Woodburn wrestlers take third at Districts
Late in the semifinals of the 145-pound bracket of the 4A Special District 1 Championship was a sneak preview of what could be a potential cross town rivalry in the 2019 State Wrestling Championships in less than two weeks.
Leading 1-0 with seconds left in the final round, North Marion senior Saul Tarula needed only to hold on and avoid giving up any points to punch his ticket to the district title match. But Woodburn senior Angel Acevedo had machinations of his own, throwing Tarula on his back for the two-point takedown and the victory.
Acevedo went on to fall 10-6 to Tanner Thompson of Banks, while Tarula picked up an 8-3 victory over Tillamook's Chris Silveira. Both wrestlers advanced to the 4A State Championships in Portland on Feb. 22-23 and are hoping to prove that they each belong as an eventual state champion.
Together, the Woodburn Bulldogs and North Marion Huskies will send 11 wrestlers to the state tournament, held at the Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum. The Bulldogs took home third place with 223.5 points, just one point shy of runner-up Estacada, while the Huskies placed sixth of eight teams with 109.0 points.
Both teams were well behind district champion Tillamook Cheesemakers (474.0), but had plenty of success on the mat to crow about after the event.
For Woodburn, Acevedo was one of five wrestlers to advance to a championship match and seven overall to qualify for the state tournament. Sophomore Wesley Vasquez (113 pounds) and senior Giovanni Bravo (138) each took home district titles, while Acevedo, Freddy Hernandez (126) and Marcos Hernandez (120) each placed second in their respective brackets.
"Overall this weekend was full of some great and exciting wrestling," said Vasquez, who was a 5A runner up at last year's state tournament. "The team did very well although we could've done better, but there's always something that we can improve on."
Woodburn's final two state qualifiers — senior Israel Paniagua (152) and sophomore Hector Paniagua (126) each recovered from tough semifinal losses only to turn around and win back-to-back matches to take home third place and join their teammates at the state tournament.
"I took third and I'm proud of how I did today, but I'm not satisfied," Israel Paniagua said, lamenting on his second round loss in the semifinals to eventual district champion Sam Garrison of Estacada. "I hope I get to wrestle (Garrison); he beat me because of a mistake I made, and it won't be the same at state."
For the Huskies, the team will send four wrestlers to the state tournament, led by Wyatt Haberstich. The 132-pound senior was the lone North Marion wrestler to advance to a district title match, but was forced to withdraw from competition due to injury, finishing runner-up to district champion Luis Macias of Tillamook.
He will be joined at the state meet by a trio of third-place teammates. Sophomore Justin McConkey went 3-1 on the day, picking up a pair of pins and a decision to finish as consolation champion in the 113-pound bracket.
Tarula was 4-1 on his way to a consolation championship victory after his loss to Acevedo. Senior teammate Avidan Sanchez likewise had a similar experience, falling 3-2 to Woodburn's Bravo in the 138-pound bracket before responding with back-to-back wins to finish in third place and qualify for state.
In total, the Bulldogs placed 14 wrestlers in the top six, including William Sandoval (5th, 138), Jose Sanchez (5th, 152), Bryan Ramirez (6th, 113), Ernie Preciado (6th, 120), Otto Dysinger (6th, 132), Misael Ramos (6th, 145) and Jaime Cruz (6th, 170).
North Marion had one addition top-six placer in Ronaldo Hernandez, who took fifth in the 126-pound bracket.
4A Special District 1 Championships
Feb. 8-9 at Tillamook High School
1. Tillamook, 474.0
2. Estacada, 224.5
3. Woodburn, 223.5
4. Molalla, 214.0
5. Banks, 164.0
6. North Marion 109.0
7. Seaside, 80.5
8. Astoria, 31.0