Gardner is just perfect in winning state crown
Football season might not have gone well for Parkrose's Travis Gardner, but it set him up for a stellar wrestling season.
Gardner, benched as the starting quarterback, went 31-0 as a wrestler and won the Class 4A state title at 215 pounds Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.
The senior pinned four of his five opponents, including Joe Mannix of Canby in the first round of the championship match. Gardner's lone close match was a 3-2 win over John Bates of Oregon City in the semifinals.
'I never imagined my season would go as well as it did,' said Gardner, who was fifth as a junior and seventh as a sophomore. 'I just had a great season. Football didn't bother me, especially because I got to play on defense. I didn't get to play defense the last couple of seasons, so I at least had some fun.'
Parkrose went 2-7 in football, losing all seven of its Mount Hood Conference games.
Gardner's win helped the Bronco wrestlers finish 26th in the state.
Centennial placed 21st, thanks largely to junior Bee Yang, who won the title at 112 pounds. Yang won two matches, the quarterfinals and semifinals, by one point before besting Ryan Peterson of St. Helens 8-2 in the final. Yang beat Brett Christy-Hamilton of Cleveland 3-2 in the quarterfinals.
'It feels great to be a state champion,' Yang said. 'I worked very hard in the summer and through the season, and I had some great competition from my workout partners that helped me a lot.'
Yang credited Centennial junior Chris Cannon, a 130-pounder who also reached the state tournament, with helping him develop his skill. Cannon won three matches at the state meet before being eliminated.
Sophomore Ian Pero of Centennial also won a medal for finishing in the top eight at his weight, 152 pounds. He was sixth.
Christy-Hamilton and Anthony Clymens of Cleveland and Kyle Fogel of Madison were the lone medal winners from PIL schools. Each finished eighth.
'This is a huge difference for me from last year,' said Clymens, who missed the 2002 state meet but was the PIL champion at 125 pounds as a junior this winter. 'This is not where I wanted to be this year, but I'll take it. It's going to make me hungry for next year.'
The PIL hasn't had an individual champion since 1994. The district had as many as four champions in 1990 and at least one from 1979-94.
Brandon Ely of David Douglas was fourth at 171.
SWIMMING: David Douglas performed better than expected and finished second in the girls standings at the Class 4A state meet Saturday at Mt. Hood Community College.
Junior Jenni Stratton won the 200 and 500 freestyle races and swam the opening leg of the winning 400 freestyle relay, helping the Scots score 128 points, which was second to McMinnville's 169. Coach Burt Stratton, Jenni's father, was hoping to duplicate last year's fourth-place finish.
Jenni Stratton also helped the Scots finish third in the 200 freestyle relay. Her four events accounted for 88 of her team's points. Juniors JoJo Miller, Erin Henson and Analicia Horn swam on the winning relay team.
Lincoln got a victory in the 200 medley relay and a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle from sophomore Jane Kestner on the way to finishing sixth. Senior Amy Jarvis, junior Ali Davis and sophomore Jessica Embick swam on the winning relay.
Kestner finished third in the 200 freestyle. Embick was third in the 100 breaststroke.
Jesuit senior Kristen Kilroy won the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly to lead the Crusaders to seventh. Reynolds junior Caitlyn Shortt won the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke, scoring all of her team's 32 points, good for 14th.
Senior Heather Jones and freshman Beth Gunderson both placed in the top six in at least one event for Central Catholic, leading the Rams to 13th.
In the boys meet, Lincoln junior Aaron Clark-Ginsberg took third in the 500 freestyle, leading the Cardinals to 19th.