by: JO WHEAT - North Marion senior wrestlers (from left) Adam Vega, Brennan Patterson, Mario Elias, Christopher Lopez and Miguel Cuenca.It was a good week to be a North Marion wrestler.

The Huskies hosted their final home dual on Jan. 22 where the team honored its five senior wrestlers and beat visiting teams Newport 42-39 and Gladstone 42-40.

North Marion followed with a weekend trip to Independence, where the team placed first after sweeping five teams at the Central Wrestling Invitational.

The Huskies scored big wins against Cottage Grove (57-24), Corvallis (48-17) and Sheldon (64-10), while narrowly beating Central (42-31) and Elmira (38-36).

The team’s undefeated week couldn’t have been accomplished without the late-match heroics of Sergio Espinoza, whose pin against Jonathan Bettger in the 220-pound weight class sealed the Huskies’ two-point victory over Gladstone.

With two matches left, North Marion held a narrow 36-34 lead over the Gladiators. But the Huskies were surrendering six points to Gladstone in the final match since senior Brennan Patterson was not wrestling, leaving Espinoza as the final wrestler in North Marion’s stable.

In order to secure a team victory, Espinoza didn’t just need a win — he needed to pin his opponent to earn a full six-point victory. Fortunately, it took Espinoza just 19 seconds to beat Bettger and secure the win.

He was joined by teammates Triston Rostocil, Damian Chavez, Tyler Saucedo, Mario Elias and Lane Stigall, as North Marion wrestlers to win against Gladstone.

Stigall went 7-0 in his matches throughout the week, pinning six opponents in the first period and taking a forfeit victory over Sheldon.

The 145-pound freshman remains unbeaten and has rarely been taken past the first period by opposing wrestlers.

The Huskies continue their season this week with a trip to Albany for the South Albany Invitational on Saturday.


Home duals against Gladstone and Newport

Jan. 22 at North Marion High School

North Marion 42, Gladstone 40

North Marion 42, Newport 34


Central Invitational

Jan. 25 at Central High School

North Marion 58, Sheldon 16

North Marion 50, Corvallis 17

North Marion 38, Elmira 36

North Marion 57, Cottage Grove 24

North Marion 42, Central 31

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