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OC matmen close in on dual title

The Pioneers improve to 5-0 with a 55-13 win over Putnam
by: Craig Mitchelldyer, Oregon City junior Travis Snow, right, won an 8-7 barnburner against Putnam junior Eric Rau last Thursday as the Pioneers picked up a 55-13 win. They're now 5-0 in the Three Rivers League.

OREGON CITY - The Oregon City Pioneers last week clinched at least a tie for the 2007 Three Rivers League dual-meet wrestling title, defeating Putnam 55-13.

The Kingsmen demonstrated an improved wrestling program, winning four of the 11 matches contested on the mat.

But while the Kingsmen's wins were all by decision, Oregon City piled up points, winning five matches by fall and three more by forfeit.

The Pioneers (5-0) draw a bye from league duals this week. They'll be favored to claim the TRL dual title outright next Thursday (Jan. 31) when they close out the league dual season at Lakeridge (1-3).

'It was senior night and I was able to place every senior in the [varsity or jayvee] lineup,' said Oregon City coach Roger Rolen. 'Frank Lara typified the seniors. Frank wrestled his heart out. But judgment calls did not go his way.'

Putnam senior Luke Dutson (145) defeated Lara by 9-6 decision.

The Pioneers, who have wrestled with as few as two seniors in their varsity lineup, had seven seniors wrestling varsity against the Kingsmen.

Oregon City seniors John Frost (215) and Jared Carr (HWT) won by fall, and seniors Michael Luna (119) and Nick Shafer (189) accepted forfeits. Seniors Luis Lopez (125), Lara (145), and Doug Jahn (160) lost by decision.

Putnam battled tough in the meet's early matches and the Kingsmen trailed 12-9 in the team scoring six matches into the meet. But that was where the Pioneers took charge.

After Shafer accepted his forfeit, the Pioneers won four consecutive matches by fall.

Jake Morris (152), Brady Fischer (103) and Tyler Winslow (112) pinned their Kingsmen counterparts, along with Frost and Carr.

Oregon City junior Sam Wallace (140) won by major decision and Pioneer junior Travis Snow (135) earned an 8-7 decision over Putnam junior Eric Rau.

Dutson (145), Nash (160), Troy Empey (171) and Kuznetsov (125) were Putnam's winners.

Putnam (1-4) will attempt to close out its dual season with a win this Thursday, when the Kingsmen host Clackamas (1-3).