Spartans nab team trophy at state wrestling meet
Led by 6A state champion John Morin, Hilhi takes fourth place as a team
The Hillsboro wrestling team had one objective heading into the state tournament in March.
If we stay in the thick of things, were in position to get a state championship, or if not, some hardware, Spartans wrestling coach Adam Reese said before the Class 6A tournament.
Thats our main goal to get some hardware at state.
A week after placing second to Aloha in the district tournament, the Spartans crowned an individual state champion in John Morin and took home a team trophy with a fourth-place finish. Hilhi, which has long been a top-notch wrestling program, scored 117½ points, finishing behind David Douglas (146), Oregon City (126½) and Roseburg (120).
The team result continued a steady ascension up the ranks since Hilhi moved up to Class 6A for the 2010-11 school year. That year, the Spartans took eighth at state, and they improved to sixth in 2012. This years state trophy was the first for the program since 2009, when the Spartans were fourth in Class 5A.
At the district tournament, 11 Spartans in all qualified for state, and seven won their weight class: Dauki Wilburn (113), Joey Rodriguez (120), Andy Downer (132), Alex Harnsberger (138), Alex Hada (145), Morin and Ben Kociemba (195). Matt Peterson, Isaac Cawthorne, T.J. Cavender and Riggo Saenz also recorded top-four finishes to advance to the state tournament at Portlands Memorial Coliseum.
There, the top-seeded Morin closed out his high school career by capturing the state title at 182 pounds, turning back the No. 2 seed, David Douglas Quincy Clarkson, in a 10-2 decision. In the earlier rounds, Morin, who was fourth at 160 pounds in 2012, defeated Will Fox of Newberg and Michael Griffin of Oregon City by fall inside the first 80 seconds of each match. In the semifinals, he cruised to a 16-8 decision against North Medford sophomore Trent Wilson.
Four other Hilhi grapplers recorded top-five finishes in their respective weight classes. Rodriguez and Downer both took third, while Kociemba and Wilburn both finished fourth. Of those four, only Wilburn was a senior, which bodes well for the Spartans future.
Hillsboro girls earn sprint sweeps
at district track and field meet
In a word, that describes the performance put on by the Hillsboro girls sprinters a few weeks ago at the Pacific Conference district track and field meet.
On May 17, the second and final day of the meet at Tualatin, Anna Dean and Krissy Thomas led a Spartan sprint corps that swept the top three places in both the 100 and 200 meters, added a second-place finish in the 400 and produced a pair of top-two relays.
So of the 10 spots available in the girls sprint and relay events for the following weeks Class 6A track and field meet in Eugene, the Spartans claimed seven of them.
At the district meet, Dean edged Thomas in the 100 before Thomas returned the favor in the 200, helping Hilhi produce the only top-three sweeps of the meet by any team, boys or girls. Cassidy Estep was third in the 100, as was Kylee Taube in the 200. Estep, Taube, Dean and Thomas teamed up on Hilhis district champion 4x100 relay, while Thomas, Tanya Jones, Taube and Sami Moellmer all ran on the second-place 4x400 relay. Moellmer also took second place in the 400.
In all, those efforts contributed 74 of the 116 points Hilhi scored at the district meet to finish second behind Tigard (123½) and McMinnville (117½).
Hilhi baseball advances to the state
playoffs for the first time since 2009
Behind hard-hitting senior Stefanos Panayiotou, the Hillsboro baseball team finished third in the Pacific Conference and advanced to the state playoffs for the first time since 2009.
After going just 5-21 in 2011 and 10-16 in 2012, Hilhi compiled a 16-12 overall record this spring and went 10-7 in Pacific Conference play behind Tualatin and McMinnville.
In all, this season was the Spartans best since 2009 when they went 14-7, finished third in the Northwest Oregon Conference, and made it to the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Among the season highlights, the Spartans swept two-game series against Forest Grove, Tigard and Century in league play, and they won two of three games against city rival Glencoe. And though their May 15 home contest against Sherwood went down as a loss, they took the eventual Class 5A state champion Bowmen to nine innings before falling 2-1. Five days later, Hilhi lost 11-4 at Jesuit in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
Panayioutou, an infielder, was both a first team all-conference and first team all-state selection. He plans to play baseball for Chicago State University. Fellow infielder Clayton Vandervelden joined Panayioutou on the all-conference first team, as did pitcher Jack Merrill and catcher Lauden Lusey.
Versatile junior Chase Kaplan earned league honors at pitcher (second team), and first base and outfielder (honorable mention).