Titus Mejia-Rice throws his opponent from Scio during the Oregon Classic at Redmond. PETE NELSON
In addition to participating in a dual meet at Scio on Jan. 10, Creswell wrestlers faced tough competition at the 48-team Oregon Classic, hosted by Redmond on Jan. 11 and 12.
During Day 1 of the Classic, the Bulldogs wrestled in a five-team pool. Titus Mejia-Rice and Blake Nelson paced Creswell with wins in every matchup.
Winning matches in Creswell’s 24-54 loss to Burns were Mejia-Rice at 145 pounds, Rogelio Legorreta at 195 and Nelson at 220.
Creswell fell 36-42 to Santiam Christian. Winning matches were Giovonni Vazquez at 126; Mejia-Rice at 145, with a 1:03 pin over third-ranked Jason Manzi; Logan Johnson at 152; Jeramiya Yates at 182; Legorreta at 195; and Nelson at 285.
Winning matches in Creswell’s 21-54 loss to Scio were Alex Metteer at 113, Mejia-Rice at 145, Legorreta at 195 and Nelson at 220.
Recording wins in a non-scoring match against 5A North Medford’s JV were Vazquez at 126, Christian Tucker at 138, Johnson at 145, Mejia-Rice at 152, Yates at 182 and Nelson at 220.
In the Consolation bracket on Day 2, Creswell fell to Dayton, 18-59. Winning matches were Metteer at 113, against second-ranked Ryan Penrose; Josiah Lee at 120; Mejia-Rice at 152; and Nelson at 285.
The Bulldogs lost to Vale, 27-30. Winning matches were Metteer at 113, Mejia-Rice at 145, Johnson at 152, Yates at 195 and Nelson at 285.
Creswell bested Lakeview 36-24. Winning matches were Lee at 113, Miguel Lopez at 120, Johnson at 145, Mejia-Rice at 152, Legorreta and 195 and Nelson at 220.
In the girls’ tournament, Hannah Bettis went 1-2 at 117 pounds, Carly Wilkerson went 1-2 at 125 and Raven Rimer was 0-2 at 117.
”There was a lot of very, very good female wrestling there – it was basically a prequel to the state qualifier,” Roberts said. ”It was a huge event for girls’ wrestling, and I thought our girls represented Creswell well against some very steep competition.”
Overall, inexperience cost the Bulldogs at the Classic: ”As a team, we’re pretty green; we have a lot of first-year wrestlers, and for some this was their first event,” Roberts said. ”For our kids, seeing that level of competition at this event should light a fire in the practice room that we need, just three weeks out from Districts.”