The senior loses in the Class 6A heavyweight title bout in overtime to Centennial senior Michael McGuire.

by: JEFF GOODMAN / PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Canby senior Alejandro Sandoval took second place in the heavyweight division at the Class 6A state championships March 1 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, losing in overtime to Centennial senior Michael McGuire.PORTLAND — Alejandro Sandoval was the last wrestler to take his step on the podium as the Class 6A heavyweight placers prepared to receive their medals.

It was mostly because the Canby senior didn’t want the spot he had earned.

With a state title well within his grasp, Sandoval was dealt a devastating 6-5 overtime loss to third-seeded Centennial senior Michael McGuire in the finals of the OSAA championships March 1 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Sandoval was the Cougars’ only athlete to earn a state medal this year, and he became the program’s first finalist since A.J. Ballard in 2011.

But those accomplishments provided scant consolation for Sandoval, who was determined to capture a state championship despite not receiving a top-four ranking in his bracket.

Sandoval was confident he could contend for first place at the 6A tournament after a season that included numerous individual accomplishments.

He won titles at the Larry Owings Invitational in Canby in late December and at the highly regarded Reser’s Tournament of Champions in Hillsboro in late January. He also took runner-up honors Dec. 13-14 at the North Bend Coast Classic and placed fourth at the Pacific Coast Championships in Vancouver, Wash., in early January.

Sandoval entered the state tournament after taking second place at the Special District 2 championships Feb. 22 at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, where he dropped a 7-4 decision to McGuire in the title bout.

Sandoval began the first day of state competition Feb. 28 by defeating Forest Grove senior Christian Rincon by fall in 1 minute 16 seconds in the first round.

He then powered past Roseburg junior Aidan McGowan with a win by 4-0 decision in the quarterfinals. McGowan had upset top-seeded Tigard senior Victor Ceja in the opening round.

Sandoval secured a rematch with McGuire with to a 6-0 semifinal shutout of Clackamas junior Zach Jett, whom he also defeated in the regional tournament.

With the title bout tied at 5-5 after a 1-minute overtime session and two 30-second tiebreaker periods, Sandoval entered the ultimate tiebreaker period in the offensive position. McGuire escaped to seal first place.


Gus Warren wrapped up an outstanding freshman campaign without a spot on the podium after being tripped up in the state quarterfinals.

After defeating Roseburg freshman Ashton Faas by 15-2 major decision in the opening round, the second-seeded freshman was upset by unranked Forest Grove junior Christian Guerra 7-0 in the quarterfinals.

That loss dropped Warren into the consolation bracket, where he edged Newberg sophomore Aerie Baxter 5-4 to advance. But he was eliminated in his ensuing match against third-seeded North Medford sophomore Henry Cox by fall in 4:10.

Warren, who won a regional title with a 5-4 win over David Douglas junior Andrew Curry, wasn’t the only victim of an upset in his state bracket: No. 1 Hillsboro freshman Ruben Rodriguez-Saenz, who defeated Warren twice at the Reser’s Tournament of Champions, lost to Roseburg freshman Bennett Mesa in the quarterfinals.

Rodriguez-Saenz ended up in fourth place. Guerra and Mesa met in the state title bout.


Noel Hygelund (152) ended his high school career in disappointing fashion.

After placing third at last year’s OSAA championships, the senior entered this year’s state meet with a No. 4 seed after defeating West Linn’s Jacob Taylor 10-2 to win a regional title.

And despite missing about six weeks of the season with a knee injury, Hygelund started off his first day at the Class 6A finals with a pin of Aloha sophomore Luis Torres in just 42 seconds.

Unfortunately for Hygelund, it ended up being his only victory of the two-day event.

He dropped a 12-7 decision to Roseburg junior David Harker in the quarterfinals, and he was eliminated with a 4-3 loss to West Salem junior Cameron Harris in the consolation bracket.


Keltin Boykin sat sullenly in a darkened arena hallway, his hands in his lap, his head hunched towards the floor.

The senior had just lost his opening-round match at 195 pounds to Keizer-McNary junior Alvarro Venegas by fall in 3:03.

The North Marion transfer, a 4A state qualifier last season who placed third at this year’s regional tournament, ended up notching one victory before being eliminated.

In his first consolation match, he pinned Hillsboro-Glencoe junior Daniel Hernandez-Reyes in just 31 seconds.

The win propelled Boykin into a match against third-seeded Centennial senior Artur Simpson, who advanced by fall in 3:31.


Drew Boyer (106) qualified for the state meet in his first year at Canby but was unable to come away with a victory.

Boyer, who placed fourth in his weight class at the regional tournament, was pinned by third-seeded North Medford sophomore Henry Cox in 38 seconds in his first match Feb. 28.

That loss sent him into the consolation bracket, where he lasted six minutes in a 6-0 loss to Newberg sophomore Aerie Baxter.


Alek Purtzer (120) was eliminated in back-to-back state matches after placing fourth at the regional tournament.

He lost to Roseburg senior Tommy Dill by fall in 2:57, and he was dealt a 9-2 loss by Southridge sophomore Bailey Hanthaley in his first consolation match.

The sophomore finished his duel with Hanthaley despite sustaining an injury after being slammed to the mat.


Justin Cardinale (132) was thrown into his first state competition against top-seeded Century senior Amari Sengsavanh.

The junior, who placed fourth at the regional tournament, lasted 5:34 before being put on his back.

The loss pitted Cardinale against Sprague junior Jake Vaughn in the consolation bracket, where he was eliminated after coming up on the short end of a 6-5 decision.



  • The Cougars have received 77 state bids since coach Jeremy Ensrud took the helm in 2007.
  • Canby has won 46 individual state wrestling titles in school history. The team’s last individual state champion was James Roberts (130 pounds) in 2010. Alejandro Sandoval is its first finalist since A.J. Ballard (140) in 2011.
  • Roseburg won the 6A team trophy. The previous five champions were Newberg (2009), Roseburg (2010-12) and David Douglas (2013). The Cougars, who finished in 21st place this year and 22nd place last year, have not won a team title in wrestling since 1963 under then-coach Larry Wright.
  • Canby entered the state tournament after taking second place behind West Linn in the Three Rivers League. It was third at the regional tournament behind David Douglas and the Lions.
  • ***


    A look at Alejandro Sandoval’s wrestling tournament highlights:

    North Bend Coast Classic (Dec. 13-14): Second place; Won three matches by fall and defeated Crook County’s Jason Williams by 3-2 decision to reach the title bout, where he was dealt a 6-4 overtime loss at the hands of Vancouver (Wash.) Evergreen’s Austin Wright

    Larry Owings Invitational (Dec. 21): First place; Defeated South Albany’s Tristan Glaser by fall in 3:21 to win the heavyweight title at Canby’s home tournament

    Pacific Coast Championships (Jan. 3-4): Fourth place; Lost 4-2 to West Linn’s Ellis Eaton in overtime of the third-place match at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver, Wash., settling for fourth place for the second year in a row

    Reser’s Tournament of Champions (Jan. 24-25): First place; Defeated Pendleton’s P.J. Schubert to win the heavyweight title at Liberty High School in Hillsboro

    Special District 2 Championships (Feb. 21-22): Second place; Lost to Centennial’s Michael McGuire in the heavyweight title bout at Reynolds High School in Troutdale

    OSAA State Championships (Feb. 28-March 1): Second place; Lost to Centennial’s Michael McGuire in the heavyweight title bout at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland



    Class 6A state championships

    Feb. 28 and March 1 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland)

    Team scores: 1. Roseburg, 272.5; 2. West Linn, 107.5; 3. Hillsboro, 95; 4. Grants Pass, 82; 5. David Douglas, 75; 6. Oregon City, 69; 7. Century, 57.5; 8. Forest Grove, 55; 9. North Medford, 54; 10. Glencoe, 52; 11. Sunset, 50.5; 12. McMinnville, 50; 13. Clackamas, 49; 14. Sprague, 46; 15. Tualatin, 41; 16. Centennial, 38; 16. Crater, 38; 18. Aloha, 37; 19. Newberg, 34; 20. Southridge, 32.5; 21. Canby, 31; 22. McNary, 30; 23. Westview, 29; 24. Gresham, 28; 25. Thurston, 27; 26. Barlow, 26.5; 27. Tigard, 20; 28. South Eugene, 18; 29. Lake Oswego, 17; 30. South Salem, 13; 31. McKay, 6; 32. North Salem, 5; 33. Lincoln, 3; 33. West Salem, 3; 35. Lakeridge, 1; 35. Sheldon, 1; 37. Beaverton, 0; 37. Reynolds, 0; 37. South Medford, 0.

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