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By René Ferrán | Photos by Taylor Balkom 

Much has changed in the three years since North Medford’s Estelle Gutches first came to Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum for the OSAA wrestling state championships.

One of the biggest changes in the wrestling landscape is the explosion of girls wrestling. That year, Gutches was one of four Black Tornado qualifiers to state, and she placed third to help her team to a sixth-place finish. 

This weekend, the Black Tornado qualified seven to a 6A/5A state tournament that had split from the smaller schools for the first time, with Gutches now a veteran in the mat room.

“It’s been awesome,” Gutches said. “We’ve had a ton of girls come in, and I think it’s because of the success of others is bringing more girls in.”

Girls such as Skyler and Sadie Hall joined Gutches in the finals Sunday morning and helped the Black Tornado to their first team title (boys or girls), defeating Thurston by 13 points, with 2022 champion Forest Grove another point back.

2023 Girls 1st

“It feels great,” said Gutches, who won her second title with a second-round pin of West Albany’s Maci Pearson to complete an undefeated season. “We didn’t have that many qualifiers that first year, and now we have seven. I think that’s awesome.”

Skyler Hall, a freshman, eked out a 6-5 victory over McKay’s Sarahi Chavez to open the finals at 100 pounds.

West Linn senior Destiny Rodriguez became the second girl to win four state titles with a first-period pin of Hood River Valley’s Lauraine Smith in the 155 final to highlight the first 6A/5A girls tournament.

The Colts, led by three-time champion Kaylee Annis at 110, finished second for the second consecutive year after winning back-to-back titles in 2020-21. 

Cleveland senior Haley Vann finished her career a three-time champion and won her 77th consecutive match with a 10-0 major decision against Forest Grove freshman Renae Cook to lead the Warriors to their first girls trophy, finishing fourth by a half-point over McKay. 

Meet the champions: Class 6A | Class 5A | Class 4A | Class 3A | Class 2A/1A | Class 6A/5A Girls | Class 4A/3A/2A/1A Girls

Photos of championship matches: Class 6A, 5A | Class 6A/5A Girls | Class 4A, 3A, 2A/1A, 4A/3A/2A/1A Girls

Wrestlers to watch at state: Freshmen | Sophomores | Juniors | Seniors

Previewing the state meets: 6A | 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A/1A | 6A/5A Girls | 4A/3A/2A/1A Girls

Recapping the district meets: 6A | 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A/1A | Girls