Sports Zone

Nelson wins 220-pound class at Santiam Christian

Blake Nelson (center) receives his tournament championship medal after winning his 220-pound weight class at the Santiam Christian Screamin’ Eagle Tournament. PETE NELSON

Blake Nelson of Creswell edged Blake Larson of Dayton 4-3 for the second time this season in a gritty, quadruple-overtime match at 220 pounds during the Screamin’ Eagle wrestling tournament hosted by Santiam Christian on Jan. 6.
The score of the 220-pound championship match remained deadlocked 2-2 at the end of the second OT and was 3-3 after the third OT. In the fourth overtime period, Larsen chose the down position, hoping to earn an escape, ”but Blake held him down the whole time, so he was awarded the point for the win,” said Creswell Head Coach Wayne Roberts. ”It was an edge-of-your-seat type match.”
Roberts said Larsen, a sophomore, holds the edge in technique, while Nelson, a senior, has superior drive and strength, ”so they’re a very good matchup.”
Nelson was the Bulldogs’ only winner at the tournament.
Titus Mejia-Rice placed second at 152 pounds, Alex Metteer went 2-1 to place third at 113 and Alexia Vinje placed sixth at 126.
Mejia-Rice, a two-time state champion, went 2-1 on the day, losing the 152-pound championship match 4-6 to Brandon Zeiher of Scio; it was his second loss to Zeiher this season, and Roberts expects another rematch between the pair this week when the Dawgs travel to Scio for a dual tournament.
”There’s a newfound purpose in Titus at practice; this is lighting a fire under him, and I think he’ll keep growing and get where he needs to be by the end of the season,” Roberts said. ”He really wants that third state championship, and he’s determined to do what’s necessary to get it.”
Josiah Lee was 0-2 at 120 pounds, and Rogelio Legorreta went 0-2 at 182.
As a team, the Bulldogs, who fielded just six wrestlers, placed seventh in the 15-team tournament.
Wrestling in the B bracket (JV) for Creswell, Hannah Bettis got one win at 120 pounds. Miguel Lopez was winless at 120, and Raven Rimer was winless at 126.
In addition to the Scio dual earlier this week, Creswell travels to Redmond for this weekend’s competitive two-day Oregon Classic this weekend. ”It’ll be good competition; we’ll get a good look at some of the state’s top wrestlers, and it’ll be a good team bonding experience,” Roberts said.



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