A strong season for the HRV wrestling team culminated with a handful of podium finishes at the OSAA 5A state wrestling championships held last weekend at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Jason Shaner, the only varsity member who attended the state tournament in both 2015 and 2016, placed the highest for the HRV varsity team, with a bronze-medal finish in the 126-pound weight class. The sophomore improved on last year’s showing at the double-elimination tournament, when he placed sixth.
The other athlete reaching the podium out of the five members of the varsity team who qualified for state was frosh Noah Wachsmuth, who took fourth in the 113-pound bracket.
Payton Rigert was the highlight for the HRV girls team, taking her third-consecutive title at the state tournament, placing first in the 152-pound weight class. Also wrestling and placing for the girls team were Grace Miller (second, 113), Monique Yanez (third, 126), and Christine Marquez (third, 170).
Overall, the varsity team placed in the middle of the pack, finishing 16th out of 31 teams and scoring 40.5 points. Placing first once again was Special District 4 rival and perennial favorite, the Hermiston Bulldogs, who scored 226.5 points. HRV fell behind Special District 4 teams Redmond (sixth, 110.5), Mountain View (11th, 62.5), and Summit (14th, 44), but defeated Bend (17th, 35.5), The Dalles/Dufur (23rd, 22), Pendleton (24th, 21.5), and Ridgeview (28th, 6).
The placing for the girls team had already been decided two weeks prior, when HRV took first at the state qualifier tournament in Cottage Grove. The top four wrestlers in each weight class moved onto the girls tournament, also at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
HRV Head Coach Trent Kroll was satisfied with the results produced by both teams, noting that there were “no big surprises and no big disappointments” with how his athletes competed.
“It was an exciting weekend. I thought our wrestlers peaked at the right time of the season, which is always good to see as a coach,” he said. “We were wrestling our best at the end of February, especially Payton and Jason, who went and hit every optional morning practice and it showed in that they were in better condition than everyone else.”
Both Shaner and Wachsmuth had some challenging matches on the way to their respective third- and fourth-place finished last weekend. Shaner entered the tournament as seven-seed and lost only one of his six matches, dropping the quarterfinal match in a 7-4 decision awarded to Crecent Valley’s Brawley Lamer, whom Kroll called a wrestler of “All-American quality.” Shaner battled his way back through the consolation rounds and took the third-place match in a decisive 15-6 major decision. Kroll said that Wachsmuth’s bracket consisted of an unusual amount of seniors for the 113-pound bracket and Wachsmuth fell to two wrestlers he had lost to earlier in the season, representing nearly half of Wachsmuth’s paltry nine losses in 46 matches this season.
Rigert had an unusual route to her spot on the podium, defeating her first opponent by fall, and the winning the title match by forfeit after her opponent, whom Rigert had beaten earlier in the season, failed to make weight.
“If you wanted to wrestle Payton, you would have made weight,” commented Kroll, who added that Rigert, a senior, was “the most decorated wrestler in the state of Oregon this year and obviously, as a 4.0 student, she’s pretty darn impressive.”
113 pounds: Noah Wachsmuth, 3-2, fourth place (Win by fall, 5-3 win, 7-3 loss, WBF, 15-4 loss)
126: Jason Shaner, 5-1 third place (WBF, 7-4 loss, win by technical fall, 22-17 win, WBF, 15-6 win)
182: Oscar Villegas, 1-2 (WBF, loss by fall, LBF); Trystan Fisher, 0-2 (8-4 loss, 12-3 loss)
285: Adrian Ramirez, 0-2 (2-0 loss, 1-0 loss)
113: Grace Miller, 1-1, second place (14-1 win, 9-6 loss)
126: Monique Yanez, 1-1, third place (6-5 loss, WBF)
152: Payton Rigert, 2-0, first place (WBF, win by forfeit)
170: Christina Marquez, 1-1, third place (LBF, WBF).