Kalugin, Hernandez win individual championships
The Gervais wrestling team rode some great performances from its top wrestlers to a seventh-place finish at the Bob Bishop Invitational in Willamina on Saturday.
The Cougars finished seventh with 112 points in the 19-team tournament. Tillamook took the top score with 191.5 points, followed by Dayton with 153.
The Cougars excelled with a small team thanks to wrestlers Nikita Kalugin and Roberto Hernandez, who both won their respective weight brackets, and several more who placed in the top three.
Kalugin took first in the 160-pound bracket after cruising through his first two rounds. The Gervais junior pinned Wyatt McKillip of Nestucca in 1:00 to open the tournament and took down Warrentons Justice Watson in a 54-second pin to advance to the semifinals.
Kalugin then bested Coquilles Chris Elmer in an 8-4 decision to move on to the finals, where he won a 6-3 decision over Willaminas Austin Howard.
Roberto Hernandez also took home a championship after going 3-0 in the 285-pound bracket.
Hernandez scored a 7-3 decision over Jose Eugenio of Santiam and a 5-3 decision over Austin Ross of Coquille to advance to the championship match.
Hernandez was able to control his match against Dylan Jackman of Tillamook and went on to score a 10-1 major decision.
Kalugin and Hernandez were joined in the championship matches by teammate Ricardo Flores, who finished second in the 106-pound bracket.
Flores pinned his first three opponents of the tournament, scoring falls in 56 seconds, 1:02 and 1:04, respectively, before facing Mountain Views Conner Duhn in the finals. Flores was able to last until the third round against Duhn before getting pinned in 4:27.
Also placing for the Cougars were Ricky Diaz at 182 pounds and Hector Flores at 120 pounds.
Diaz won his first two matches of the tournament by fall and 13-7 decision, respectively, before falling to eventual champion Jarred Montgomery of Dayton in a 5-0 decision.
Once on the consolation side of the bracket, Diaz overcame Centennials Beto Meza in a 3-2 overtime decision before beating Avery McDaniel of Scio 7-5 to take home third place.
Hector Flores won his first match of the day by pinning Jon Hinchcliff of Sheridan in 1:01, but he lost his second match after getting pinned in 44 seconds.
He responded to the defeat with two straight wins over Dean Warmack of Mountain View and Kody Courtright of Coquille to place third at 120 pounds.
The Cougars will next travel north to Woodburn on Saturday to compete in the Woodburn Invitational.
Bob Bishop Invitational
1/4/14 at Willamina High School
1. Tillamook - 191.5
2. Dayton - 160.0
3. Mountain View - 153.0
4. Willamina - 134.5
5. Central - 124
6. Scio - 114.5
7. Gervais - 112.0
8. Coquille - 106.5
9. Corbett - 70.5
10. Colton - 58.0
11. Sheridan - 53.5
12. Santiam - 52.0
13. Warrenton - 51.0
14. Amity - 46.0
15. Nestucca - 32.0
16. Vernonia - 31.0
17. Yamhill-Carlton - 25.5
18. Siletz - 6.0