Union / Cove sophomore Sam Platz topped the podium after winning a district title at 165 pounds with three successive falls
Union / Cove sophomore Sam Platz topped the podium after winning a district title at 165 pounds with three successive falls

Special Special Districts

Wrestlers are going to state! Last weekend, the 6A/5A girls Special District meets took place, along with boys Special District Meets in 4A, 3A and 2A/1A. For most wrestlers, their seasons ended on Saturday. But, for some, “I’m going to State!!!!” was the prevailing emotion.

Girls 6A/5A Special District Meets

At the SD1 Meet, Southridge surprised both Hillsboro and Forest Grove in a tight team race to capture its first district title. The Skyhawks won it despite having no one place better than third. Katelyn Davis (135), Adriana Wallace (145) and Theresa Birnmeyer (155) all achieved that result.

Second-place Hillsboro had only one champion, sophomore Joanna Interian at 155.

Third-place Forest Grove had two champions, juniors Kailea Takahashi (130) and Kennedy Blanton (140). Takahashi is a returning state champion at 125 pounds. The Vikings might be the best-positioned to make its state tournament mark.

“We have quality girls that are looking for state titles,” coach Guy Takahashi said. 

Forest Grove finished third at State last year with four wrestlers.

Zorina Johnson, a sophomore at Ida B. Wells, repeated as district champion, this year at 125 pounds. Johnson remains unbeaten on the season, but was extended to six minutes for the first time all season in the final. Note: did you know that Johnson was the nose guard on the JV football team as a freshman and led the squad in sacks? Thanks to Austin White of the Portland Tribune for that nugget!

Junior Layla Morris of Mountainside also repeated as district champion, winning at 114 pounds.

At the SD2 Meet, district champion Dallas, McKay and McNary all scored more than 200 points, with the champions qualifying nine for state, including champions Polly Olliff (110) and Ivy McIntosh (115). Olliff is a returning state champion. McIntosh was one of three Dragons to qualify for state a year ago, when they finished in 14th place. After winning its first district title, Dallas is poised to make a big jump this year and could even contend to win it all.

Two freshmen, Newberg’s Paisley Conway at 105 and Nelson’s Cadence Payton at 130, one district titles. Payton’s district title was the first for a Nelson wrestler.

Four other returning state champions, Mariko Sonis of North Salem (120), Reese Lawson of West Salem (145), Jasmine Brown of Wilsonville (170) and Ali Martinez of McNary (190), won district titles and the right to attempt a repeat as state champions.

Canby senior Madison Kidwell won a district title at 235, one week after suffering her first two losses on the year. Kidwell, who pinned her finals opponent in 34 seconds, is the first district champion in Cougar history. Freshman Emilia Ensrud made the finals at 115, joining Kidwell as the school’s only district finalists ever in girls wrestling.

McNary freshman sensation Marlina Martinez lost to Olliff in the 100-pound semifinals, 9-6. Olliff has lost only one time all year.

Summit senior EunMi Kipley had her season-long winning streak end at 17 when Elly Asher recorded a second-period fall in the 100-pound semifinals. Kipley came back to place third to advance to the state tournament.

At the SD3 Meet, Thurston, as expected, won going away. The Colts entered 23 wrestlers and overwhelmed with numbers, in addition to having champions Rubie Winterburn (100) and Kristal Zamora (140). A whopping 11 wrestlers from Mike Simons’ squad qualified for the state tournament. 

Redmond finished second. The Panthers brought 20 wrestlers to district and qualified nine for state, including three champions, Mia Pedersen (120), Reina Barnes-Rubio (135) and MacKenzie Shearon (155).

North Medford, the defending state champion, finished a distant third, but also had three champions: Skyler Hall (105), Sadie Hall (130) and Isabella Jaime (145).

Corvallis junior Jennifer Russell, the only wrestler to defeat Olliff this season, pinned her way through the 110-pound bracket.

Skyler Hall and Shearon are returning state champions.

Boys 4A Special District Meets

At the 4A SD1 Meet, Tillamook and Estacada finished 1-2. Tillamook had four champions, including returning state champion Bryce Haltiner at 113 pounds.

Estacada had two district champs, including Cohen Schleich, who pinned his way through the 144-pound division.

Astoria senior Matthew Evans, a returning state champion, won the 285-pound bracket with a 1-0 decision over senior Kenneth Lopez of Tillamook in the championship match. He was one of two Astoria champs.

Scappoose also had two district bracket winners, including junior Maverick Heimbuck at 157 pounds. Heimbuck is 41-2 on the year.

Molalla also had two champions.

At the 4A SD2 Meet, Sweet Home ran away with the title. The Huskies had eight champions, including three-time state champion Kyle Sieminski; and nine more who finished among the top three. They should pose a formidable challenge to three-time defending champion La Grande at the state tournament.

Cascade was second with four champions, including Conrad Baxter at 132. The junior pinned three opponents and won the championship by technical fall.

Newport brought 21 to Stayton and did well across the board. The Cubs did much better than their last-place finish of a year ago, just not well enough in most cases.

“It was a lot of mixed emotions on a day where we were ecstatic to have nine placers but disappointed that 8 of those 9 placers were either 5th or 6th, coming up just short,” noted head coach Michael Bradley.

Junior Dominic Guenther finished fourth at 285 and was the team’s lone qualifier.

“He wrestled one of his best days of the year, pulling a couple of upsets that very few outside of the Newport room expected and coming close on a couple that would have surprised even his coaches,” Bradley said.

Bradley also lauded freshman Giulian Gutierez for gutsiness after slicing his eyelid open in his second match in the 150-pound bracket and wrestling four more matches. Gutierez finished fifth after losing in the final second in the match for fourth.

“As a freshman, G showed a ton of grit and determination and highlighted why we are so excited about his future even though he came up just short of qualifying,” Bradley said.

Bradley summed up his team’s experience this way:

“It's one of the most bittersweet days I have ever experienced as a coach. I am beyond proud of our guys and how many we had come so close, but also very disappointed to see so many great kids come up just a hair short of their goal. Overall the future of Newport Wrestling is very bright and seems to get brighter every year.”

At the 4A SD3 Meet, Mazama and Marshfield battled neck and neck before the Vikings pulled out the 340-320 team win.

Mazama had three champions in the upper weights, junior Kris Baldwin (165) and seniors Tyson Van Gastel (190) and Armando Gallindo (285). Marshfield had five champions, all underclassmen, including junior Reese Hite, who pinned his way through at 132.

At the 4A SD4 Meet, Crook County, which entered 27 wrestlers; defeated state champion La Grande, which entered 22; by more than 100 points. The Cowboys had five champions, including returning state champion Gavin Sandoval at 190. Kai Carson(132) led six from La Grande atop the podium. Heavyweight Kenai Huff pinned all three of his opponents.

Boys 3A Special District Meets

At the 3A SD 1 Meet, Banks overwhelmed the competition. The Braves put four atop the podium, including senior Mishael Mauck at 190; and had 10 others finish among the top three. Banks, with 12 wrestlers, finished fourth at state last year. Mauck is a returning state champion.

At the 3A DS2 Meet, Harrisburg won by more than double the points of second-place Santiam Christian. The Eagles qualified a school-record 17 wrestlers for the 3A state tournament and had 14 district finalists and a school-best nine individual champions. That includes returning state champions Luke Cheek at  Brody Buzzard at 165 and career triple digit winner Nephi Heakin at 144.

Elmira finished third, with returning heavyweight state champion Brett Highburger winning districts at that weight.

At the 3A SD3 Meet, North Valley won the team competition by a healthy margin over South Umpqua, with Coquille third.

Surprisingly, the Knights only had one district champion, senior Mason Core at 150 pounds. Core won all four of his matches by fall.

At the 3A SD4 Meet, defending state champion La Pine finished a distant third behind first-place Nyssa and runner-up Burns.

Nyssa entered 23 wrestlers and had eight finish among the top 3 in their brackets, including  champions Ashton Wilson at 157 and heavyweight Jorge Candelas.

Cannon Kemper and Easton Kemper led five district champs for Burns, which was 3A state runner up last February.

La Pine also put five atop the podium, including returning state champions Landyn Philpott (138), Devon Kerr (144) and Tag Deluca (190). Don’t count the Hawks out of repeating at Memorial Coliseum. Their nine wrestlers all should be big point producers.

Boys 2A/1A Special District Meets

At the 2A/1A SD1 Meet, Willamina won going away over Toledo. The Bulldogs had four district champions, all underclassmen, and an additional eight to finish among the top three.

Toledo senior Logan Gerding, a returning state champion at 132, finished second at the same weight to Nestucca junior Zak Chatelain, who won by decision, 8-4. Toledo finished with five district champions.

Knappa senior Corbin Roe repeated his district title at 126 pounds after a six-week layoff due to a broken elbow. He and Blaine Ogier (third at 132) will represent the Loggers at state.

Kennedy sent nine wrestlers to districts, had six place and two qualify for the state tournament. Junior Julio Reyes-Hernandez finished third at 120-pounds. A district finalist as a freshman, Reyes-Hernandez suffered a season-ending injury in the consolation semifinals last year.

“He’s been on a wild ride since he started wrestling his freshman year,” said coach Dewey Enos. “He’s been through so much adversity Now, being a two time state qualifier, I’m so proud of him.”

Senior Evan Wyatt also finished third for Kennedy, making the state tournament field at 285 pounds. 

“Evan is a natural first-year wrestler, the kind of kid you dream about,” Enos said. “He had never stepped on a wrestling mat until November 2023 and now he’s going to be going to the state tournament as a first-year wrestler. He had to do it the hard way, losing his first match of the day, and then rattling off four wins to make it.”

Illinois Valley got by Camas Valley to win the 2A/1A SD2 Meet. Illinois Valley had five district champions, including returning state champions Mike Miller and Ryan Griffin. Another returning state champion, Micah Martinho, lost by forfeit to Lowell junior Harley Hardison at 120 pounds. Hardison is 28-1 on the year and himself a returning state champion.

Camas Valley’s second–place showing was impressive considering it entered only nine wrestlers. Seven placed and qualified for the state tournament, including senior champions Owen Koegler (165) and Kaden Thompson (190). The team’s seven scoring wrestlers were half that of champion Illinois Valley.

In 2A/1A SD3, defending state champion Culver took down Irrigon for the title. Culver overwhelmed the district with numbers, but had only two champions, Cole Rahi at 132 and Carlos Fernandez at 138. The team also had two second-place and two third-place finishers.

Taylor Parsons won his bracket at 126 pounds. The Grant Union / Prairie City sophomore is a returning state champion.

Union / Cove went to the district tournament with only four wrestlers, the other two unable to compete due to injury or illness. The four that did wrestle this past weekend had a great showing.

“We talk a lot about having our best weekends be in the post season and my boys did just that,” said coach Joe Shaw.

At 175 pounds, sophomore Gabe McKaig beat two wrestlers that he had lost to previously in the season. Austin Ritter (190) and Larry McKaig (157) wrestled their best weekends yet and each came away with fourth place.

Sophomore Sam Platz, wrestling in the 165-pound bracket, matched his top seed by winning his three matches all by fall, beating opponents he had wrestled previously in a more convincing fashion.

“The biggest upside to this great group of kids: not a single one graduates this year,” Shaw said. “So we have a lot to look forward to in the coming years.

Elgin, the unofficial 1A state champion, finished fourth in the district. The Huskies sent 11to the tournament and had four finish top three, with champions Landyn Fincher (106) and Ty McLaughlin (175). Top-seeded Gen Wintersteen was second at 157.  


In this recurring category, we list wrestlers with 15 or more wins who are currently undefeated on the season.

33-0 – Jackson Doman, Jr., Canby, 5A (190/215)

31-0 – Archie De La Rosa, Fr., Forest Grove, 6A (113)

25-0 – Dominic Macon, Jr., Nelson, 6A (285)

20-0 – Zorina Johnson, Soph., Ida B. Wells, 6A/5A (125)

19-0 – Sarah Gonzales, Jr., North Valley, 4A/3A/2A/1A (105)

Legends of the fall

In this section, we list wrestlers recording pins this season in under 15 seconds.

8 seconds

Colby Rich, Soph., Kennedy, 175, Jan. 25

10 seconds

Scout Santos, Sr., Mountain View, 132, Dec. 15

11 seconds

Abby Daugherty, Jr., North Douglas, 105, Jan. 14

Soraya Pickett, Fr., North Salem, 120, Jan. 25

12 seconds

Reid Abrahamson, Sr., Mountain View, 285, Jan. 11

Max Smith, Jr., Warrenton, 190, Jan. 6

13 seconds

Grant Brunner, Soph., Kennedy, 165, Jan.23

Mason Core, Sr., North Valley, 150, Jan. 13

Katlyn Morton, Jr., Waldport, 185-192, Feb. 3

Chaya Palomo, Soph., Sprague, 100, Dec. 2

14 seconds

Reid Abrahamson, Sr., Mountain View, 285, Dec. 1

Liam Williams, Sr., Mountain View, 215, Jan. 11

15 seconds

Skyler Hall, Soph., North Medford, 100, Feb. 9

Karly Wilson, Soph., Thurston, 122, Jan. 13

Pin to the end

In this section, we list wrestlers who pinned their way through an event with four or more wins.

Thomas Bischoff, Sr., Regis, 215, Culver Tournament Dec 8-9

Kira Boitano, Sr., Kennedy, 110, Dayton, Jan. 6

Mason Core, Sr., North Valley, 150, 3A SD3, Feb. 9-10

Melani Correa Artiaga, Sr., Century, 130, Tyrone Woods, Dec. 3

Skyler Hall, Soph., North Medford, 100, 6A/5A SD3, Feb. 9-10

Maverick Heimbuck, Jr., Scappoose, 157, Bill Geister Invitational, Feb. 2-3

Hannah Henderson, Sr., Harrisburg, 155, North Bend Coast Classic, Dec. 9-10

Hannah Henderson, Sr., Harrisburg, 155, Pape Linn County Championship, Jan. 4

Hannah Henderson, Sr., Harrisburg, 155, Hood River Girl’s Tournament, Jan. 27

Isabel Herring, Jr., Cleveland, 170, 6A/5A SD1, Feb. 9-10

Reese Hite, Jr., Marshfield, 132, 4A SD3, Feb. 9-10

Emmerson Jarman, Soph., Scappoose, 100, Guardian Invitational, Feb. 2-3

Zorina Johnson, Soph., Ida B. Wells, Braided 64, Jan. 5-6

Owen Koegler, Sr., Camas Valley, 165, King of the Hills, Jan. 6

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 115, Perry Burlison, Dec. 2

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 115, North Bend Coast Classic Dec. 8-9

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 115, Grants Pass Winter Kick-off, Dec. 15-16

Delilah Leusch, Fr., West Linn, 115, Tod Surmon/Mid-Valley Classic, Jan. 27

Ali Martinez, Sr., McNary, 190, Lady Dragon Invitational, Jan. 20

Landyn Philpott, Sr., La Pine, 138, Sierra Nevada Classic, Dec. 28-29

Jennifer Russell, Jr., Corvallis, 110, 6A/5A SD3, Feb. 9-10

Cohen Schleich, Sr., Estacada, 144, 4A SD1, Feb. 10

Kailea Takahashi, Jr., Forest Grove, 130, 6A/5A SD 1, Feb. 9-10

Kaden Thompson, Sr., Camas Valley, 190, 2A/1A SD 2, Feb. 10


In this section, we identify those wrestlers who have made commitments to wrestle in college.

Kai Carson, Sr., La Grande, 138 – Eastern Oregon University

Isaac Hampton, Sr., Newberg, 125/133 -- Navy

Jackson Potts, Sr., Mountain View, 175 – Gardner-Webb University

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]