West Linn senior Sean Harman wins third straight Class 6A wrestling title
West Linn senior Sean Harman finished his high school wrestling career standing atop the Class 6A podium on Saturday night.
He might as well have been standing on top of a mountain.
Harman — who beat Logan Folsom of Roseburg with a 24-9 technical fall in Saturday's 170-pound championship match at Veterans Memorial Coliseum — finished his high school career as the best wrestler in West Linn history, the best Lion in the 71 years that the Oregon School Activities Association has hosted state wrestling championships, and the only West Linn wrestler to win three state titles.
"This match was special to me," Harman said. "It was my last high school match, I had my dad in my corner, my brothers were both here, the whole family was here. It was really exciting."
There were more superlatives to Harman's final West Linn season, too. Harman — who was already the only two-time state champion in Lions' history — finished his senior season with a perfect 40-0 record (including 25 pins and six technical falls), ended his high school career on a 100-match winning streak and set the table for more greatness at the University of Missouri beginning next year.
"That's awesome," Harman said of his winning streak. "The last time I lost was sophomore year at (the Reser's Tournament of Champions to Roseburg's) Lane van Anrooy and I haven't lost since. If you have that mentality, every loss has got to be motivating regardless of the guy it's against."
Harman certainly showed his competitive edge at state, winning five straight matches at the 6A state tournament, held Friday and Saturday at the Coliseum. He didn't have to wrestle the full six minutes in any of those victories, taking the first three by pins and the last two by technical falls.
Harman, the top seed at 170, kicked off his tournament with a second-round pin of North Medford sophomore Tanner Gaoiran. Next, he stopped Sprague junior Cole Bacheller with a pin three seconds before the end of the first round. He capped his Friday success by pinning Westview junior Kevon Zakula in the first round of his quarterfinal bout.
He wasn't about to slow down on Saturday, either. Harman opened the second day of the tournament by beating fifth-seeded Centennial junior Bailey Sparks with a 19-4 technical fall, ending the match just 23 seconds into the second round.
"I didn't get to end it with a pin, but I was able to end it with a pretty cool exit."
— Sean Harman
And finally, Harman hit the accelerator hard again in the state championship match, powering past second-seeded Roseburg senior Logan Folsom with another technical fall, winning 24-9 1:31 into the third period.
"I was locked in. I got a really great warm-up in and then I was able to go home and take a nap … in my own bed which was great," Harman said. "I wasn't feeling super great earlier … but I ate a little bit, drink a little bit and I told myself, 'You've got to be tough no matter how you feel. It doesn't matter anything like that.' And then you just go out and compete because there's a lot of people who would give (anything) to be out here wrestling. So if you look at it from that perspective, just being grateful to be out there makes it a lot different."
While he continued his dominance in the title contest, Harman got tested by Folsom and loved every second of it.
"That Roseburg kid, he wanted to fight a little bit and that was awesome. I loved it," Harman said. "I don't expect anything less. I'm a competitor, too, so that's what I'm going to do. I expect them to bring it (and) that's what makes it fun, when you get competitors that want to bang. That's when I get after it. That's what makes it exciting."
Harman notched five takedowns and a pair of two-point nearfalls in the first period to lead 14-4, added another three takedowns in the second round to extend his edge to 20-7, then tacked on two more takedowns in the third to cap his victory.
"I'm just trying to soak it in," Harman said after his win. "I've got a lot of buddies who are out here competing for other teams so that makes it really fun — it was pretty special out there. I didn't get to end it with a pin, but I was able to end it with a pretty cool exit."
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