By News-Register staff • 

State wrestling roundup: Bulldogs claim second in team scores; Pirates’ five athletes combine for fourth place; Tigers finish with school-record sixth place; Amity’s Runion earns second individual title

After placing fifth at districts, the Willamina wrestling squad stepped up to snag second place in the team standings, finishing with 107 points.

La Pine won the team title with 149.5 points.

Dayton and Y-C also placed in the top-10, with the Pirates earning fourth with 88 points and the Tigers finishing sixth with 66.

Y-C’s placement was the program’s highest finish in school history.

Michael Fox led the Bulldogs with an individual title in the 160-pound weight class. He defeated Vale’s Ronnie Norton by fall (2:40) to secure his first state championship after placing runner-up the previous two seasons.

The Bulldogs featured three second-place wrestlers – Moses Mercier at 126 pounds, Spyre Nelson at 182 pounds and Corey Greenlaw at 220 pounds. All three won a trio of matches before falling in the finals.

Parker Cavan placed third for Willamina at 170 pounds, going 3-1 overall.

“The boys really stepped up and wrestled well,” said Willamina head coach Ariah Fasana. “We were expecting to be in the top-four, but second was a pleasant surprise.”

Dayton took only five wrestlers to state, but every athlete scored points to help the Pirates plunder the fourth-place trophy.

Pirate head coach Rob Henry noted every wrestler competing at state had to battle the heat, but still impressed.

“The gym was very hot, probably about 90 degrees by the end of the day,” he said. “It was a challenging day, but the kids showed an impressive level of toughness. After all the unknowns we faced this year, the wrestlers and coaches were just happy to be competing in a state championship tournament.

“It had a special feeling,” added Henry.

David Bowlin sealed the Pirates fourth-place finish with a last-second pin of Willamina’s Spyre Nelson in the 182-pound final. The extra points allowed Dayton to edge Burns for a top-four finish.

Tony Cisneros pinned his way to the title at 138 pounds. He tallied a second-round fall over Pleasant Hill’s Jackson O’Connor to earn his first career championship. Cisneros actually trailed 7-2 in the finals match, but reversed his opponent and recorded the pin.

“He is the most dangerous kid I have ever coached, and it’s not even close. He can pin out of any position,” observed Henry.

Jim Larsen finished runner-up at 145 pounds, and nabbed a thrilling sudden death victory over Santiam Christian’s Logan Beem in the semifinals.

Kaiden Abell tallied four consecutive wins at 132 pounds to place third overall.

Y-C’s historic finish was led by a pair of individual champions: Reily Liesegang and Ethan Russell.

At 26 pounds, Liesegang won his first title with a narrow 2-1 decision over a familiar foe: Willamina’s Moses Mercier.

Russell pinned all three of his opponents in the heavyweight division, including a second-round fall of Rainier’s Sterling Bruce in the state finals.

Alex Shipman placed fourth for the Tigers at 106 pounds, going 1-2 with a pin.

Amity’s Blake Runion became the first Warrior in school history to win back-to-back state championships. He won the 120-pound bracket with a 12-3 major decision over Burns’ Ethan Peasley.

Runion also won the 113-pound final last season.

In 2A wrestling, Sheridan’s DeAndre Broxterman placed fourth at 195 pounds.

He went 4-2 overall with a pair of pins.


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