Stalcup pins Amuchastegui, Rangers finish sixth as a team
There are exciting wrestling matches, and then there are the kind that thousands witnessed in the 152-pound title bout Saturday night at The Pavilion at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem.
While four other title matches were playing out, most eyes were on the 4A mat for the much-anticipated rematch between Estacada's Josh Stalcup and Phoenix's Nick Amuchastegui in the 2007 OSAA 4A Wrestling State Championships.
Amuchastegui beat Stalcup by 4-1 decision in the Oregon Classic earlier this year. Either wrestler could have decided to wrestle up at 160 pounds and, probably, coast to another state title-Stalcup already had two, Amuchastegui had one-but both decided to wrestle at 152 pounds, hoping to meet in the finals.
Stalcup boycotted the press to stay focused on winning his third title. He finished third as a freshman at 135 pounds and won titles at 140 and 152 pounds his sophomore and junior years. He's headed to Oregon State.
Amuchastegui, the number two seed, pinned his way to the finals last weekend. All three falls came in the first round. The Pirate wrestler was also recruited by a Pac-10 school-he's Stanford-bound with a 4.0 grade point average.
Stalcup scored first with a take down in the first round, but most of the rest of the match belonged to Amuchastegui. With approximately 30 seconds left, Stalcup trailed 6-3. His coaches-his father and uncle, Sean and Heath Stalcup-sitting at the edge of the mat kept Josh informed of the amount of time on the clock. Then, they yelled, 'You gotta go!'
'I knew that a take down wouldn't just do it, so that's why I went with my inside back,' Stalcup said. 'It's a good move and you usually go feet-to-back with that one. I knew I needed it.'
Stalcup put Amuchastegui on his back and pinned him in 5:50.
The standing-room-only arena went nuts with Stalcup at the middle of it, throwing his fists in the air. He circled the mat, then leapt into his dad's arms.
'I'm not sure how high it was; I just know it took a while to get down,' said the senior, who finished his high school record with 168 wins and just four losses.
Estacada teammate and classmate Jonathan Floyd finished his high school career with a second-place behind Capital Conference District Champion Tyler Phillips. Phillips beat Floyd in the district and state title bouts this year.
Floyd, the number two seed in the 130-pound class at state, won his first round match by technical fall in 5:01. He won in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 decision and with an 8-6 decision against Phoenix's Ryan Tourville in the semis.
Phillips controlled the tempo in the 130-pound finals, allowing Floyd just one point in the 4:15 match.
With a knee on the mat, Floyd turned to the crowd and put a two-finger victory sign in the air before getting up to give Phillips a hug at the center of the mat.
Also placing for the Rangers were Micheal Strickland (140) at fifth, Danny Cox (145) at sixth and Kyle Allen (285) at 7th.
Estacada sophomores Craig Morgan and Nathan Teel lost their first two matches and were eliminated Thursday afternoon. Cody Anders and Greg Locke lost out Friday morning and Sammy Stafford, Corey Crabb and Joe Boyd all lost in elimination rounds Friday afternoon.
Boyd lost to Brian Olson, of Brookings-Harbor, 4-3 in the third overtime.
As a team, the Rangers finished sixth with 104.5 points. Sweet Home won the title with 154. They were followed by Tillamook, LaGrande and Scappoose (tied for third), and Phoenix.
'It's the worse finish since I've been head coach,' said coach Heath Stalcup. 'We haven't been out of the top three, but you can't always stay at the top. It's not too bad. We'll come back next year and be in the hunt for a trophy again.'