Forest Grove crowns four individual champions at the Tigard Invitational

The last three weeks have been rough for the Forest Grove wrestling team, as injuries and attrition have whittled the roster down to nearly half of its original NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Forest Grove senior Jake LeBrun lifts Hillsboro's Michael Gaskell during a match last Thursday.

The Vikings started the season with 50 wrestlers, but are down to just 37 now, including 10 that are currently sidelined with injuries. Still, despite the shrinking roster, Forest Grove turned in one of the best performances in program history last week at the Tigard Invitational, with six finalists and four individual champions.

“Those are both firsts for any tournament, at least as long as I’ve been the coach, and probably much longer than that,” said 11th-year head coach Frank Johnson.

Forest Grove’s four winners were Matthew Johnson (113 pounds), Ivan Mojica-Flores (126), Chad Smith (132) and Cody Smith (138), while Christian Guerra (106) and Catarino Rodriguez (220) earned runner-up finishes.

Johnson, Mojica-Flores and Guerra all cracked the 30-win barrier last week and are looking like serious contenders at the upcoming regional tournament, which will be held Feb. 15-16 at Westview High School.

Johnson ran his record to 32-4 this year with eight wins over wrestlers ranked in the Top 10 and four tournament championships, and he is now ranked No. 9 in the state at 113 pounds.

Guerra improved to 30-6 this season with a team-high 16 pins, including two pins of ranked wrestlers en route to a championship at the Oregon City Tournament last Saturday, which boosted his state ranking to No. 8.

Mojica-Flores also won a title on Saturday, making it three tournaments in a row that he’s won, and the senior is currently ranked third in the state at 126 pounds with a 30-4 record.

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