Vikings face Aloha in a dual meet, then travel to St. Helens for a tourney

Forest Grove capped a tough week of wrestling by placing six wrestlers in the Top 10 at the St. Helens Tournament over the weekend.

The Vikings lost 51-22 to Aloha in a dual meet last Wednesday, then had just one day to regroup before heading off to St. Helens for tournament competition on Friday and Saturday. Seniors Matt Vanderkin, Justin Marble and Matt Winterbourne all logged Top 3 finishes at the tourney, while Darren Miller, Pato Rellegert and Orion Collins cracked the Top 10.

On a weekend of notable performances, Vanderkin's stood out the most. The senior rolled through the 215-pound bracket to a tournament championship that included a head-turning 7-0 win over No. 1 ranked Aaron Zelick of Wilson.

'Matt is not conceding, which is huge for him,' said Forest Grove wrestling coach Frank Johnson. 'Having Winterbourne and him together in the room every day at practice is big. He's getting great competition every day, so then when it comes match time, he's ready to go.'

Winterbourne and Marble each advanced to the championship match at 189 and 160, respectively, but could not bring home tournament titles. Winterbourne lost 11-5 to top-seeded Ryland Geiger of Scappoose, while Marble dropped a disheartening 8-7 decision against Cory Middleton of Clackamas.

Marble actually led 7-3 in his match against Middleton, but the Clackamas grappler scored five unanswered points to come from behind and snatch away the title at 160.

'That was a really tough break for him,' said Johnson.

Elsewhere, Miller took fourth place at 112 pounds, losing the consolation bracket final 9-6 to top-seeded Zach Moore of Mountain View.

Rellegert, also wrestling at 112, finished sixth. After bowing out of the championship bracket in the second round, Rellegert won two straight matches before falling to Lauron Pope of Wilsonville in the fifth-place match.

Collins also logged a sixth-place finish with an impressive 18-7 win over Seth Auerbach and a pin of teammate Robbie Brown in the consolation bracket. Collins ultimately lost to Nick Dodds of Mountain View in the fifth-place match.

'We've got some kids who are really tough and we've got some kids who are just learning the game,' said Johnson. 'By the time the district tournament rolls around, I think we'll be ready to go.'

In dual meet action against Aloha last Wednesday, the Viks dropped the match as a team but got individual victories from Miller, Marble, Bryant Gilgan and Spencer Palmer.

Miller pinned Greg Lefevre at the 2:01 mark of their 112-pound bout, and Marble pinned Jonathan Buss at 3:42 in a 171-pound match. Palmer posted a 16-2 major decision against Mitchell Daniels at 152.

Gilgan pinned Jacob Hayworth in just 52 seconds, and the Forest Grove junior was poised to make some noise at St. Helens, winning his first match 9-0 against Lucas Huddleston. Unfortunately, he was disqualified for having a mark on his arm despite passing the skin check earlier in the day.

Next up for Forest Grove is a trip to the Glencoe Tournament on Friday.

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