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It's off to state for the wrestling team at St. Helens High School after finishing second overall at district as hosts.

COURTESY PHOTO: MICHELLE NETT - At St. Helens High School, boys and girls compete on the wrestling team. At St. Helens High School, boys and girls compete on the wrestling team, and coach Greg Gadbois is keeping busy with district championships for boys and the North Regional Tournament for his girls.

On Thursday, June 17, St. Helens hosted the NWOC League District Championships for the boys, finishing second overall as a team, with 15 district players, 13 state qualifiers and three district champions.

Gadbois announced state qualifiers, who finished first through fourth place and who will compete Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26, in Cottage Grove.

Champion at 113, Gavin Schaer, a junior (also a district champ last year at 106), beat Freddy Garcia from Wilsonville by technical fall, 18-3.

Champion at 132, Narcizo Garza, a junior (third place last year at 113), beat Alfredo Castillo from Milwaukie by major decision, 10-2.

Champion at 138, Tristin Buchanan, senior (district champ at 132 last year), beat Skyler Saltzman, by major decision, 12-3.

Finishing in second were seniors Adam Stockwell at 160, Mavrick Rask at 182 and freshman Wyatt Dingman at 106.

Finishing third were juniors Brendan Clegg at 145, Malakie Gibney at 138 and Tyler Jennings at 285.

The girls traveled to Tillamook Friday, June 18, for the North Regional Tournament for Girls.

Gadbois noted that while the boys qualify for state through the district, the girls qualify through a regional tournament consisting of 46 schools. Only the top four in each weight class qualify for the state tournament.

St. Helens placed eighth out of 46 as a team with two state qualifiers and five overall placers.

Finishing third and qualifying for the state meet Thursday, June 24, in Cottage Grove, were senior Isabella Nelson at 105 and freshman Kate Leonard at 110. Finishing fifth was Terese Korpela at 125 and finishing in seventh were Cambria Funk at 170 and Ashley Willis at 120.

Looking back at the season, Gadbois said, "We had a fairly experienced team. We lost a few of our seniors because they decided to graduate early, but we had our kids step in and really pick up the slack."

Gadbois noted the frustration of a shortened six-week schedule.

"It's definitely frustrating," he said. "With wrestling being such a high-contact sport, we didn't anticipate us being able to go at all. It's frustrating and it's hard to get done in six weeks.

"Wrestling is tough on your body. Wrestling for six minutes may be one of the toughest things that a person can do. It's kind of like boxing."

Gadbois said, "We're just so happy we're able to do it. We'll take whatever we can get. We've had a good little stretch. Both the boys and the girls are wrestling well, so I think we're in a good spot coming into state. We're all at the top of our game, and we're as ready as we're going to be."


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