Newberg's Dillon Le (left) got the best of Sprague senior Andrey Cernev in the 152-pound class at Rose City (Jon Olson)
Newberg's Dillon Le (left) got the best of Sprague senior Andrey Cernev in the 152-pound class at Rose City (Jon Olson)

There were many high-level wrestling events this past weekend in Oregon, headed by the Rose City Championship at Westview HS. Here’s what we know:

Newberg smelling like a Rose

Twenty-seven (27) teams, entering a maximum of two wrestlers per weight division, descended upon Westview HS Friday and Saturday for the Rose City Championship. One team hailed from California, 10 were from Washington and the rest were Oregonians. Oregon teams occupied the top three spots and six of the top seven. Oregon wrestlers won 10 of the 14 divisions. Quite a nice showing from the Beaver State.

Newberg, state 6A runner up last year but the most dominant large-school program in the state over the past five years, with two team titles and three second-place finishes, dominated the field, scoring 441.5 points, 115.5 more than second place Sweet Home, the 4A state runner up the past four seasons. 5A runner up Thurston finished third, two spots in front of Dallas and three ahead of Mountain View. West Linn, the defending 6A champ, came in seventh.

Newberg had four individual champions and three second-place finishers.

“We are very satisfied with the results and, more importantly, the effort from our wrestlers,” said Newberg head coach Neil Russo. “We had obvious successes with our champions, but we also had a number of other kids that were on the podium or really close to getting there.”

Isaac Hampton (126), Gavin Rangel (132), Brandon Smith (144) and Dillon Le (150) made the top of the podium for Newberg.

Hampton defeated Kylie Sieminski of Sweet Home, 7-0, in a match of three-time state champions and the two winningest active wrestlers in the state. Hampton was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler for his effort.

Rangel was dominant in winning at 132. He defeated Scout Santos, the 2022 5A champion at 120 pounds for Mountain View, by fall in the semifinals before edging a Sumner (WA) wrestler in the final.

“Gavin looked really good on his feet, a position that he has put a lot of emphasis on improving at over the last six months,” Russo said.

Le, the third seed, won five matches, two by fall, on his way to winning at 150 pounds.

“He told me that he felt great going into the tournament...and it showed,” Russo commented. “Dillon wrestled as well as I have ever seen him. Dillon has really turned into a great leader in our room. He works hard, has fun doing it, and is always pleasant to be around.”

The 144-pound final pitted brothers Brandon Smith and Jacob Smith against one another. The seniors had been most impressive in the preliminary matches, combining for nine falls in 10 bouts. Brandon Smith pinned Thurston’s Colton Annis to make the championship match. Jacob Smith did likewise to 2022 6A 126-ppound champion Oscar Doces.

“Brandon won the finals match-up, 5-1, but both kids wrestled extremely well all weekend,” Russo said.

 Sawyer Keinonen (3rd; 120), Zach Keinonen (2nd; 138); Gus Amerson (3rd; 157) and Trae Frederick (2nd; 165) all had top-three finishes for Newberg.

“I know this is all ‘coach speak’ but it is true: we don't care much about results right now, just that we are making improvements from week to week,” Russo said. “It is December and we've got a long way to go to get to February. We are focused more on effort and improvement than we are on results.”

The six other individual champions from Oregon were Mountain View sophomore Aiden Nelmes (106), Thurston junior Mason Hakki (113), West Linn senior Charlie Spinning (165), the reigning 6A champion at 145; Mountain View senior Jackson Potts (175), the 2022 5A champion at 160; Hillsboro senior Preston Echevarria (190), the reigning 5A champion at 182 pounds; and Willamina senior Rhyne Nelson (285), who pinned his way through the tournament.

Sweet Home coach Steve Thorpe was thrilled with his team’s performance.

“We have some solid youth on our team,” he noted. “I entered eight freshman and seven made it to Day 2.”

One of the freshmen, Jesse Landtroop, finished second in the 113-pound bracket.  

West Linn coach Kevin Keeney said that his team underperformed over the weekend, even though the Lions had four wrestlers, Henry Dillingham (2nd; 157), Lucas Gray (3rd; 165), Doces (3rd; 144) and Colby Cook (4th; 132), join Spinning on the podium. One-third of their wrestlers did not win a match.

Sprague senior Andrey Cernev had three pins on his way to second place at 150 pounds. He is 9-1 season-to-date, with six pins, and a first-place finish at Tyrone Woods two weekends ago to go along with his runner up showing at Rose City.

Battle of the buds?

Westview HS also hosted the War of the Roses one-day girls event, featuring 38 teams.

Thurston, last year’s champion here, entered a whopping 20 wrestlers and battled to a second-place finish, 11 points behind champion Richland of Washington.

Only Dallas (fourth) and Sweet Home (sixth) finished among the top 10 for Oregon schools, as the other seven spots were occupied by schools one state to the north.

Five Oregonians took home individual titles, led by Thurston junior Kristal Zamora at 145 pounds. Zamora, who was third at state last year in 6A/5A at 140 pounds, was named the event’s Most Outstanding Wrestler after she pinned four of five wrestlers, including a second-round pin in the championship bout.

Willamina junior Zoe Brewer (100), Newberg freshman Paisley Conway (105), Dallas junior Polly Oliff (110) and Cleveland junior Isabel Herring (170) also made the top of the podium.

Paisley had a close match to start the tournament and then pinned her way to the end, including a first-round fall in the championship bout over Thurston senior Rubie Winterburn, who placed third in 6A/5A last year at 100 pounds.

“It was a great start to what I think will be a very productive high school career for Paisley,” Russo said.

Oliff, last year’s 6A/5A state champion at 105 pounds, pinned her way through the 110-pound bracket.

Herring, who was third at state at 155 pounds last February, also pinned her way to the title.

Sweet Home entered only 12 wrestlers in tying for sixth, five points short of Dallas in fourth. Four Sweet Home wrestlers made the podium, led by sophomore Bailey Chafin, the reigning 4A/3A/2A/1A state champion at 125 pounds. She finished second at 130 behind a wrestler from Union in Washington.

Dallas, which entered 14 wrestlers, saw three wrestlers join champion Oliff on the podium.

Five Thurston wrestlers, besides Zamora, finished fourth or better in their brackets.

Sprague sophomore Chaya Palomo took second at 100 pounds. She won two weekends ago at Tyrone Woods and is now 5-1 on the year.

A Classic indeed at North Bend

Thirty teams, all but one from Oregon, convened in North Bend for the two-day Coast Classic. Crater, Redmond, Harrisburg and Crook County finished 1-4, in that order. Crater edged Redmond by 4.5 points. Crook County, in fourth, finished just 18.5 points out of first.

Crater had three individual champions, freshman Aidan Godley at 126, sophomore Jaxon Godley at 144 and sophomore Kutter Christensen at 150. Aidan Godley’s performance was particularly impressive, as he defeated reigning state champions Jeremiah Wachsmuth of Clackamas and Luke Cheek of Harrisburg in his final two bouts.

Redmond, the reigning 5A state champions, put nine on the podium, including senior Joseph Downing, who was second at 150.

Senior Nephi Heakin, one of four wrestlers statewide entering the year with 100 career wins, won at 157 pounds for Harrisburg, which put seven others on the podium.

Crook County placed six on the podium, all between 106 and 138 pounds, including junior Landon Lavey, who took the 138-pound bracket.

Other individual champions included Roseburg sophomore Drew Dawson (106) and senior Gage Singleton (120), Forest Grove freshman Archie De La Rosa (113), Henley senior Dylan Clark, Grants Pass junior Owen Hull (165), South Medford junior Bridger Foss (190) and sophomore Isandre De La Torre (215) and Myrtle Point senior Logan Clayburn.

Clark, Hull and Clayburn are all 2022 state champions.

De La Rosa turned heads at 113 pounds when he pinned Max Blanco near the end of the second round. De La Rosa was leading, 10-2, at the time. Blanco won a state title last year for McNary before transferring for his senior year.

“Well we all knew he was tough and had been competing at all the national level events, so this was just another day of wrestling for him,” said Forest Grove coach Guy Takahashi.  “We knew this was coming. We just wanted to see how he would deal with older wrestlers and just could not wait to see when he shocked everyone. Archie is a gifted athlete and an amazing person that everyone would love to coach.”  

Another prized freshman, Leif Larwin of Bend, lost a 5-1 decision to Hull in the 165-pound final. Last year as an eighth grader, Larwin won a Middle School state championship in Folk Style and USA wrestling State Championships in Folk Style, Freestyle and Greco-Roman. Indeed, he was so dominant that no offensive points were scored against him all season!

Bend finished sixth overall, 6.5 points ahead of seventh-place Roseburg, with two other Lava Bears, sophomore Brayden Rangel-Giesking (120) and junior Eric Larwin (138), posting top-three finishes.

Bend’s effort came one week after it placed first at the Adrian Irwin Memorial Tournament hosted by Caldera HS, where it beat crosstown rival Mountain View to establish itself as a team with the potential to earn a trophy at this year's state championships. 

La Grande kicking at Muilenburg

Three-time defending 4A champion La Grande finished second to lead 16 Oregon schools at the 22-team Muilenburg Tournament it hosted over the weekend. The event is named after Brian Muilenburg, a former Tiger wrestler who was killed at a very young age in a car accident. Brian’s mother, who is in her 90s, remains involved with the tournament and handed out the team awards again this year.

This year’s event had more teams and competitors than ever before. In addition to La Grande’s second-place finish, to Idaho’s Bishop Kelly, Sandy, Burns and Banks finished 4-5-6. Pendleton, Oregon City and Estacada also registered top 10 finishes.

La Grande had four individual champions in Bragen Anderson (106), Mason Wolcott (132), Tommy Belding (144) and Ridge Kehr (175). Both Belding and Kehr defeated returning Idaho state champions. Belding’s championship match win was over a nationally-ranked wrestler.

Wolcott, a senior, was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler. He gave his opponent an escape with 25 seconds left in the final period to fall behind by a point and then got a takedown to win, 10-9, right before time expired.

La Grande was missing a few regulars, including its lone returning state champion, Kai Carson.

“I was very impressed with our young kids, who won matches and kept us in the top two as a team,” said coach Klel Carson. “We are still missing a few older, experienced kids in our lineup, so our younger kids have needed to step up and have. Very proud of them.

Only six of the 14 weight classes yielded individual champions from Oregon schools. In addition to La Grande’s four, Burns placed two atop the podium in sophomore Thomas Winn (120) and junior Kale Cornell (126).

Senior Mason Culp, who was runner up at 138 pounds, was Sandy’s highest finisher.

Banks senior Mishael Mauck, third at 190, was the Braves’ top point scorer.

Tiny Glenns Ferry, a small public school in Idaho of fewer than 150 students 9-12, brought four wrestlers and placed three in the finals. Sophomore Henry Thomas won at 113 pounds, while Price Thomas came in second at 132 and junior Gabe Muilenburg lost a 6-2 decision to Winn in the 120-pound final. Yes, he is a grandson of Mrs. Muilenburg!

Imbler brought its five-person team to the event, and got to wrestle some great competition. Freshman Evan Burns, wrestling at 106, made it to the consolation championship. He scored 10 points for his team, as did heavyweight Gabe Harder.

News and notes

La Grande also hosted the Safeway Girls Buckle Classic, which brought 22 teams and 135 wrestlers (twice as many as last year) to Eastern Oregon for the weekend. The Tigers had almost twice as many wrestlers as any other team and ran away with the tournament. They had two individual champions: Florecita Villagomez at 115 pounds and Maleigha Azura at 130 pounds.

Scappoose and Baker placed among the top five. Grant Union, Estacada and Union were top 10 finishers from Oregon. Fifteen of the 22 schools entered represented the Beaver State.

Other individual champions from Oregon schools includes Scappoose sophomore Emmerson Jarman (100-105), Barlow sophomore Abbeline Richard (120), Estacada senior Kirsten DeLazerda (135), Ontario senior Hannah Hernandez (155) and Baker junior Oakley Anderson (170).

Anderson is a defending state champion.

Union, which placed tenth, had two notable placers at the tournament: Senior Emma Burtch and freshman Kari Stockhoff both placed fourth, at 100-105 and 115, respectively.


The Gary McDaniel Memorial hosted by Scio HS, saw Kennedy heavyweights Jamal Pericho and Evan Wyatt battling for the title at 285. Pericho, a junior with one year’s experience under his belt, won by fall over Wyatt, a senior competing in an open bracket tournament for the first time in his career…

Yamhill-Carlton placed first in both the boys and girls tournaments. The YC boys placed six in the finals, with four, Alex Shipman (113), David Wheeler (120), Kaden Sutton (165), and Gus Brunner (175), winning their bracket.

Cayden Hill (126) placed third and won his consolation semifinal in record fashion, tying a school record for fastest pin at six seconds.

On the girl's side, Addison Tunning and Aubrey Mortimore won their respective brackets, while Annie Featherston, Onaly Tindall and Dakota King finished second.

Santiam senior Wyatt Dayton won the 150-pound bracket at Scio, to go along with his third-place showing the Friday before at Devon Dawson. Four other Wolverines, including freshmen Dakota Derrick and Marcus Mitchell, registered top four finishes at Scio.

“I'm seeing nice improvement from the team as a whole and have high expectations for the season,” said coach Kerry Crowston.


Redmond and McNary finished 1-2 at the North Bend Coast Classic Girls Tournament, a one-day, 30-team event.

McNary entered 18 wrestlers. Half finished among the top six in their brackets, led by freshman Marlina Martinez, who won at 110 pounds; and her sister, senior Ali Martinez, who had four first-round pins on her way to the 190-pound title.

Forest Grove was a distant third despite having individual champions in Renae Cook (130), Kailea Takahashi (135) and Kennedy Blanton (145).

All told, five 2022 state champions won titles in North Bend, including Ali Martinez and Takahashi. The others were MacKenzie Shearon of Redmond, Macali Lade of Siuslaw and Allison Palluck of Cottage Grove.


Newport entered only eight girls at the Coast Classic due to a rash of injuries, but those eight wrestlers really “kicked butt,” according to coach Michael Bradley.

“We had three first-year wrestlers who went 0-2, but wrestled really hard and gave some really tough girls a run for their money,” he added. “Our five returners with experience all placed at least fifth or higher.”

Camille Keck and Hilda Gavan-Galicia each went 4-1 and now both have records of 7-2 on the season, with one loss each coming to Takahashi.

“Overall a small group wrestled extremely well and should get deeper in the next few weeks as 2-3 girls come back from injuries to help fill out the lineup,” Bradley said.


Grant had a nice weekend at the Gopher Classic. The team went 3-2 in duals (both losses by three points) and had five wrestlers go undefeated on the day:

Trey Wasson (132) won all contested matches by first-period fall.

Nic Michaud (175) and Benson Deibele (285) went undefeated, winning all matches by fall.

Joaquin Alomia (157) wrestled up a weight class and went undefeated.

Judah Barnett (165) went undefeated.


Rex Putnam was at the Rick Sanders Invitational hosted by Lincoln HS on Saturday. The Kingsmen hoped to finish in the top half but fell just a few points short.

Freshman Dean Kost won the 113-pound bracket, with all three wins coming by fall.

Jesse Hernandez won the 157-pound title. He had a tough quarterfinal match versus Ian Lite from Franklin; then had another tough match in the finals versus Tigard's Cody McClay.

Hector Gongorachel made it to the finals but lost by a point to Abelardo Gordian of Hood River Valley at 144 pounds.

Putnam might have gotten those extra points necessary to break through to the top half but for an injury to Jonathan Welch, a sophomore, at 138 pounds. The first-year wrestler was leading in a match to reach the consolation semifinals when he suffered a neck injury and had to forfeit. The on-site trainer put him in a neck brace, but x-rays were negative, thankfully, and he should be able to wrestle later this week.

“He wrestled very well for a first-year wrestler,” said coach John Telesmanich


Knappa wrestled at the Warrenton Invitational. Corbin Roe took first at 126 pounds and won Most Outstanding Wrestler. Senior Blaine Ogier also won, wrestling at 144 pounds. The Loggers entered just five wrestlers. Warrenton won the boys event, and had three individual champions and six second-place finishers, including two freshmen.

Hillsboro won the girls event. HilHi entered just 11 wrestlers and had five individual champions. Tillamook – 26 wrestlers strong – placed second.

If you are a high school varsity wrestling head coach and want to know how you can contribute to future Notebooks, contact John Tawa at [email protected]