The annual Elks Wrestling Tournament marked another impressive performance by the HRV girls wrestling team, who have had quite the season as they head into their state qualifying competition this weekend. The Eagles headlined with first-place finishes by Grace Miller and Monique Verduzco — the former of whom received the Most Outstanding Wrestler award of the tournament — and placed second out of 28 teams that showed up to the event.
Saturday’s performance at the tournament followed up a dual match with Centennial Friday night, which, though it wasn’t scored, saw the Eagles win seven of their 10 matches.
“It was the first home dual meet with the lights down, so that was pretty exciting,” said Head Coach Trent Kroll.
The Eagles travel to Thurston High School for their state qualifying tournament on Friday and Saturday, which essentially serves as the state championship for girls wrestling in Oregon, which still has club-level status in the state. Top finishers then move on to the boys state championship Feb. 24-25 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, where they will wrestle in an exhibition match.
The one team the girls did lose to on Saturday is state qualifier host Thurston, who beat the Eagles by just 14.5 points. As two-time defending champs, it appears the Eagles may have to fend off a challenge from Thurston this weekend.
“We’re the two-time returning state champs, but Thurston is knocking on the door,” Kroll noted.
The boys team had a rougher time, falling 55-12 in a duel against Mountain View Friday night in Hood River. Mountain View turned around the next day to win the boys portion of the Elks Wrestling Tournament, while the Eagles finished 10th of 18 teams. The lone champion for the boys was Jason Shaner, who received the Most Outstanding Wrestler award for his efforts, which included defeating defending 126-pound 5A state champion Caleb Duhn, of Mountain View in a 24-10 major decision (he also defeated Duhn 9-5 the previous night). Shaner has only lost one of the 37 matches he has competed in this season and is currently ranked first in the state in his weight class.
The team wraps up the regular season this week with back-to-back home dual meets. HRV hosts St. Helens Wednesday at 7 p.m. for their annual “Pin Cancer” event, and then on Thursday will host The Dalles for the “River Clash Cup” at 7 p.m.
Hood River Elks member George Johnson said that Saturday’s tournament raised $1,600 for the HRV wrestling scholarship program. Hood River’s chapter has been putting on the fundraising tournament for over 20 years and upwards of 20 volunteers helped with various tasks at this year’s event, including manning the concession stands. As is tradition, winners were awarded model semi-trucks as trophies for the tournament.
Girls Elks Tournament
130 pounds, Elena Kroll, 1-3, 6th place (Bye, win by fall, lose by fall, LBF, LBF); C.J. Rhodes, 0-2 (LBF, bye, LBF)
136: Monique Verduzco, 4-0 (WBF, WBF, WBF, WBF over Samantha Morley); Morley, 3-1, 2nd (WBF, WBF, 5-3 win, LBF to Verduzco)
142: Grace Miller, 4-0, 1st (WBF, WBF, WBF, WBF)
156: Anna Galbraith, 2-3, 6th (Bye, LBF, WBF, WBF, LBF to Emily Mitchell, LBF); Mitchell, 2-2, 4th (Bye, WBF, LBF, WBF over Galbraith, LBF)
Boys: Mountain View 55 at HRV 12
106: Justin Lane defeated Caleb Potts by fall (34 seconds)
113: Ryan Zeller lost 11-0 to Beau Ohlson (major decision)
120: Chad Muenzer lost 11-4 to Evan McLean
126: Jason Shaner defeated Caleb Duhn 9-5
132: Cade Parker lost to Blake Ohlson by fall (1:31)
138: Maverick Geller lost to John Cole by fall (1:02)
170: Alberto Rojas lost to Frankie Lesowski by fall (3:06)
220: Alexander Pedroza lost to Jacob Conklin by fall (1:14)
285: Justin Wilson defeated Reed Sehorn-Hurst 7-4
Mountain View scored 24 points on forfeits
Boys Elks Tournament
106: Lane, 0-2 (LBF, bye LBF); Zeller, 3-1, 4th (12-2 win by major decision, WBF, LBF, WBF, double forfeit)
113: Muenzer, 1-3 (WBF, 4-1 loss, LBF)
126: Shaner, 4-0, 1st (WBF, 20-3 win by technical fall, 24-9 WBTF, 24-10 WBMD)
132: Parker, 0-2 (Bye, 15-4 loss by major decision, 7-4 loss); Tristan Keely, 0-2 (23-8 loss by technical fall, LBF)
152: Angel Jones, 2-2 (4-2 win by sudden victory, LBF, WBF, 16-2 LBMD)
160: Nathaniel Quintanilla, 0-2 (LBF, 6-2 loss)
170: Rojas, 3-2, 5th (Bye, LBF, WBF, 7-3 win, 11-9 loss, 11-4 win)
220: Pedroza, 0-2 (LBF, bye, LBF)
285: Adrian Ramirez, 1-2, (5-0 loss, WBF, 4-3 loss in ultimate tiebreaker); Justin Wilson, 2-2, 4th (Bye, 3-2 win by tiebreaker, 4-3 loss, WBF, LBF)