Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Wrestling: Lions take third at regionals

Freshman Myles Terry loses his first match of the season, a 2-1 decision in the 152-pound finals


by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - St. Helens freshman Myles Terry looks for an advantage during the 152-pound championship bout with Liberty's Hunter Dehlin. Terry lost the match, his first of the season, by a 2-1 decision on a largely controversial penalty call in the second round.The streak is over: St. Helens freshman Myles Terry no longer belongs to the ranks of the unbeaten after falling 2-1 at the 5A District I regionals in the championship bout.

As impressive the path to Terry's current position – second place in one of the most difficult weight classes after coming in with the top seed, and now a berth in the state championships – the final match brought boos from the audience in attendance, many of which weren't there in support of St. Helens.

The disapproval could very easily have surrounded tactics used by both wrestlers, but it didn't. The negativity was centered on a pair of rulings midway through the third period.

Terry and Liberty senior Hunter Dehlin, whom Terry had beaten during their dual earlier this year, were tied after the first round at one point, and as the match wore on, things began to escalate. From the neutral position, both wrestlers looked for a hold without giving up too much ground. Things got a little chippy, and then an amped-up Terry made a move the referee thought might have been a bit too far: a quick strike near Dehlin's neck in an attempt to force him to shrug off the advancement and give up ground.

Audible complaints rained down from the Liberty contingent, and one penalty point was awarded to Dehlin, giving him a 2-1 lead. A few seconds later, though, Dehlin had Terry wrapped up and looking for a takedown near the edge of the circle. The whistle blew to signal the wrestlers were out of bounds, and Dehlin threw Terry to the ground, bringing the Lions' coaching staff to their feet in protest.

No additional penalty points were awarded, and the pair of wrestlers battled the rest of the way with no change, ending Terry's unbeaten run.

Terry's match was the definite infamous highlight, but in spite of the controversial result, the Lions have plenty to be proud of in what was supposed to be somewhat of a rebuilding season. In addition to the second-place finish from Terry, St. Helens got top-four finishes from six different wrestlers, all of which will represent the Lions at the state championships.

Second-seeded Tyler Cooper had a solid chance of getting the upset at 106, having won his first match by fall in 1:10 and the second by 7-6 decision, but an injury during the match kept Cooper out of the final against the top-seeded Ethan Wendell of Liberty.

Freshman Haidon Allen, who entered the tournament as the third seed, lived up to his placing, taking third place at 113. Allen won by fall over Nathaneal Sosa of Milwaukie in his first match, but gave up a 9-3 decision to Sherwood's Halen Jolley in the semifinals. A 15-0 technical fall over Enzo Steiner of Liberty ensured Allen's trip to the state championships.

At 120, things didn't quite shake out the way the Lions expected. Junior Cody Jackson, who has wrestled both at 120 and 126 for the majority of the year, registered to wrestle in the 120-pound bracket but couldn't make weight for weigh-ins on Friday morning. The result was a forfeit, taking away any chance for Jackson to challenge at the state championships, where he would likely be a top-two seed. Sophomore Jose Silva became the only Lion to wrestle at 120 pounds, and finished fifth.

In the 126-pound bracket, no wrestler had a more difficult draw than sophomore Michael Bowen, who had to wrestle top-seeded Jess Hatfield of Sherwood in the first round. Bowen lost the match by 6-2 decision, and then blew through the consolation bracket to take third place. Following the initial loss, Bowen won by 12-2 major decision, and by fall in 1:18 – the former second seed Jordan Ostrander of Milwaukie – and 54 seconds to clinch a spot in the state championships.

Lion senior Zilen Nichols took the fifth state championship bid for St. Helens, finishing second at 170 pounds. Nichols pinned his first opponent, Mackay Ivie of Sandy, in just 16 seconds before winning by second-round fall over Jakob Fulbright of Wilsonville in the semifinals. Despite Nichols' run, top-seeded Devin White of Sandy proved exactly why he'd been seeded above the Lion standout, pinning Nichols early in the second round to claim the 170-pound title.

Fellow senior Mario Olmedo, who entered the tournament with the top seed in the heavyweight bracket, finished third place to round off the final representative from the Lions' roster. Olmedo won by fall in 49 seconds in his first match, but lost 2-1 in double overtime to fourth-seeded Zach Mason of Putnam. Olmedo would have matched up against his younger brother Miguel, but an injury to Miguel put Mario into the third-place match, which he won by 4-1 decision over Tony Munoz of Wilsonville.

The biggest positive after the completion of the regional tournament, the six representatives aside, was the toughness of the roster from top to bottom. Every wrestler battling for an odd place, with the exception of the three losses in the finals, was won by the St. Helens representative. Putting those numbers in perspective, it means that nearly every wrestler who placed finished the tournament with a win in their final match, either third place or fifth.

The OSAA wrestling championships are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday, Feb. 28. The doors are open to the public at 8 a.m., and Sue will kick things off with the first match of the day in the 106-pound division. Competition begins once again on Saturday at around 8:30 a.m., with the championship semifinals kicking off at 9:45 a.m. Doors will reopen to the public at 5:30 p.m. after a short break, and the finals of each weight class will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the individual awards being given with the conclusion of each weight class. Team awards will be given to the top four teams at around 10 p.m.

Brackets for each weight class and a detailed schedule can be found on www.OSAA.org.

Correction: This article has been updated to reflect the correct timeline of Tyler Cooper's injury - during the semifinal match, not during the championship bout.

Team scores:

Sandy 355

Sherwood 250.5

St. Helens 189

Liberty 182

Wilsonville 149

Milwaukie 139

Parkrose 138

Putnam 135