Sports Zone

Wrestlers 2-1 at home dual; girls vie for state

Bulldog wrestlers defeated two of three opponents when they hosted a league dual meet on Jan. 31, and freshman Brielle Brick narrowly missed qualifying for state during a girls’ state-qualifying tournament hosted by Thurston last weekend.
During the home dual, Creswell seniors Hannah Bettis and Jaxson Wilkerson were honored before the Bulldogs got down to business, besting Santiam Christian 48-36 and Harrisburg 33-30 before falling 23-52 to Pleasant Hill.
Against Santiam Christian, Wilkerson pinned Levi Janssen in the first round at 132 pounds and Logan Johnson pinned Joshua Hetsler in the second round at 145; taking forfeits were Alex Metteer at 120, Carlie Prosser at 138, Rogelio Legorreta at 182, Javier Fregoso at 195 and Corbin Allison at 220.
Against Harrisburg – a small-but-mighty team that ”will probably have three or four wrestlers in the top three at state,” said Creswell Head Coach Wayne Roberts – Johnson pinned Brynden Bevins in the first round at 145 pounds and Legorreta posted an 8-3 decision over Joan Tapia.
Taking forfeits were Bettis at 106, Julianne Kersgaard at 113, Metteer at 120 and Prosser at 138; there was a double-forfeit at 160.
Against Pleasant Hill, Metteer scored a second-round, 20-4 tech fall over Ethan Litson.
”As long as he wrestles smart and keeps himself in good position, Alex can wrestle strong and hold his own against any wrestler in his weight class,” Roberts said. ”We’re very confident in his ability coming into districts.”
In what was perhaps the match of the day, Johnson – ranked second in state at 145 pounds – was pitted against top-ranked, former-Bulldog-turned-Billie, Titus Mejia-Rice.
”It was a pretty close match until Logan got put on his back and pinned in the third round,” Roberts noted. ”But Logan learned he was able to compete; and the confidence, strength and skill he’s gained over the past year and a half has just been phenomenal. He wrestled very strong against Titus, and we’re confident in his ability at districts.”
Taking forfeits were Bettis at 106 and Fregoso at 182.
”We wrestled the other two teams very well, but we fell a little flat against Pleasant Hill and didn’t wrestle as well,” Roberts said.
At the girls’ state qualifier, the Lady Dawgs were hampered by the fact that only the top two in each weight class in each division – Southern (including Creswell) and Northern (north of Salem) – qualify to fill girls’ state’s paltry four-person brackets.
”That means there are about 200 girls in the Southern and about 230 in the Northern competing for just 56 state spots,” Roberts said, noting that by comparison, boys/coed state meets typically have eight-, 12- or 16-person brackets, depending on school size classification.
”I think OSAA is moving in the right direction with girls’ wrestling, but in fairness and equality, girls’ state should be its own classification, with eight-, 12- or 16-person brackets,” Roberts said. ”It’s wrong that it’s taking so long to get there.”
For Creswell, Kersgaard went 0-2 at 100 pounds, Carley Wilkerson went 0-2 at 120, Bettis – just three days back from an elbow injury – went 1-2 at 105 and Guinevere Devore went 1-2 at 130.
”Hannah was in a very, very, very tough bracket, with her dominant hand still recovering from injury and just two practices under her belt,” Roberts said. ”And Guinevere wrestled probably her best tournament. She wrestled very tough in technique and strength.”
Also newly back from injury, Brick went 4-1 and placed third, narrowly missing a state berth. ”It was a heartbreaker, for sure,” Roberts said.
Brick first pinned Tessa Osterberg of North Valley in 2:51. In the quarterfinals, she bested second-ranked Brooklyn Seber of Ridgeview, who placed fourth at state last year, 7-5. ”That was a huge win, because Brielle came in not seeded,” Roberts said. ”She really proved she can compete at a higher level.”
In the semifinals, Brick faced third-ranked Kerrilee McMahan from Gilchrist. Because McMahan had already lost to Seber, ”we knew we were going to state if we won,” Roberts said. ”But the match came down to experience; Brielle got out of position and put on her back and pinned in 1:22. It was a hard loss, and it happened so early that she really didn’t get a chance to wrestle her.”
Brick next pinned Kailey James from Sweet Home in 5:01; in the third-place match, Brick dominated Seber, 18-7.
”Brielle is very optimistic, bright and happy with what she did, especially as a freshman and a first-year wrestler, and so are we,” Roberts said. ”We see great things ahead for her.”



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