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Oregon high school wrestling state championships: Newberg (6A), Thurston (5A, 6A/5A Girls) hold overnight leads

“Tomorrow will be a meat grinder. It’ll be great for wrestling fans, that’s for sure.”

The organizers of this year’s OSAA wrestling championships at Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum wanted to ensure enough time between sessions.

Thus, the Class 6A quarterfinals — typically held on the first day of the meet — were pushed from Friday’s opening day to Saturday morning. 

The meet’s efficiency meant the session ended early, meaning wrestlers who had a first-round bye might have wrestled for just a handful of seconds before calling it a day.

It sets up for a frantic final day of the meet that could shake up the team standings, which currently see Newberg holding a 23.5-point lead over defending champion West Linn.

“It’s nice to have a short day here today, but tomorrow will be a meat grinder,” Tigers coach Neil Russo said. “It’ll be great for wrestling fans, that’s for sure.”

Thurston holds the overnight lead in the 5A boys and 6A/5A girls divisions, with the Colts advancing nine to the semifinals in the boys bracket and losing just three of their 22 qualifiers to hold a 10.5-point lead over Dallas.

Thurston put five of its 11 girls in Saturday’s semifinals, but Mike Simons — who coaches both programs — knows the team races are nowhere close to over.

“It’s going to come down to the consis,” he said, referring to the consolation rounds where a year ago, Redmond made its bones in winning the 5A boys title.

“We know we’re not going to win it on the championship side. We’re not going to win every semifinal match tomorrow, but third place is the next-best thing for those kids.”

Class 6A 

Team scores

1, Newberg 101 points

2, West Linn 77.5

3, Roseburg 69

4, Sandy 62

5, Clackamas 55

6, Sprague 51

7, Mountainside 50.5

8, South Medford 42

tie Tigard 42

tie Westview 42

11, Forest Grove 40

12, Glencoe 39

13, Oregon City 38

14, David Douglas 37

15, Grants Pass 36

Recap

With so few rounds wrestled Friday morning, the goal was to limit the damage and ensure enough wrestlers make it back for Saturday’s action.

The top five teams in the standings entering Saturday were able to do just that. Newberg lost only two of its 18 wrestlers in the first consolation round, and West Linn has 13 of its 16 wrestlers still alive.

Roseburg (11 of 14), Sandy (13 of 14) and Clackamas (11 of 11) also should be in the hunt to take home team trophies Saturday night.

Newberg senior Zachary Keinonen, one of 11 Tigers to receive a first-round bye, opened his bid to become his school’s fourth four-time state champion with a 45-second pin of Cleveland’s William Kingman.

Russo rued all the byes his team drew in Round 1 as he looked at the team race. While the team earned advancement points from the nine who won in the second round, “you can’t score those bonus points, and we have pinners,” Russo said.

Class 5A 

Team scores

1, Thurston 121 points

2, Dallas 110.5

3, Canby 87

4, Redmond 82.5

5, Crater 81

6, Mountain View 75.5

7, Hillsboro 41

8, Silverton 38

9, Bend 37

10, Lebanon 34

tie West Albany 34

Recap

Thurston and Dallas had big numeric advantages over the teams hoping to challenge them for the blue trophy, and both maintained those edges after Day 1.

The Dragons, like Thurston, lost only three of their 21 qualifiers and will have eight semifinalists going Saturday. Canby and Redmond each have six in the semis, with the Cougars losing just two of their 17 qualifiers and all 14 Panthers still alive.

Crater and Mountain View will each have five semifinalists, with the Comets having 13 still going Saturday and the Cougars with 14.

Canby junior Jackson Doman at 215 pounds and Silverton junior Brash Henderson at 285 kept their undefeated seasons going with quarterfinal victories. Doman improved to 43-0 with a second-round pin of Bend’s Logan Hartman, and Henderson is 22-0 after a 12-3 major decision against Brian Osorio of Thurston.

Doman, who placed sixth last year after forfeiting his final match Sunday for religious reasons, shrugged off any suggestion of feeling pressure entering the meet.

“I just know that I’m ranked No. 1, I’m undefeated, and I want to keep it that way,” he said.

Class 6A/5A Girls

Team scores

1, Thurston 52

2, North Salem 33

3, Redmond 32

4, Forest Grove 31.5

5, Dallas 31

tie McNary 31

tie North Medford 31

8, Liberty 27

9, Wilsonville 22

10, Silverton 21

11, Cleveland 20

Recap

The Colts sit atop the team standings as they seek their first title since going back-to-back in 2020-21, but Simons won’t rest easy with the overnight lead against a tightly bunched pack of pursuers.

“We got five into the semifinals, so that’s the good side,” he said. “We know we have five placers, but it’s probably going to take six or seven to win it.”

McNary senior Ali Martinez, a returning champion, had the biggest scare of any of the 42 top seeds to wrestle in the morning session across the three meets.

The 190-pounder was nearly pinned in the opening minute by Thurston senior Katelyn Dow before managing to escape her predicament and eventually pin Dow midway through the second round.

“I was trying not to freak out, because I knew how to get out of it,” Martinez said as she walked to the training room to put ice on a balky knee. “I just had to take my time and be smart about it. I wasn’t scared, but it was an eye-opener.” 

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District recaps: Class 6A | Class 5A | Class 4A | Class 3A | Class 2A/1A | Class 6A/5A Girls | Class 4A/3A/2A/1A Girls

Complete coverage of OSAA state wrestling