Tigers step up at district tournment
TUALATIN — For the Tigard High School wrestling team this season — it's been all about the team.
And hard work.
Well, that teamwork, and hard work, seemed to pay off for the Tigers at the Three Rivers League district tournament.
Tigard had four wrestlers reach the championship round at the event held Friday and Saturday at Tualatin High School.
"Yeah, we're all doing really well," said Tigard senior Cole McCallister, who reached the district tournament finals at 152 pounds. "It's just the hard work we've put in the room. Coach (Geoff Jarman) has really been leading us this year. Working on cardio and all that stuff. I think we have the best conditioning in the state. We're all working hard."
The top four finishers in each weight class at the district tournament advance to compete at the Class 6A state tournament, which will be held Feb. 16-17 at Portland's Memorial Coliseum.
Tigard will be sending five wrestlers to the state event.
McCallister, who will be going to the state tourney for the second straight year, opened the district tournament with a first-round bye. He then scored a 13-1 major decision win over Lake Oswego's Vinnie Chestnut in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, McCallister got a 9-4 decision victory against Newberg's Rowan Gallardo. That win put the Tigard senior in the title bout against Lake Oswego's Harris Brown.
In that match, McCallister trailed Brown 2-0 after the first round and 4-0 at the end of the senior period. McCallister tried to battle back in the third round, but ended up dropping an 8-1 decision.
"It means a lot," McCallister said of his second-place finish. "I was really hoping for first place, but I feel great. I'm glad to be where I'm at. All the hard work paid off. Now, I'm going to focus on the state tournament, and, with the help of my teammates, win that title."
Tigard junior Emilio Jimenez was the tournament runner-up at 132 pounds. Jimenez opened the tournament by pinning Canby's Dominic Netter in a time of 2 minutes and 34 seconds. In the quarterfinals, Jimenez got a 6-4 decision win against Sherwood's Philip Resch. In the semifinals, Jimenez got another decision victory, beating Newberg's Zach Irving 8-5.
In the title match, Jimenez was pinned by Newberg's Jack Evans in 2:30.
Tigard senior Jacob Beck took second place at 182 pounds.
Beck started the tournament by pinning Newberg's Avian Mendoza in 0:51 in a first-round match. In the quarterfinals, Beck defeated Lakeridge's Jacob Groman by fall in 1:33. In the semifinal round, Beck pinned West Linn's John Wall in 2:49.
In the title bout, against West Linn's Brett Bell, Beck got off to a strong start. He scored on both a takedown and a two-point nearfall in the second round, giving him a 4-1 lead going into the third period. But Bell was able to rally in the final round to get a 12-6 decision win.
Tigard junior Javier Velasquez was a tourney runner-up at 285.
Velasquez opened the tourney by getting a 6-2 decision win over Newberg's Connor O'Bryan in a first-round match. In the quarterfinals, Velasquez pinned Sherwood's Nick Severson in 3:52. in the semifinals, Velasquez defeated Tualatin's Quinn McCarthy by fall in 1:44.
In the title bout, against a much-bigger Tristan Osborn of Newberg, Velasquez dropped a 6-1 decision.
Tigard freshman Cameron O'Connor also qualified for the state tournament, placing fourth at 106 pounds at district.
Also for the Tigers at the district tournament, Zack Vorvick was fifth at 113 pounds, junior Killian Ryan was fifth at 120, junior Edgar Garcia was fifth at 126, senior Eduardo Belmont was fifth at 152 and junior Brandon Baker was sixth at 195.
Tigard finished in sixth place in the team standings at the district tournament with 171 points. Newberg won the district team title with a score of 463.5 and West Linn was second at 228.5.