La Grande wrestlers hold off Sweet Home for state title

PORTLAND – The tiger wrestling team of La Grande returned home champions after out-pointing Sweet Home during the OnPoint State Championships, wrapping up action on Saturday.

La Grande, led by four individual state titlists, ended the tournament with 261 points compared to Sweet Home’s 254.5 points. The combined team of Baker and Powder Valley placed fifth with 97 points. Ontario picked up the 16th slot and McLoughlin/Weston-McEwen was 23rd at the end of the day.

La Grande senior Gabe Shukle closed out his high school career with a state title, pinning Hidden Valley’s Christopher Woods in the final match at 285 pounds. Fellow senior Christopher Woodworth, taking the mat at 195 pounds, took a 4-3 decision over Elmira/Crow’s Nat Brown for a state crown. Joining in the senior onslaught for the Tigers, Parker Robinson finished his year with a 37-2 record after a 5-3 decision over Tillamook’s Miquel Niemi in the final match at 170 pounds.

The lone La Grande wrestler not graduating this year, but still a state champion, was sophomore Braden Carson. Carson, wrestling in the 126-pound division, grabbed a 8-4 decision over Tillamook senior Quintin Metcalfe.

The match for the title at 182 pounds found two opponents well known to each other. Both Baker/Powder Valley’s MaHonri Rushton and La Grande’s Nathan Reed come from the Greater Oregon League and have seen each other numerous times in the season. In the end, Rushton took the state title for the Bulldogs with a pin over Reed at the 5 minute, 1 second mark of the match.

Photo Gallery: State Wrestling Day 1 – Kirsti Cason

Photo Gallery: State Wrestling – Ed Peterson

Photo Gallery: State Wrestling Day 2 – Kirsti Cason

Team scores: 1. La Grande, 261. 2. Sweet Home, 254.5. 3. Tillamook, 142.5. 4. Cascade, 101. 5. Baker/Powder Valley, 97. 6. Woodburn, 89. 7. Junction City, 80.5. 8. Banks, 76.5. 9. Estacada, 64. 10. Hidden Valley, 63.5. 11. Mazama, 60. 11. Philomath/Alsea, 60. 13. Siuslaw, 49. 14. Elmira/Crow, 44. 15. Gladstone, 42.5. 16. Ontario, 38.5. 17. Cottage Grove, 34. 17. Seaside, 34. 19. Madras, 32.5. 19. Marshfield, 32.5. 21. North Valley, 30. 22. Stayton, 29.5. 23. McLoughlin/Weston McEwen, 28. 24. Klamath Union, 23. 25. Henley, 19. 26. Newport, 11. 26. Phoenix, 11. 28. Molalla, 10.5. 29. Sisters, 8. 30. Corbett, 3. 30. North Marion, 3. 32. Astoria, 0.

Individual results: 285: First place match, Gabe Shukle (La Grande) over Christopher Woods (Hidden Valley) by fall, 1:56. 220: First place match, James Ellis (Banks) over Spencer Gerst (La Grande) by major decision, 8-0. 195: First place match, Christopher Woodworth (La Grande) over Nat Brown (Elmira/Crow) by decision, 4-3. 182: First place match, MaHonri Rushton (Baker/Powder Valley) over Nathan Reed (La Grande) by fall, 5:01. 170: First place match, Parker Robinson (La Grande) over Miquel Niemi (Tillamook) by decision, 5-3. 160: Third place match, Ayden Wolgamott (Elmira/Crow) over Gauge Bloomer (Baker/Powder Valley) by fall, 1:53. 152: Fifth place match, Aidan Tice (Seaside) over Jaden Schnepp (Ontario) by fall, 1:13. 145: Third place match, Jake Eskew (Baker/Powder Valley) over Blaise Pindell (Philomath/Alsea) by decision, 11-5. Fifth place match, Brayden Newport (Sweet Home) over Wyatt Livingston (La Grande) by technical fall, 17-8. 138: First place match, Jackson Royer (Sweet Home) over Jesse Jones (McLoughlin/Weston McEwen) by major decision, 11-2. Third place match, Elijah LaCosse (Siuslaw) over Alex Kehr (La Grande) by fall, 1:42. 132: Third place match, Cole Isaacson (La Grande) over Christian Gregory (Sweet Home) by decision, 7-0. Fifth place match, Cole Wiles (Newport) over Ruben Hernandez (Ontario) by forfeit. 126: First place match, Braden Carson (La Grande) over Quintin Metcalfe (Tillamook) by decision, 8-4. Third place match, Johnny Niehaus (Baker/Powder Valley) over Rian Howard (Sweet Home) by major decision, 10-2. Fifth place match, Kyle Wulf (Ontario) over Tanner Wood (Mazama) by technical fall, 15-0. 120: Third place match, Gavin Stone (Baker/Powder Valley) over Landin Vittetoe (Estacada) by decision, 10-3. Fifth place match, Dominick Caratello (La Grande) over Hunter Lucas (Hidden Valley) by fall, 4:54. 113: First place match, Mauro Michel (Cascade) over Joshua Collins (La Grande) by decision, 11-4. 106: First place match, Brysen Penaloza (La Grande) over Jake Sieminski (Sweet Home) by decision, 5-3.