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Oregon (OSAA) 6A/5A girls wrestling state championships preview: Continued growth of sport leads to deeper field

The 6A/5A girls Oregon high school wrestling state championships take place this weekend. Here's a look at what to expect.

The Oregon 6A/5A girls high school wrestling state championships take place Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. Here's a look at what to expect. 

Photo by Leon Neuschwander 


Friday, 8 a.m. -2:30 p.m.: Round 1 and Quarterfinals

Saturday, 9 a.m.: Semifinals

Saturday, 6:15 p.m.: Parade of Champions and Finals

Top seeds (returning champions in italics)

100 Sarahi Chavez, McKay, Jr.

105 Skyler Hall, North Medford, Soph.

110 Jennifer Russell, Corvallis, Jr.

115 Layla Morris, Mountainside, Jr.

120 Mia Pedersen, Redmond, Soph.

125 Zorina Johnson, Ida B. Wells, Soph.

130 Kailea Takahashi, Forest Grove, Jr.

135 Gracee Grenfell, Liberty, Sr.

140 Kennedy Blanton, Forest Grove, Jr.

145 Isabella Jaime, North Medford, Sr.

155 MacKenzie Shearon, Redmond, Jr.

170 Isabel Herring, Cleveland, Jr.

190 Ali Martinez, McNary, Sr.

235 Bianca Miranda, Liberty, Jr.

Other returning champions

110 Polly Olliff, Dallas, Jr. 

120 Mariko Sonis, North Salem, Sr. 

145 Reese Lawson, West Salem, Sr.

170 Jasmine Brown, Wilsonville, Sr.

Most state qualifiers

1, Thurston 11. 2, (tie) Dallas and Redmond 9. 4, North Salem 7. 5, McNary 6. 6, (tie) Forest Grove, Hillsboro, McKay, North Medford and Southridge 5.

What to watch

Traditional powers look to fend off up-and-comers in deep title race

The growth in girls wrestling statewide has led to a deepening of the field of contenders in the state championship race.

That doesn’t mean the same powers that helped launch that explosive growth still won’t have a say in who wins the 6A/5A title this weekend. 

North Medford won its first team crown (boys or girls) last year by edging two-time champion Thurston by 13 points, with 2022 champion Forest Grove one point behind the Colts. Those three teams should be in the thick of the hunt again this year, with Thurston bringing a meet-high 11 wrestlers to Memorial Coliseum.

“I think we’ll need to place six or seven girls to win it,” Colts coach Mike Simons said. “In my opinion, North Medford, Forest Grove, Redmond, Dallas and us are all pretty equal for the four trophies.”

The Panthers and Dragons are the new names in the group Simons mentioned. Both are traditional powers in boys wrestling — Redmond won the 5A title last year, and Dallas has finished in the top two six times. Neither has won a trophy at the girls meet since the OSAA sanctioned the tournament in 2019 — Redmond tied for seventh and Dallas placed 14th last year.

Nationally ranked Johnson looks to finish unbeaten, win first title

A year ago, Zorina Johnson was the final opponent to fall to West Albany’s Ariana Martinez as Martinez completed an undefeated season by defeating Johnson 10-2 in the 115-pound final.

Johnson was one of only two wrestlers to go all six minutes against Martinez (now wrestling at Life University in Marietta, Ga.) last season, and the Guardians sophomore has built off that successful debut season this winter.

This weekend, Johnson arrives at Memorial Coliseum looking to complete an unbeaten season of her own as the top seed at 125 and the only nationally ranked wrestler (No. 21) in the tournament. She’ll open her bid for a first state title Friday morning against the winner of a first-round match between West Salem’s Emily Rayburn and Caldera’s Joey Dean.

What have you done lately? That’s the key to seeding decisions

Regular-season results trumped previous state championships in three weight classes when the seeds were released Sunday evening.

Olliff, who won the 105 title last year, is slotted behind Russell in the 110 bracket based on the Spartans junior’s 4-3 decision in the title match at last month’s Tod Surmon Mid-Valley Classic. Russell took fourth at 110 last year.

Lawson’s loss to Jaime in the third-place match proved decisive as the Black Tornado senior (fourth at 155) drops to 145, where Lawson won the title last year.

At 170, Herring’s first-round pin of Brown in the finals of the season-opening War of the Roses tournament was the difference as the Wildcats senior looks to defend her title (Herring was third at 155 last year). 

Complete coverage of OSAA state wrestling