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Glad matmen third in 16-team tourney


Ten Gladstone wrestlers place and McMillon and Kintz bag titles

SEASIDE — The ever-improving Gladstone Gladiators gained a few more believers over the weekend, as they captured the third-place team hardware at the 16-team Pacific Rim Wrestling Tournament.

Scappoose, which placed sixth at last year’s Class 4A State Tournament was a runaway winner at the tournament, with 209-1/2 team points.

But the Gladiators (157-1/2) were just half a point back of Estacada (158), a team that finished eighth at state a year ago. And the Gladiators finished in front of Madras (149), St. Helens (133), Astoria (119) and Seaside (99-1/2), which placed fourth through seventh respectively.

And it was a team effort by the Gladiators, who had wrestlers place in nine of the 14 weight divisions.

Gladstone had four wrestlers make the championship finals and two Gladstone wrestlers placed third, losing only one of five matches.

“I’m pleased with the way everybody wrestled,” said Gladstone coach Michael Hess. “They did a great job. We still have a lot of things we can do better, but they continue to improve every week....

“I’m really proud of David Ventura. He’s probably one of our hardest workers. Last year he was 2-and-out. This year he went 3-1 and took second....

“And Kyle Kintz is doing really well. He’s a high intensity wrestler. He always gives 100 percent and he’s been getting a lot of falls.”

Senior Jacheal McMillon (120) and Kintz (132), a junior, both went 4-0 and won first place at their weights.

McMillon, a transfer from Hudson’s Bay High School who only recently became eligible to wrestle, defeated classmate Michael Alger, 9-5 in his final, demonstrating the Gladiators’ depth at that weight. Alger was a district champion last year and he went on to qualify for the state tournament.

McMillon, who won his three other matches in the tournament by fall, pinned Ofni Yargas of Neah-Kah-Nie in 1:24 of their semifinal match.

Alger pinned Jace Oppenlander of Madras in 4:38 of his semifinal.

Kintz won three of his four matches by fall, pinning Gains Hollabaugh of Estacada in 3:00 of their finals match.

Ventura, a senior 138-pounder, won all of his matches except his final with Logan Ronig, a Neah-Kah-Nie wrestler who has finished in the top three in the state at the last two Class 2A State Tournaments.

Gladstone senior Logan Good (182) and Gladstone junior Blake McNall (126) both continued on track, winning four of five matches and placing third.

Good got pinned by Nick Ledbury of Estacada in the semifinals, but he won his other four matches by fall, pinning David Adkinson of Clatskanie in 4:46 of the third-place finals.

McNall’s only loss was by 8-6 decision to Jarred Dupont of Madras, a wrestler who is ranked fourth in the state. Dupont placed fifth at state at 120 last season.

McNall went on to pin Michael Bowen of St. Helens in 3:40 of their third-place final match.

Other Gladstone placers included: junior Adam Taylor, fifth at 170; freshman Nathan Ward, sixth at 106; junior Rylan Martin, sixth at 152; and junior Dijaun Davis, eighth at 160.

The Gladiators play host to Molalla and Astoria in dual competition scheduled to begin tonight at 5:30. They have an away meet with North Marion next Wednesday.