Wrestling: Gervais' Zepeda wins second district wrestling title
By Phil Hawkins
For the second week in a row, Gervais freshman Alexys Zepeda has been crowned a district champion.
A week after bringing home a district title in the 117-pound bracket of the girls high school state qualifier, Zepeda added another title to her belt, sweeping the 113-pound bracket of the boys 3A Special District 2 tournament to qualify for the boys 2018 Wrestling State Championship tournament later this month.
Zepeda entered the Special District 2 tournament as the top-seeded wrestler in the 113-pound bracket, and opened with a pin in 3:30 over Creswell freshman Miguel Lopez to earn a trip to the bracket semifinals against Pleasant Hill's Ethan Litson.
The two had met on the mat the week prior, with Zepeda earning a victory by pinfall in that match. But as the lone competitor in the bracket who was a returning state qualifier, Litson loomed as a significant threat to derail Zepeda's plans to qualify for the boys state tournament this year.
The Gervais freshman put any worries to bed quickly, dominating Litson to the tune of a 17-5 major decision victory to advance to bracket finals against Jefferson freshman Rene Flores.
Just as with Litson, Zepeda and Flores had wrestled earlier this year. Zepeda picked up an 8-2 victory over her freshman counterpart on Jan. 18, but the rematch was closer on Saturday, with Zepeda taking down Flores 10-5 to earn the district title and head into the state championship tournament with one of the top four seeds in the 113-pound bracket.
Though Zepeda qualified in both the girls and boys brackets, she'll only be eligible to compete in one and has publicly stated in the past that she intends to compete in the boys bracket.
In addition to Zepeda, the Cougars also were represented by junior Zamir Cortes, who wrestled in the 138-pound bracket.
Cortes went 0-2 in the tournament, falling in the quarterfinals to Scio senior Tyler Mulvahill in 5:02 before losing in 5:18 to Creswell sophomore Logan Johnson.
The 2018 Wrestling State Championships will be held at Veteran's Memorial Coliseum in Portland on Feb. 16-17.