The second-year grappler takes 2nd at the Southridge event

by: DAN BROOD - STAYING TOUGH - Tigard junior Alex Anohkin looks to battle his way out of a pin during his tourney match against Madison's JR Sengphet. BEAVERTON — As just a second-year wrestler, Alex Anohkin admits that he still has a lot to learn.

But it’s difficult to question the Tigard High School junior’s toughness, or his success.

Anohkin, despite battling some injuries that he thought may leave him unable to compete, battled his way to the finals in the 195-pound weight class at the Southridge Tournament, held Saturday at Southridge High School.

In the tourney championship match, Anohkin was pinned by Madison standout senior JR Sengphet in 50 seconds, but he was still happy with his performance on the day.

“It’s more than I expected,” he said with a smile. “I almost didn’t wrestle here, so this was a good day.”

Anohkin battled a bout of pneumonia at the start of wrestling season. Then, on Jan. 10, Anohkin hurt his neck in a Special District 3 dual match at McMinnville.

On Jan. 16, Anohkin wrestled for the Tigers in a district double dual match against McKay and Newberg held at McKay.

“I beat the Newberg kid and felt fine,” he said. “The next day, my whole body fell apart.”

Anohkin didn’t practice last Thursday. Friday, before practice, he couldn’t find a trainer to confer with, so he went ahead and practiced with the team.

“Since I did that, I said I can wrestle today,” Anohkin said at the Southridge tourney. “It went pretty well. But I’m not used to wrestling four matches in a day. That fourth one killed me.”

Anohkin has already had plenty of success this season. He won the title in his weight class at the St. Helens Tournament on Jan. 5. After that tourney, he was invited to compete in an exhibition freestyle dual match against Japanese Cultural Exchange team.

“It’s been a good year,” Anohkin said. “I’m being more aggressive.”

He’s also hoping for more good things as the season goes on.

“I’m excited for regionals,” he said. “It’s going to be a ton of fun.”

Tigard senior Mark Hall, wrestling in the 145-pound weight class, also reached the championship round at the Southridge Tournament. He lost to Pendleton senior standout Dylan Holcomb by fall in 3:44 in the title bout.

Tigard junior Victor Ceja placed third at 285 pounds, Junior Phil Engle was fourth at 160 and sophomore Eli Neely was fifth at 152.

The Tigers finished in eighth place in the team standings at the 11-school event with 116 points.

Prior to the tournament, Tigard was edged 40-36 by McKay and 48-28 by Newberg during the Jan. 16 three-way match held at McKay High School.

The Tigers will be back in action tonight (Thursday) when they host South Salem in a Special District 3 dual match set to start at 7 p.m. at Tigard High.

On Saturday, the Tigers will host at 10-team tournament starting at 9 a.m. at the school.

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