Wrestling: Molalla qualifies five for state tournament
Molalla's wrestling team qualified five athletes for the OSAA State Tournament after they all placed in the top four of their weight classes at last weekend's Regional Tournament at Molalla High School.
Senior Ryan Mount (145) was the lone Indian to take first place at regionals as he pinned his way to the finals matchup, where he faced off against his own teammate, senior Ben Pruitt.
In the first round, Mount made quick work of Banks's Kyler Standley as he pinned him in 39 seconds to move on to the quarterfinal round, where he then pinned Scappoose's Trevor Jackson in 57 seconds. In the semifinal round, Mount kept his momentum going as he pinned Crook County's Luke Brewer in 47 seconds, advancing to the championship match against Pruitt, who had done the same thing in all three of his matches, earning three straight pins into the final round.
The two met in the finals, and Mount came out on top with an 18-3 technical fall. Mount said it was a nice experience to see his practice partner in the finals.
"It was nice to see [Pruitt] in the finals with me because it shows how hard I've been pushing him this year, especially these last two weeks, to get him ready for the regional tournament and now state tournament," Mount said.
Mount also said being able to host this year's Class 4A Special District 1 Regional Tournament helped him feel like he had more confidence when he wrestled.
"It was an awesome experience to host regionals my senior year because it is my home town … it creates a feeling of being unstoppable and is a really big confidence booster," he said.
Mount has high expectations for himself heading into the state tournament next weekend at Portland's Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where he said he expects to be at the top of the podium.
"State is going to be a lot tougher than [last] weekend, but I am going to leave everything on the mat and get to the top of the podium," Mount said. Mount will take on Sweet Home's Zak Fox in the first round.
Despite losing in the finals to Mount, Pruitt took second place and earned the no. 6 seed, drawing a matchup with Phoenix's Dalton Samis in the first round.
Sophomore Maximus Tate (126) took second at the tournament after falling in somewhat of an upset loss to Crook County's Zachary Mauras in the championship match; Tate was pinned in four minutes, 14 seconds to take second place. Despite that, Tate is the no. 5 seed heading into the state tournament as he'll take on Mazama's Israel Gill in the first round. At regionals, Tate received a bye into the quarterfinal round, where he pinned Estacada's Reagan Schleich in 28 seconds, moving on to the semifinal round, where he pinned Tillamook's Sam Connelly in three minutes, 49 seconds.
Right behind Tate in the same weight class was senior Justice Davidson, who took third place at regionals and will go into state unseeded, facing off against no. 8 Trey Trejo of Ontario in the first round. Davidson advanced to the quarterfinal round at regionals after earning a win by 12-6 decision in the first round over Corbett's Jarrett Graff. In the quarters, Davidson pinned Banks's Tyler Smith in two minutes, 33 seconds, and then fell in four minutes, 33 seconds to Mauras in the semis to enter the consolation bracket. In the consolation semifinal round, Davidson pinned Madras's Erik Boynton in two minutes, 17 seconds to enter the third place match, where he won by a 14-1 decision over Connelly to take third place.
Molalla's final wrestler to qualify for state was senior Wyatt Perkins, who took fourth in the 152-pound weight class; Perkins will go into state unseeded and will take on no. 2-ranked Parker Robinson of La Grande in the first round.
Perkins won by a 19-2 technical fall in the first round over Estacada's Cole Simmons, where he moved on to the quarterfinal round, pinning Scappoose's Deacon Smith in 53 seconds.
Perkins then lost to Tillamook's Austin Weeks by a 7-4 decision in the semifinal round, moving him into the consolation bracket. He pinned Crook County's Mason Cooley in the consolation semifinal round in two minutes, 54 seconds to move on to the third place match, where he fell to Tillamook's Tommy Cruz in two minutes, 27 seconds to move on to the fourth place match, which was his last chance to qualify for state. Perkins then won by rule over Cooley to take fourth place.
The state tournament will begin this Friday, Feb. 16 and continue through Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
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