences this year has been the coaches,” Wenlund said. “There have been more coaches giving more time to us, and that has really helped me to improve in everything I do.”

All the pieces of the puzzle seem to be there for Wenlund. He has the talent and technique, he has the requisite experience and mental fortitude and he has the right coaches backing him up. Wenlund just has to assemble the pieces, and he believes the resulting picture will be of himself as a state champion.

“I have been working towards this for a long time,” Wenlund said. “I’m ready for it.”



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