Newberg's Isaac Hampton embraces coach Neil Russo after winning his third 6A title Saturday night. (Photo by Jon Olson)
Newberg's Isaac Hampton embraces coach Neil Russo after winning his third 6A title Saturday night. (Photo by Jon Olson)

PORTLAND – One year after a disappointing runner-up finish, Newberg is back on top of 6A wrestling.

The Tigers claimed their 14th official state championship – tying them with Lowell for the most all-time in Oregon – with another stellar team effort Saturday in the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 6A tournament at Veterans Memorial Coliseum. If their unofficial title from the COVID-shortened season in 2021 is counted, they stand alone at the top.

Behind four champions and five runners-up, Newberg scored 353 points to beat second-place West Linn (230), the team that ended their three-year reign last season. Roseburg (175) and Clackamas (134.5) were next.

Newberg went 12-1 in quarterfinal matches and 9-3 in the semifinals to cement its victory. Last year's defeat to West Linn, which ended a three-year reign, stuck with the Tigers.

“West Linn got hot and won matches. We kind of turned the tables on that this year,” Newberg coach Neil Russo said. “We won close matches. We won matches that maybe we weren't supposed to win on paper. I'm so proud of our kids. I don't know that I've seen a day like that.”

Newberg's four champions were seniors Isaac Hampton (126) and Dillon Le (144), sophomore Gavin Rangel (132) and junior Gus Amerson (150). Hampton raved about the team's chemistry.

“I've been on teams with my brothers and some of my closest friends, and this is the best year I've ever had,” Hampton said. “You can tell that losing here last year really has made us all work a lot harder. The room is laser-focused.

“I love those guys. I love watching them win. That's why we won today because we knew that we all wanted it so badly.”

It was the third title for Hampton, who also won at 113 and 120 after finishing second at 106 as a freshman. In Saturday's final, he prevailed 3-1 over Clackamas senior Jeremiah Wachsmuth, last year's champion at 113.

Rangel grabbed his title by pinning the top seed, Aloha senior Moises Lopez. The top-seeded Amerson pinned Jefferson sophomore Titus Rodela in his final. Le, a No. 5 seed, defeated No. 3-seeded senior teammate Brandon Smith 3-2 for his title.

Newberg senior Zach Keinonen (138) was bidding to become the team's fourth four-time state champion, but fell to top-seeded West Linn junior Oscar Doces 2-1 in overtime in the final. For Doces, who won the title at 126 last year, it was his third consecutive overtime win over Keinonen, the other two coming in the Reser's Tournament of Champions.

“It comes down to whoever wants it more. That's all it is,” Doces said. “I knew I had to want it more if I was going to win. … I wake up at 5 a.m. every day so I can go out here and do this. It's what I love. I love wrestling.”

West Linn had three repeat state champions in Doces and top-seeded seniors Henry Dillingham (157) and Charles Spinning (165) and a first-time champion in senior Colby Cook (120). Spinning beat Newberg senior Luke Augustus 12-6 and Dillingham defeated Newberg senior Trae Frederick 4-3.

Dillingham trailed before a reversal with 10 seconds left gave him the winning points.

“If I'm being honest, I don't really know what happened,” said Dillingham, who also beat Frederick by one point at Reser's last month.

Dillingham said he got a boost in defending his title from former West Linn standout Sean Harman, a three-time state champion (2017-19). He said Harman helped him overcome complacency.

“I thought I won something last year. Nobody cares what you did last year,” Dillingham said. “I didn't think that I was still wrestling for something. I wasn't protecting anything.

“I told (Harman) that I was being weak-minded and thinking of these bad things. He'd call me before every match, leave voicemails for me, what to do. Give me advice. I've really got to thank him a lot for that.”

Roseburg senior Gage Singleton, who won titles at 106 as a freshman and sophomore and was runner-up at 113 last year, picked up his third championship. The No. 3 seed, Singleton rolled to an 8-2 win over the No. 1 seed, unbeaten Forest Grove freshman Jorge De La Rosa.

Singleton said that his experience made a difference against the rookie.

“I think I had an advantage in strength, endurance and technique,” he said.

South Medford junior Bridger Foss (175) and Tualatin junior Logan Sunnell (190) completed unbeaten seasons with their first state titles. Foss finished 46-0 and Sunnell 21-0.

Lake Oswego junior Lusiano Lopez, seeded eighth, won the title at 215 with a 17-6 victory over Forest Grove junior Carter Bennett. Lopez knocked off the top seed, South Medford sophomore Isandre De La Torre, 17-6 in the quarterfinals.

Also winning titles were Roseburg sophomore Drew Dawson (106) and Nelson junior Dominic Macon (285).


Dallas captured its first state championship since 2018, outscoring Thurston (202), Redmond (190.5) and Crater (186). The Dragons got a title from junior Joseph Johnson (120) and a runner-up finish from senior Cole Langford (215).

Mountain View and Crater each picked up three individual titles.

Seniors Scout Santos (132) and Jackson Potts (175) and sophomore Aiden Nelmes (106) won for Mountain View. Junior Joey Hutchins (138) and freshmen Jeremiah Oliva (113) and Aidan Godley (126) won for Crater.

Santos and Potts repeated as champions. Santos pinned Thurston junior Sean Regas and Potts recorded an 8-1 decision over Canby junior James Keinonen.

“Me and Scout are like best friends, so it's awesome to see him get that two times for him,” Potts said. “It kind of pumped me up.”

Last year's experience at state helped Potts settle into the environment.

“I'm just more calm, less nervous before my matches,” Potts said. “Just being here before, being in the finals, just helped out.”

The second title had a different feel for Santos.

“The first one meant a lot,” he said. “This one still feels great, but it won't compare to my first state title. A lot more pressure. … Beginning of the season, I was a little slow. But once I hit the halfway point, I told myself, 'I ain't going to lose no more.'”

The only other wrestler to win a repeat title was Hillsboro senior Preston Echeverria (190), who pinned Redmond junior Orinn Hubbard to cap his career.

“I knew I had to come back and take what's mine, take my title,” Echeverria said. “Got it last year, I knew I was going to get it this year.”

Canby junior Jackson Doman (215) finished off a 45-0 season by stopping Langford 6-2 in the final. Silverton junior Brash Henderson improved to 24-0 by beating Lebanon junior Isaac Jordan 3-1 at heavyweight.

Redmond got titles from seniors Joseph Downing (150) and Jared Ake (157). Other winners were Thurston junior Colton Annis (144) and Bend freshman Leif Larwin (165).

6A/5A Girls

Thurston added to its run of success by winning the team title. The Colts won a championship in 2020 and an unofficial crown in 2021 before placing second the last two years.

Thurston scored 140.5 points to finish ahead of Dallas (106), Redmond (102) and North Salem (85). The Colts' lone champion was sophomore Izabella Castlebery, the No. 4 seed at 155.

Castlebery pinned top-seeded Redmond junior MacKenzie Shearon in the semifinals and trounced third-seeded Tigard senior Natalie Wilhoit 17-2 in the championship match.

Five wrestlers won repeat titles in North Medford sophomore Skyler Hall (105), Dallas junior Polly Olliff (110), North Salem senior Mariko Sonis (120), West Salem senior Reese Lawson (145) and McNary senior Ali Martinez (190).

The Hall sisters of North Medford, Skyler and junior Sadie, both claimed titles with 4-3 wins. Skyler defeated Newberg freshman Paisley Conway, and later, Sadie knocked off top-seeded Forest Grove junior Kailea Takahashi, a reigning champion.

Sadie was a runner-up last year.

“It's amazing. I fell short of my goal last year and she won it,” Sadie said of Skyler. “I think she understood that I missed a goal that I wanted so much. I think her winning last year really drove me to work harder.”

McKay junior Sarah Chavez, runner-up at 100 the last two years, pinned Thurston senior Rubie Winterburn in the first round of the 100 final.

“I knew that this year was my year,” Chavez said. “No more seconds.”

Wells sophomore Zorina Johnson (125), also a runner-up last year, finished a 23-0 season with a 9-3 win over Forest Grove sophomore Renae Cook.

“I'm glad I got second last year. I needed to get beat up on,” Johnson said. “I needed to have that loss to push me further.”

Johnson and Cook have become good friends and daily offseason training partners since meeting last year.

“Having her, I was excited because I know she's one of the toughest competitors in the state,” Johnson said. “We're making each other better.”

Coming off last year's title, Olliff said she struggled with finding the right mentality this season. She got back to the top of the podium with a 5-2 win over top-seeded Corvallis junior Jennifer Russell, who defeated Olliff 4-3 this season.

“This season I've dealt with a lot of stress issues, and it was really hard for me to be confident, because I thought if I was being confident, I was being cocky,” Olliff said. “So I just did a lot of prayer, and I learned from my mom. We did a lot of talking. It's two different things, being confident and being cocky.”

Liberty had two champions in senior Gracee Grenfell (135) and junior Bianca Miranda (235). Mountainside junior Layla Morris (115), Forest Grove junior Kennedy Blanton (140) and Cleveland junior Isabel Herring (170) also won titles.