The Bulldogs honored senior wrestlers (from left) Blake Nelson, Jeramiya Yates, Alexia Vinje and Raven Rimer during a home four-way meet last week. GINI DAVIS – THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
Seniors Blake Nelson, Jeramiya Yates, Alexia Vinje and Raven Rimer were congratulated by their families and teammates as the Creswell Bulldogs hosted Harrisburg, Pleasant Hill and Gervais for a four-way meet on Jan. 25.
”They’ve all contributed so much to our program,” said Head Coach Wayne Roberts.
Creswell fell to Harrisburg 24-42. Recording wins were Alex Metteer at 113 pounds, Rimer at 120, Titus Mejia-Rice at 145 and Nelson at 220.
Creswell downed Pleasant Hill 35-29, boosted by Metteer’s third-round fall (5:10) over Ethan Litson. ”He’s ranked in state, but Alex’s wrestling was top-notch,” Roberts said. ”When he won it, the crowd went wild.”
The Bulldogs went on to place 13th at the 22-team Cottage Grove Invitational on Jan. 26-27.
Mejia-Rice went 4-0 to win at 145 pounds; Nelson placed second at 220 after dropping a double-overtime match to a 6A opponent; and Metteer placed fifth at 113.
Logan Johnson was 1-2 at 145 but undefeated in Saturday’s JV tournament. Kobe Sanders was 1-2 at 152. Yates was 0-2 at 182 on Friday but won out on Saturday. Miguel Lopez, at 113 and Josiah Lee, at 120, were both 0-2 Friday and 2-1 Saturday. Christian Tucker was 0-2 Friday and 1-2 Saturday; Rogelio Legorreta was 0-2 both days.
Also on Jan. 26-27, Creswell’s girls competed in the girls’ state qualifier at Thurston. None qualified to advance, although Vinje went 5-2 at 125 pounds.
Rimer was 1-2 at 125; Hannah Bettis and Carley Wilkerson were 0-2 at 117.
”The girls wrestled tough, and our seniors had such passion in their eyes – they really wanted to get to state this year,” Roberts said. ”Unfortunately, they couldn’t get as far as they needed to.”
Roberts said girls’ wrestling is not currently divided into school size divisions, noting that Alexia and Raven’s bracket had 64 girls.
”It’s unfortunate that the bracket’s so big you have to wrestle a lot of times to get to state,” Roberts said. ”When Alexia went out in the tournament, she would’ve been top 10 in the state, and top three in her (school size) classification.”
He said next year there will be two state qualifying locations instead of just one, but that only the top two wrestlers from each location at each weight will advance. ”But the growth in girls’ wrestling is phenomenal, and I think we will get to the place we are with the boys now,” Roberts said.
The Bulldogs are preparing for this weekend’s District Tournament at Harrisburg. ”As a team, if we continue to wrestle at the top of our sport, I think we could send quite a few ‘dark horses’ to State, as well as the ‘usual suspects,’” Roberts said. ”I don’t know if it’ll be as many as the eight we sent last year, but I think we’ll do well.”