Woodburn, North Marion conclude wrestling season
The Woodburn and North Marion wrestling team put the finishing touches on the 2021 season after placing in the top 20 at the 4A state championship tournament held at Cascade High School on Saturday.
Led by state placers Benito Roman and Kaden Christiansen, the Bulldogs took home 15th place at the event, while freshman Ayden Flanagan's fourth-place finish paced the Huskies to a 19th-place finish. The Sweet Home Huskies ran away with the 2021, scoring 262 points to best runner-up La Grande (167).
The biggest performance over the weekend for Woodburn came from the unseeded sophomore Roman, who took down three seeded opponents en route to a third-place finish in the 138-pound bracket.
Roman opened the tournament with a dominating 20-2 technical fall victory over seventh-seeded sophomore Jonathan Calvert of Marshfield, then pulled off a 7-6 upset over two-seed Tanner Wood of Mazama to advance to the bracket semifinals.
Roman's run ended in a 13-8 decision to Stayton's Eli Howard, but he rallied on the consolation side of the bracket with an 8-4 victory over Sweet Home's Trenton Smith on Saturday. The Woodburn sophomore concluded his day with a 5-4 decision over fifth-seeded sophomore Trenton Wymore of Cascade to place third overall.
Roman was joined by senior teammate Christiansen in medaling matches. The second-seeded wrestler in the 152-pound bracket, Christiansen earned victories in his first two matches before falling by 7-0 decision to Junction City sophomore Carson Henderson in the semifinals.
Christiansen was shut out again in the consolation semifinals, falling 4-0 to La Grande's Braxton Bisenius, but the Woodburn senior redeemed himself in his final match of the day. After beating seventh-seeded freshman Kaden Watkins by 2-0 decision in the quarterfinals, Christiansen scored a 2-0 sudden victory over Watkins in the fifth-place match to finish his Woodburn wrestling career with a victory.
Elsewhere for the Bulldogs, Jaime Cruz went 2-2 in the 195-pound bracket to earn seven points for the team, while Axel Avendano (220 pounds) and Santiago Roque (182) each picked up a victory at the tournament.
Ernie Preciado (145) and Josh Gutierrez (113) each went 0-2 at the event.
For the Huskies, it was the 113-pound freshman Flanagan who led the way, placing fourth at the event to finish his first high school year.
Flanagan entered the competition as the fifth-seeded wrestler and won his opening two matches, pinning Cascade's Payton Burlingame in 55 seconds before scoring a 6-4 decision over fourth-seeded Carlos Torres of Madras.
Flanagan fell quickly to eventual champion Benjamin Hernandez in the semifinals, but rallied with an 8-5 decision over Stayton senior Ben Adams to advance to the consolation finals.
Flanagan ultimately fell to Molalla junior Maxam Salvetti at the end of the first round to finish the tournament.
The Huskies also saw strong performances from Kevin Guzman (132) and Terrin Sheridan (182), each of whom went 2-2 over the weekend to score points for North Marion.
Martin Pacheco Contreras (138) and Antonio Guarnieri (160) each picked up victories to add to the Huskies' total, while Erick Gonzalez went 0-2 in the 152-pound bracket.
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