Lakeridge's Quinn Brink places third at 6A state wrestling
The Class 6A state wrestling tournament didn't give Lakeridge all the answers it wanted.
But it did provide some of them.
The Pacers — their state contingent included juniors Quinn Brink, Jared Bartunek and Jonas Crowder — saw Brink battle to third place at the tournament, went 12-6 as a group over the two-day event and held their own against the state's best. The tournament was held Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
For Brink, who won a state title at 126 pounds in 2017, this year's tournament was a different experience. Brink lost in the 138-pound championship of the Three Rivers League tournament two weeks earlier and was seeded just seventh this year, but opened competition with two straight wins.
Brink took a bye in the first round, then posted a 13-1 major decision over North Medford's Matthew Bryant in round two. But in the quarterfinals, West Albany's second-seeded senior Sawyer Myres — the eventual tournament runner-up — held the upper hand, eventually battling past Brink to win 5-3.
"People kind of knew what I was going to do, and I think I underestimated a few people that looking back, I wouldn't underestimate again," Brink said.
To his great credit, however, Brink didn't let his tournament end there. Instead, he rallied in the consolation bracket, won four straight matches and wrapped up third place at 138.
He beat Devin Folk of Roseburg 7-0, won a forfeit over Aloha's Andrew Pitts, knocked off Grants Pass' Vincent Washington 8-3 in the consolation semifinals, then beat West Linn's Cael Brunson — the wrestler who beat him in the TRL championship — 8-1 to grab third.
"It wasn't the tournament I wanted, but it still was a good outcome," Brink said. "I'm glad I got third."
Just as rewarding, Brink said, was having Bartunek and Crowder alongside him at state.
"Just being able to make it to state and have two of my teammates alongside of me, that's probably what was the most memorable," he added.
At 160, Bartunek dropped an 11-2 major decision to McNary senior Brayden Ebbs in the first round, but fought his way to three straight wins before his tournament ended in the fourth consolation round.
Bartunek won a bye in the first consolation round, he pinned Nickolas Collins of Barlow in 54 seconds next and posted a 7-4 decision over Clackamas' Ethan Edgerly before finally falling 10-0 to Oliver Myers of Newberg.
Crowder, wrestling at 170, kicked off his tournament with a bye, dropped a 12-4 major decision to Aloha's Kyle McAlpin in round two, then rallied to beat both Abdi Abdullahi of David Douglas (a 10-3 decision) and Jaxin Kinler-Gossman of South Medford (a 3-0 decision) before seeing his tournament end in a 6-4 loss to Newberg's Kadyn Lauer.
In the team scoring, Lakeridge finished 29th overall with 26 points, while Roseburg won its 10th title in the past 12 years with 252 points. TRL champion Newberg placed second with 223.5.