HOOD RIVER — The HRV wrestling team took one step closer to an undefeated conference record Thursday by ravaging the Reynolds Raiders 40-14.
Thursday was also Senior Night at HRV, and how appropriate it was that the team’s five elder statesmen won their matches in convincing fashion — three by fall.
“This is our last chance to make a statement,” said Jason Macioroski, who pinned his 171-pound opponent in just one minute, 21 seconds. “We’re all after the same goal and that’s to win district. Gresham has won it the last two years and this year, we’re gonna take it from ‘em. It’s ours,” he said.
Esteban Avila (119) and David Posey (130) also made quick work of their opponents. Avila was down 0-2 to Ryan Smith early in the second round, but quickly turned the tides for the pin, while Posey was in control from the beginning, pinning Cody Strickland just 1:16 into the first round.
Ray Muñoz was equally impressive at 215 pounds despite having to go the distance to defeat Brandon Burleigh. Muñoz took control early and led 8-2 after two rounds. He then exerted his brute force and earned four takedowns in round three to win a 16-4 major decision.
Felipe Magaña’s contest at 140 pounds was more evenly matched than the other seniors, but he stepped up when he had to by earning a takedown late in round three for a 5-3 decision over Greg Nishikawa.
Although the night belonged to the seniors, two of the best matches Thursday were turned in by two of HRV’s future leaders, 135-pound Rocky Level and 145-pound Trent Shelton.
Level, who normally competes at 130 pounds, wrestled up a weight class and appeared to have his back to the ropes when he fell behind Nick Small 9-6 early in round three.
But Level maintained his composure and earned a two-point reversal, which forced Small to grab the mat, and resulted in a one-point technical violation and a 9-9 tie with 30 seconds left.
Small regained the lead with an escape, but tried to apply a headlock, which Level quickly reversed with less than five seconds remaining for the 11-10 win.
“With only 10 seconds left, I knew I needed to take a shot,” Level said. “I’ve been working on that move the past couple weeks in practice, and I was hoping he would try to put me in a headlock the entire match. When he finally did, I said, ‘thank you lord!’”
Shelton also finished his match in exciting fashion. Down 5-4 late in the third round, he completed a reversal with less than 30 seconds left to take a 6-5 lead, and held on for the win, which put HRV up 24-5 after eight matches.
Additional winners for HRV were 112-pound Josh Van Ek, who won another close match 5-2 over Tim Cook; 160-pound Jacobe Krizman, who beat Dane Fitch 10-7 in a match that wasn’t as close as the score; and 189-pound Nate
Dethman, who won a narrow 3-2 decision over Austin Bogart.
Tommy Owyen, the team’s top heavyweight, lost his first Mt. Hood Conference match this season to state-ranked Derek Duff by a score of 10-4. Owyen and Duff battled for position in each of the first two rounds, but Duff earned a reversal and a takedown in round three to win the match.