Westview's youth tames Metro's wrestling field
Westview wrestlers — despite their youth — reigned supreme this past week, winning the Metro League's culminating event Wednesday, June 16, at Westview High School.
The Wildcats finished 42 points clear of second-place Mountainside, tallying 195 points while crowning three individual champions in the boys division.
In all, Westview qualified 14 boys for the upcoming state culminating showcase set for Friday and Saturday, June 25-26, and head coach Mike Delaney said — while not surprised — he was very pleased with his kids' effort despite a year fraught with adversity.
"I thought we performed really well," the coach said. "It's been a hard season with everything, but this is such a good group and they've stuck together. They inspired us as coaches with the work they put in and showed us how well they can wrestle."
Success is nothing new for the Wildcats' wrestling program, for they've been a formidable team at the state meet over the past five years and have boasted 10 state finalists in that time. But Delaney said what's impressed him most about this group of kids was their effort and willingness to wait their turn, while learning from their predecessors.
"These kids really learned what it takes from watching their previous teammates have postseason success," Delaney said. "A lot of these kids were junior varsity kids, so people didn't know who they were. But they were sitting behind some of the best kids we've ever had, and when they got an opportunity, they really went out and seized it."
Among the individual Wildcat standouts was sophomore Juan Elenes, who won the 113-pound weight division; senior Nathan Blasingame, who won the 160-pound weight division; and junior Charles Manthe, who took the 182-pound title.
Delaney said Manthe — also a standout soccer player for Westview — struggled in the sport early on his career, but through time and effort, he built himself into a champion.
"I've been so impressed with how a kid like that can really have such high success in another sport when it's so humbling in the beginning," Delaney said. "Most people wouldn't put themselves out there like that, so it's been neat to see him say, 'I want to get good at this,' and win himself a district championship."
With only two of the team's 14 state qualifiers being seniors and a relative wealth of talent he said is being developed by former Wildcat wrestler David Escobar, who is running the school's youth program, Delaney said he's excited for the state event, as well as the years to come.
"David's developing some really good kids," the coach said. "Next year, we've got some other good kids that are coming in that have brothers currently in the program, and that allows us to have multiple kids in each weight class that are competing, and that makes for an all-around competitive room."
That excitement is for the future, but the coach is equally excited about this week's meet and his kids' chances in it. But while he's certainly aiming high, Delaney said this event and the year in general is about the work his wrestlers were able to get in — which will pay dividends going forward.
"This is an opportunity for us to go out there and have some fun," he said. "None of our kids worried about their weight this year or none of that, we just wanted them to got out there and compete. So we're just going to let them go out and see what they can do, and I know they'll do well."
The final standings were as follows: Westview 195, Mountainside 153, Aloha 131, Beaverton 92, Southridge 86, Sunset 68.
Individual state qualifiers by team were:
Westview — Juan Elenes, Jermaine Mason, Elias Mauch, Jon Genrich, Simon Nguyen, Nathan Blasingame, Jonathan Collyer, Angel Cruz, Charles Manthe, Jason Cephus, Israel Chavez-Strand, Xeiden Padasdao, Jackson Sager. Girls champion: Xareiah Padasdao.
Mountainside — Aidan Lybarger, Alexander Wesselman, Samuel Balderston, Timothy Vranizan, Arian Tajgerdu, Evan Dooley, Michael Madden, Josue Gonzalez.
Aloha — Jesus Orea, TJ Turner, Moises Lopez, Justin Fisher, Ashton Brock, Trevor McCoy, Logan Moore, Richard Gomez, Bryson Moore, Robert Rosenberg.
Beaverton — Corrin McCullough, Daymon Ruano Aguilera, Cohner Davis, Eoin Layzell. Girls champions: Deepa Monger, Maria Galindo Reeder.
Southridge — Eli Scott, Nicolas Garza, Collin Penuel, Andy Melz, Fransisco Endi. Girls champion: Joanna Rollot.
Sunset — Nic Pope, Luke VanBrabant, Jacient Cox, Devon Roberts.
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