Hood River Valley wrestling had four top-five placers and finished fifth overall in the 18-team Elks Memorial Invitational tournament over the weekend at HRVHS. Highlighting the all-day affair for the Eagles were Jason Shaner, Christian Marquez, Junior Manzo and Steven Swafford, who placed third, first, sixth and fourth, respectively.
HRV fielded wrestlers for all but one weight class and finished with 114.5 points, good enough for fifth place; Churchill dominated with 206.5 points to claim the team title, followed by Newberg with 163, West Albany with 139 and Centennial with 130.
The Eagles also hosted Mountain View the night before the tournament for an annual dual coined Grapple for the Griffin. In an exciting evening of action, each team won five matches, but HRV finished with a 46-24 win due to having a full roster and picking up four forfeits.
“It was a very tough tournament,” Coach Trent Kroll said of the Elks, which has grown steadily in size and esteem over the years. “There were lots of super-stars in the weight classes; I bet about half of the All-Americans in the state were there. Teams are now begging to get into the tournament; it’s one of the best tournaments in the state for that weekend.”
HRV senior Christian Marquez breezed through the competition on his way to a second straight win at the tournament. After sitting out the last couple weeks due to injury, the defending state champion and 5A No. 1 ranked Marquez seemed back in stride as he picked up a first round bye, an impressive 15-second pin, a first-round technical fall in his second and a 2:16 pin in the finals claim the tournament’s unique and coveted first-place award – a customized model truck.
In his first appearance at HRV’s home tournament, Shaner started with a bye, won his second match by injury default, lost his third then finished with a 9-0 win to claim third place. Junior Manzo and Jorge Ortega both took the long road to the podium with three wins and two losses to finish fifth and Steven Swafford picked up three pins and a close 5-3 loss to make it to the consolation finals, where he lost 13-0 to finish fourth.
“One thing we learned over the weekend is the importance of being able to pick ourselves up after a loss, reevaluate our goals, recover and get back out there on the mat and wrestle up to our potential every single time. That’s a life lesson wrestling teaches well.”
Eagles at Elks Memorial:
106 Jessica DeHart: 1-2 (WBF, 9-1 loss, 4-2 loss); 120 Jason Shaner: 3rd place, 2-1 (bye, win by injury, LBF, 9-0 win); 126 Dylan Peterson: 2-2 (WBF, 6-5 loss, WBF, 5-2 loss); 132 Christian Marquez: 1st place, 3-0 (bye, WBF, 17-1 win, WBF); 138 Junior Manzo: 5th place, 3-2 (14-6 win, LBF, WBF, 4-2 win, LBF, DFF); 138 James Estes: 2-2 (LBF, WBF, 9-8 win, 16-1 loss); 145 Jorge Ortega: 5th place, 3-3 (11-3 win, LBF, WBF, 5-2 win, 9-0 loss, DFF); 152 Chris Castro: 0-2 (bye, LBF, 3-2 loss); 160 Ian Rand: 2-2 (WBF, LBF, 14-3 win, 3-0 loss); 160 Trystan Fisher: 0-2 (LBF, bye, LBF); 170 Steven Swafford: 4th lace, 3-2 (WBF, WBF, 5-3 loss, WBF, 13-0 loss); 182 Oscar Villegas: 2-1 (LBF, WBF, LBF); 195 Mark Reyes: 0-2 (LBF, bye, 4-2 loss); 220 Max Lane: 2-2 (WBF, 13-0 loss, 4-3 win, 4-2 OT loss); 285 Justin Wilson: 1-2 (LBF, WBF, LBF).
Team top five (18 total): 1st Churchill, 206.5; 2nd Newberg 163; 3rd West Albany 139; 4th Centennial 130; 5th Hood River 114.5
In a first of its kind in Oregon, HRV wrestling hosted a separate female tournament alongside the Elks. Among the field were six from HRV, and living up to their reputation as a powerhouse in the fast-growing sport of female wrestling, four of the six went undefeated to win their brackets.
“It worked out great and our girls wrestled great,” Kroll said of the tournament, which, to his knowledge, is the first of its kind in the state. “We met our goal of getting 30 girls for the tournament; next year we’ll try to double that and have 60.”
Sarah Sullenger picked up three pins to finish first at 114-117, Joanna Endow was second with a loss and two pins at 121-132, Beatriz Najera was third at the same weight class, Martika Lane won two and lost one to finish second at 126-132, Monique Yanez won all three of her matches by fall to win her bracket and Payton Rigert won the 152-169 class with three pins.