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Mustangs kick Lions 45-24

Milwaukie matmen defeat West Linn for the first time since 1996
by: Craig Mitchelldyer, Milwaukie junior Jake Levy scores a takedown on West Linn sophomore Logan Krellwitz in their 135-pound match.

MILWAUKIE - Milwaukie High matmen turned more than a few heads Thursday night, as they kicked perennial Three Rivers League wrestling power West Linn 45-24.

The win was huge for the Mustang program, not only because it was the first time in 12 years that the Mustangs had dropped the Lions in a dual meet, but also because of the way the Mustangs dominated the meet.

Milwaukie was victorious in nine of the 13 matches contested on the mat, and all but two of the Mustangs' wins were by major decision, technical fall or fall.

'I am surprised it was such a big differential,' said Milwaukie senior co-captain Sean Scott. 'But I'm not surprised we got the team victory. We worked hard and got falls where we needed them and took advantage of situations when they presented themselves. We got it done as a team.'

'It feels good,' said Milwaukie junior Robert Torgersen. 'It shows we have a chance of placing high at district, and even the best teams can lose. It was the Mustangs' time to shine.'

'It's a great feeling!' said Scott. 'It's been a long time since we've beaten them. It's a great feeling to beat a team with such a great legacy.'

West Linn is an 11-time defending district champion and West Linn losses in the TRL are rare.

When St. Helens defeated West Linn in December of 2000, then head coach Dave Sanville said, 'It's the first time we've lost a dual meet to a TRL team other than Oregon City since [a 35-32 loss to Milwaukie on Jan. 4 of] 1996.'

Before last week's loss to Milwaukie, the Lions' only losses in league dual meets since 2000 had come at the hands of the Oregon City Pioneers in January of 2006 (35-34) and at the hands of Oregon City (40-19) on Jan. 9 of this year. The Lions had a 39-meet unbeaten string going in league when they lost to Oregon City in 2006.

'The last time we beat them [Milwaukie assistant coach] Brian Duhrkoop was a freshman at Milwaukie,' said Milwaukie coach Dan Williamson. 'It was a good win. All the hard work our wrestlers have put in is paying off. We appear to be peaking at the right time. Hopefully this will give us a springboard to next week's meet with Clackamas and district.'

Williamson added, 'You wait and wait and wait and when it happens, it feels so-o-o-o good. I just feel like sitting here awhile and soaking it all in.'

Williamson said he was a little concerned at the beginning of the meet, because West Linn is typically tough in the lower weights and the meet's first match was the 103-pound bout.

Williamson learned the day of the meet that 103-pounder Cody Belogh was ineligible because of a concussion.

The Lion lineup included 2007 TRL district champions at 112 and at 119, and district runners-up at 135 and at 145.

'I was afraid they might get some momentum going and that we wouldn't be able to stop it,' Williamson said.

The Lions did start out strong, building a 20-3 advantage. Donovan Nhoung's 8-2 overtime win over West Linn freshman Brian Schiewe at 125 was Milwaukie's only win in the first five matches.

But after that, the Mustangs won eight matches in a row, beginning with Jake Levy's 4-2 overtime win over West Linn sophomore Logan Krellwitz at 135. Last year's district runner-up at 119, Krellwitz was favored to win the match. But Levy was in charge most of the way and fatigue appeared to take its toll on Krellwitz in the extra period.

'Jake's win over Krellwitz was a big one,' said Scott. 'When he got the win in overtime, that was big momentum for us.'

'When Levy won, I knew we were in a position where we could have a victory,' said Williamson. 'But I was surprised by the margin of victory….

'We've grown a lot as a team since the Classic. We saw some really tough competition at the Classic and we didn't win as much as we would have liked to. But the kids learned to cheer for each other and not care about just themselves. I think that team support was huge for us tonight.'

After Levy's overtime win, Milwaukie senior Aaron Farwell (140) dominated Thomas Rasmussen en route to a second-round fall.

Mustang junior Robert Torgersen (145) manhandled West Linn senior Devan Schiewe, defeating the 2007 140-pound TRL district runner-up 13-0, and trimming West Linn's lead to 20-16.

Scott (152) followed with a third-round fall over West Linn senior Austin Cerny, and the Mustangs were on top for good, leading 22-20.

The Mustangs continued aggressive and earned lopsided wins in their next four matches.

Garrett Schnell (160) pinned West Linn's Paul Garcia in just 48 seconds; Keenan McIntire (171) earned a 16-1 technical fall over Michael McClanathan; Jeff Hubbard (189) took Emerson Helbling down to his back for an early first-round fall; and Tim Garcia (215) dominated Bob Brady en route to a second-round fall.

The win put the Mustangs (4-1) second in the TRL dual standings - behind Oregon City (5-0) - heading into this Thursday's league final with Clackamas (2-3).

West Linn, which wraps things up with a dual at Lake Oswego (1-4), slipped to 3-2 with the loss.