O'Connor leads the way for Tigard at state
PORTLAND — Cameron O'Connor got off to a good start to the Class 6A state wrestling tournament.
And that early momentum very well helped O'Connor earn a spot on the award stand. O'Connor, a Tigard High School sophomore, placed fifth in the 106-pound weight class to help lead the way for the Tigers at the state event, held Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Tigard qualified five wrestlers for the state tournament, with all five of those Tiger competitors picking up at least one victory at the tourney.
The unseeded O'Connor, after receiving a first-round bye, jumped into action at the state tournament by scoring a 6-2 decision victory over Mountainside's Aidan Lybarger, the No. 8 seed at 106 pounds, in a second-round match.
"That felt pretty good," O'Connor said following the victory in his first-ever state tournament match. "It was good to get that first win. I was ready to go. It was just my shots — a lot of guys can't block them. This will give me some momentum, hopefully."
Following his second-round victory, O'Connor lost a 12-7 decision against top-seeded Max Hodge of David Douglas in a second-round match.
O'Connor bounced back to post an 18-16 decision win over Roseburg's Cameron Cross, the No. 5 seed, in a consolation fourth-round match. He followed that up by getting a 10-8, sudden-victory overtime win against Logan Basham of North Salem.
In the consolation semifinals, O'Connor dropped a 10-1 major decision to third-seeded Micah Worthington of Newberg. In the fifth-place match, O'Connor picked up a 7-0 decision victory Hayden Narruhn of David Douglas.
Tigard junior Emilio Jimenez, at 132 pounds, came close to also earning a spot on the award stand, as he won three of his five matches at the state tournament.
Jimenez opened the tourney by scoring a 19-7 major-decision win over Oregon City's Zachary Colipano in a first-round match. In the second round, Jimenez was pinned by top-seeded Daniel McClung of Sprague.
Jimenez came back to pin Grant's Cormac O'Hagan in a time of 50 seconds in a consolation second-round bout. Jimenez then posted an 8-4 decision win over Aloha's Joshua Rudnick. Jimenez then saw his tourney stay end when lost by fall to No. 7 seed Cole Zoller of North Medford in a consolation fourth-round match.
Tigard senior Cole McCallister, at 152 pounds, after receiving a first-round bye, lost by technical fall to top-seeded, and eventual champion, Ein Carlos of North Salem in a second-round match.
But McCallister bounced back to pick up a pair of victories in the consolation bracket. First, he pinned North Medford's Tanner Gaoiran in 2:29. McCallister then defeated Oregon City's Barrett Bicha by fall in 4:37. In the consolation fourth round, McCallister was edged 6-3 by eighth-seeded Andres Ramirez of North Medford.
Tigard senior Jacob Beck, the No. 7 seed at 182, drew a first-round bye and then he pinned Forest Grove's Gustavo Silva in a time of 0:55 in a second-round bout. In the quarterfinals, Beck lost a 15-1 major decision against second-seeded Brandon Jeffers of Roseburg. Beck then was edged 8-6 in a tie-breaker round by Jase Brooks of Willamette.
Tigard junior Javier Velasquez, at 285, opened the tournament by getting a 3-1 decision win over Sprague's Isaac Garcia in the sudden-victory round. Velasquez then lost by fall to third-seeded Lane Marshall of Oregon City. Velasquez was then edged 3-1 by Liberty's Alejandro Antillon.
Tigard finished in a tie for 25th place in the team standings with 31 points. Roseburg won the state team championship.