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Viks looking sharp early

Forest Grove wrapped a successful appearance at the Rose City Championships in Portland last weekend, with senior Kyle Vanderkin capturing a tournament title and four other Vikings landing on the podium.

Vanderkin went undefeated to win a championship at 170 pounds, pinning his first three opponents and then beating Tualatin's Kage Wabaunsee 8-1 in the finals.

Vanderkin remained undefeated this season with seven pins in eight matches, and he has outscored opponents 42-2 so far without giving up a single offensive point.

'Kyle is beginning to open up at match time,' Forest Grove head coach Frank Johnson said. 'If Kyle makes the decision that nobody is going to come between him and what he wants, he will continue to put distance between himself and the competition.

'When he wrestles with resolve, like he did this weekend, he puts himself in a position to get his hand raised no matter who the competition is.'

Elsewhere, Forest Grove junior Ivan Mojica-Flores earned a second-place finish at 126 pounds, improving his record to 11-1 this season with eight pins. Sophomore Joe Rodriguez wrestled his way to fourth place at 120 pounds, and senior Jeremy Sullivan took fourth at 220. Junior Jake Kemper added a fifth-place finish at 152.

'It's refreshing to have more individual tournaments on our schedule this year,' Johnson said. 'We have some individuals who can have a great year if they are willing to work hard and put in the right kind of time.

'We have a number of guys who are getting better each week. If they keep it up, they will surprise some people.'