Lakeridge sends three wrestlers to state, Lake Oswego qualifies two
The big dogs barked loudest at the 2018 Three Rivers League district wrestling tournament.
But Lakeridge and Lake Oswego made some noise, too.
Newberg ran away with the team title, amassing 463.5 points during the tournament — held Friday and Saturday at Tualatin High School — to easily outdistance second-place West Linn's 228.5. Those two teams were followed in the points standings by: Sherwood 221.5; Tualatin 188.5; Canby 173.5; Tigard 171.0; Lakeridge 93.5; and Lake Oswego 59.
While Lake Oswego finished eighth in the team standings, the Lakers did claim one of the tournament's 14 weight class championships, with senior Harris Brown going 4-0 and beating Cole McCallister of Tigard 8-1 in his title match.
"I felt pretty confident coming in," Brown said. "I knew that I had to create a name for myself and show that I was a real contender out there."
The top-ranked Brown opened his tournament with a 5-0 decision over Eduardo Belmont of Tigard, came back with a second-round pin of Canby's Austin Comer in his quarterfinal, then notched a 15-2 major decision over fifth-seeded Cole Peters of West Linn to earn his place in the championship.
In the finale, Brown scored a takedown just 15 seconds into the match and added a near fall in the first round, then scored two more takedowns in the second round to beat the third-seeded McCallister 8-1.
"I felt like that, from the start when I got that first takedown, I felt like I was in a position of control for most of the match," Brown said. "It feels good."
The Lakers will also send junior Vinnie Chestnut on to the Class 6A state tournament after his fourth-place finish at 152. Chestnut, seeded sixth, won his opener, dropped his quarterfinal to McCallister 13-1, then won three straight times to earn a spot in the third-place match. There, second-seeded Rowan Gallardo of Newberg beat Chestnut with a second-round pin.
Also placing for the Lakers was senior Ethan Frech, who finished sixth at 170.
While the Pacers didn't crown a league champion, junior Quinn Brink — the reigning state champion at 126 — finished second at 138, while juniors Jared Bartunek and Jonas Crowder both finished third and also qualified for state.
The top-ranked Brink kicked off his tournament with a 26-11 technical fall victory over Tualatin's Noah Brooks, pinned Canby's Seth Doman in the second round in his quarterfinal, then pinned Sherwood's Brody Stevens in the second round to earn his spot in the championship.
But there, second-ranked West Linn freshman Cael Brunson started fast, kept Brink on his heels and rolled to a 16-6 major decision victory.
"I haven't really dwelt on it that much, but hopefully, I'll learn something when I watch it again," Brink said.
Brunson scored two takedowns to lead 4-1 after the first round, added a takedown and three-point near fall in the last minute of round two to lead 11-5, then tacked on an escape, takedown and three-point near fall to pull away in the third.
Despite the loss, Brink remained hopeful for his chances at state.
"(Winning state is) still my goal. It's just a setback, but it's not the end of the world," Brink said. "At least it happened here at district and not at state. It's a definitely going to be fuel for the fire."
At 160, the fourth-seeded Bartunek won his opener, lost his quarterfinal, then rallied to win four straight matches, eventually taking out Canby's Logan Doman — the wrestler that beat him in the quarterfinals — 3-2 in the third-place match.
And at 170, the sixth-seeded Crowder won a first-round bye, then lost his quarterfinal contest. After that, he won four straight times to finish third, eventually beating second-seeded Steven Shelofsky by injury default to claim third.
Other Pacer placers included: freshman Ryan Boucher, fifth at 132; and senior Connor Riedl, sixth at 145.