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Alger, McNall bag district mat titles


Seven Gladiators advance to regionals

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Gladstone sophomore Blake McNall takes North Marion junior Adam Vega for a ride in the 113-pound final at Saturdays Tri-Valley Conference District Wrestling Tournament. McNall had little trouble winning the match, defeating Vega by fall in just 1:01.Gladstone High School’s wrestling team turned in a respectable showing at Saturday’s Tri-Valley Conference District Wrestling Tournament, advancing four wrestlers to the championship finals and seven wrestlers to the upcoming Region I Championship Tournament.

“When you get two champions and your taking seven guys to regionals, that’s pretty good,” said Gladstone coach Jon Wolf. “We’re pretty happy.”

“We’ve got a lot of guys going to regionals,” said Gladstone senior Wyatt Finch. “We’ll have a lot of guys in the [wrestling] room this next week. We’re going to work hard to improve where we made mistakes, and I think that we’re going to have a lot of guys going to state in two weeks.”

Gladstone junior 103-pounder Michael Alger and Gladiator sophomore 113-pounder Blake McNall both won district titles.

Finch (120) and junior Logan Good (152) earned runner-up honors.

Gladstone also had regional qualifiers at 126, where sophomore Kyle Kintz placed third; at 145, where sophomore Rylan Martin placed third; and at 160, where sophomore Adam Taylor placed fourth.

“This means a lot to me,” Alger said. “You have to work you butt off to get good enough to get this far.... I’ve reached one third of my goals for this year. Now I’ve got to win regionals and win state.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Gladstone junior Michael Alger (on top) gets the upper hand on North Marions Casey Roberts in the 106-pound final of last weekends Tri-Valley Conference District Tournament, held at Gladstone High School. Alger was dominant, winning by 11-4 decision.Alger was dominant in the district finals, where he handled North Marion freshman Casey Roberts, winning by 11-4 decision. Alger pinned Estacada freshman Tristan Thom in 1:46 of their semifinal match.

Wrestling at 113, Alger placed second at district and sixth at regionals last year as a sophomore. He takes a 28-4 record into this coming weekend’s regional tournament.

McNall was also dominant at district, pinning North Marion junior Adam Vega in 1:01 of their finals match, after advancing through a first-round fall over Estacada freshman Tucker Harkness and a third-round fall over North Marion sophomore Derek Jones.

McNall placed third in the region at 106 last year as a freshman, after finishing runner-up to Finch at district.

McNall takes a 24-4 record into this year’s regional tournament.

“I’ve worked hard all my life for this,” McNall said. “So I guess I just expected to win [district]. My next goals are to win regionals and then place at state.”

Finch turned in an outstanding performance in his district final at 120, taking Estacada junior Donny Wenlund to double overtime before dropping a 9-8 decision.

Wenlund entered his finals match with Finch ranked the second-best 120-pounder in the state, but he was lucky to escape with the victory.

Finch took Wenlund down to his back for a 5-0 lead in the first round. Wenlund battled back to take a 7-6 lead in the second round.

Both wrestlers had takedowns just off the mat in the third round, after Finch’s early escape tied things up at 7-7.

Both wrestlers earned escapes in the first extra period. Finch drew the down position in the next 30-second period and couldn’t escape, which gave Wenlund the win.

“I’m happy that I got to overtime with someone ranked high in the state,” Finch said. “It gives me confidence heading into regionals. I’d like to meet him again and have a match like this, only with a different outcome.”

“Wyatt wrestled great!” Wolf said. “That’s the best he’s wrestled all year.”

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Gladstone senior Wyatt Finch takes Estacadas Donny Wenlund for a ride in the 120-pound final of last weekends Tri-Valley Conference District Tournament. Wenlund entered the tournament ranked second in the state, but Finch gave the Estacada standout all he could handle, dropping a close decision in double overtime.Finch said his goals this year are to win another regional title and “place in the top three at state.”

Finch takes a 27-7 record into the regional tournament.

Good was not happy with his performance in his district finals match with Estacada senior Travis Cole, an 8-2 loss.

“I wrestled him at the Seaside Tournament and beat him,” Good said. “But I’m making no excuses. He came out well prepared and ready to wrestle.... All I can do now is look forward and try and come back at regionals.”

Good added, “My goals are still top four at regionals, and going to state, and placing.”

Kintz beat Molalla junior Tom Snegirev 4-1 in his third-place final at 126, scoring on first- and third-round takedowns. His only loss of the district tournament was by fall in a contest with North Marion senior Orion Walters.

Kintz placed fourth at district and sixth at regionals at 120 as a freshman.

“I worked hard over the summer lifting weights to get stronger and I’ve worked hard in the [wrestling] room to get better,” Kintz said. “I’m more mature and I’m a smarter wrestler. I feel like I should do good at regionals....

“I’d like to make state this year, and I’d like to place third at state or above before I graduate.”

Martin was dominant in his 145-pound third-place final with North Marion sophomore Vladmir Reutov, winning by 10-1 decision. His only loss was by second-round fall to Estacada senior Jake Davidson in the semifinals.

Martin says his goal is to place in the top three at this year’s regional tournament and earn a berth to the state tournament.

Taylor lost by 6-0 decision to Estacada junior Steven Weaver is his third-place final at 160. He also lost to Weaver, 8-0, in his first match of the tournament.

He earned his spot in the third-place finals through a second-round fall over Molalla junior Jacob Callahan and a first-round fall over Molalla junior Adam Carr.

The 11-team Region I Tournament is scheduled Saturday, Feb. 16, at Scappoose High School. The top four placers in each weight division will advance to the Class 4A State Tournament.

Regional qualifiers from the four Tri-Valley Conference teams will join qualifiers from Scappoose, Tillamook, Banks, Yamhill-Carlton, Astoria, Seaside, Scappoose and Roosevelt.