It may not be the end to a typical wrestling season, but for the student athletes from Woodburn and North Marion high schools, last week's district championship worth the wait.
The Bulldogs and Huskies finished back to back in the final standings of the Special District 1 Championship tournament held at Tillamook High School Thursday, placing fourth and fifth, respectively in the team standings while sending a half dozen wrestlers each to this week's state championship event.
Led by 152-pound district champion Kaden Christiansen, the Woodburn wrestlers placed 14 in the top six, six of which were top-four placers advancing to the championship bracket at Cascade High School on Friday and Saturday.
Together the Bulldogs scored 161.5 points, behind the top three of Banks (214), Estacada (223) and Tillamook (353) and ahead of North Marion (135), Seaside (103.5), Molalla (45) and Astoria (21).
The second-seeded wrestler in the 152-pound bracket, Christiansen scored a 3-2 decision over top-seeded freshman Kaden Watkins of Estacada to win Woodburn's lone district title. The senior was the Bulldogs' only wrestler to advance to a championship match, defeating Tillamook's James Goddard by 11-2 major decision in the semifinals to advance.
Five of Christiansen's teammates advanced to the third-place match, three of whom finished the tournament with a win. Benito Roman (138), Ernie Preciado (145) and Jaime Cruz (195) each won their third-place consolation final to punch their tickets to the main event.
Roman won his third-place match by second round pin over Estacada junior Kaiden King. The top-seeded wrestler in his bracket, Roman advanced to the semifinals with a 17-0 technical fall over Alex Farrens of North Marion before falling by 3-2 decision in the semifinals to eventual champion Martin Pacheco Contreras, also of North Marion.
In the 145-pound consolation final, Preciado scored a 7-5 decision over Banks junior Luke Bozied. The Woodburn junior won his first match of the event with a second-round pin over Banks senior Tyler Smith before falling to top-seeded junior Caleb McDonald of Estacada in the second round of the semifinals. Preciado won his consolation semifinals over North Marion freshman Carson Bennett at the end of the first round.
Woodburn's final third-place wrestler, Cruz, earned his medal with a second-round pin over Tillamook senior Rafael Martinez. Cruz fell in his opening match of the tournament, falling by 7-5 sudden victory to second-seeded junior Jackson Turner of Estacada, who went on to win the bracket. Cruz pinned teammate Alan Ibarra in the first round of the consolation semifinals to advance to the third-place match.
Elsewhere in the consolation bracket, Santiago Roque (182) and Axel Avendano (220) each placed fourth at the event.
Roque lost a 12-11 decision to North Marion's Terrin Sheridan in the consolation finals, but earned an automatic victory in the fourth-place match over Tillamook's Jonathan Gingerich after beating the junior by 13-6 decision to open the event. Roque fell in the second round of the bracket semifinals to second-seeded sophomore James Durand of Estacada before picking up a 54-second victory over teammate Tomas Felix in the consolation semifinal.
Avendano had a similar route to his fourth-place win. The Woodburn junior fell 6-1 in the consolation semifinal to Banks freshman Mishael Mauck and picked up an automatic fourth-place win over teammate Ricardo Ascencio, whom he defeated 11-4 in the consolation semifinal. Avendano opened the tournament with a second-round pin of Tillamook's Michael O'Neil before falling by second-round pin to top-seeded junior Lawson Talamantez of Seaside.
Woodburn's final state qualifier was Josh Gutierrez, who placed sixth in the 113-pound bracket, but was selected to advance due to a vacancy in the bracket.
Other Woodburn placers on the day included Karl Price (5th, 126), Jesus Leon (6th, 126), Sergio Lopez (6th, 138), Andres Resendiz (5th, 160), Felix (6th, 182), Ibarra (5th, 195) and Ascencio (5th, 220).
Like the Bulldogs, the Huskies were led by a district champion — Pacheco Contreras — and featured seven wrestlers placing within the top six.
Pacheco Contreras defeated the two top-seeded wrestlers in the 138-pound bracket en route to winning his district title, including a 9-8 decision over second-seeded sophomore Tyler Moncrief of Tillamook in the finals.
The North Marion senior ousted top-seeded sophomore Roman of Woodburn by 3-2 decision in the semifinals and picked up a pair of second-round victories in his first two matches of the tournament.
He was joined in the champion matches by freshman teammate Ayden Flanagan, who placed second in the 113-pound bracket.
Flanagan scored a decisive 12-0 major decision over top-seeded sophomore Xander Knox of Seaside in the semifinals and nearly went the distance Molalla junior Maxam Salvetti before falling in the final 30 seconds of the championship match.
Flanagan earned a first-round pin over Caleb Reilly of Estacada to open the day.
Elsewhere for the Huskies, Kevin Guzman (132), Erick Gonzalez (152) and Sheridan (182) each earned third-place medals on the consolation side of their brackets.
Guzman won his consolation final with a 16-0 technical fall at the end of the second round against Estacada's Tucker Jackson after falling by 11-4 decision to Colby Findley of Molalla in the semifinals.
Gonzalez's third-place match was much closer, pulling out a 4-2 sudden victory over Goddard after previously falling in the second round of the semifinals to Watkins.
Sheridan's close win over Roque in the 182-pound consolation final came after an 18-3 technical fall early in the second round of the consolation semifinal against Gingerich. Sheridan opened the tournament with a first-round pin of Felix before falling in the first round of the semifinal to Tillamook's Miquel Niemi.
The Huskies' final state qualifier was freshman Antonio Guarnieri, who recovered from a loss in his opening match to place fourth in the 160-pound bracket. Guarnieri rallied with a first-round pin of Woodburn's Andres Resendiz in the consolation semifinals before falling in the consolation finals to Seaside's Everett Rollins. Guarnieri earned an automatic victory in the fourth-place match over Resendez.
Other North Marion placers include Zachariah King (8th, 130), Alex Farrens (8th, 138), Bennett (6th, 145) and Roberto Ibarra (5th, 170).
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.