Jason Shaner’s stellar wrestling season ended on the highest note possible last weekend, when the junior swept the competition in the 126-pound weight bracket at the 5A state championships, and took home first place for the Eagles.
It wasn’t exactly a surprise, as Shaner was ranked first in the state going into the competition, and had amassed a record of 43-1 after finishing first at the district championship two weeks before. HRV Head Coach Trent Kroll noted that Shaner was the ninth state champion in the school’s history and with a 47-1 record following the state meet, had racked up the most single-season wins in the history of the program. He added, “He wasn’t scored on offensively for the whole tournament, which was pretty cool too.”
It was the third state meet for Shaner and marked an improvement over last season’s third-place finish. He was happy with his result, but was already focusing on the 2017-18 season.
“It feels good, but now it’s time to keep training and make history and become a repeat state champ for next year,” he said.
Shaner tore through his first three matches at the state meet, defeating South Albany’s Mikey Medina by tech fall, then Hillsboro’s Nick Peterson, also by tech fall. In the semifinal, Shaner wrestled against a familiar face, Mountain View’s Caleb Duhn, and defeated him by major decision to advance to the finals.
In the championship, Shaner was matched with Bryant Smith of Milwaukie, who, like Shaner, had also only lost one match this season. Kroll said that they didn’t know much about Smith, but it didn’t matter, as “Jason dominated the match. He wrestled a pretty smart match and came out with the (7-4) win.”
Shaner wasn’t the only HRV wrestler to find the podium at the Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Chad Muenzer placed sixth in the 113-pound bracket and had a busy weekend, wrestling in six matches, many of which were close. He finished the season with a 29-11 record.
“Chad really had a great season,” Kroll said. “He had a phenomenal tournament. Super proud of him as a freshman getting on the podium.”
Justin Wilson, Ryan Zeller and Adrian Ramirez all scored points for HRV, but did not place. Kroll said all three encountered tough competition during the tournament.
“They did all the right things and wrestled great, great matches,” he noted.
HRV placed 16th out of 29 teams, scoring 46 points and finishing in the same position they did the previous season. Crater placed first with 175.5 points. Teams representing Special District 4 — the district in which HRV competes — included Redmond (third, 144), Hermiston (fourth, 138), Mountain View (sixth, 115), Pendleton (17th, 45), Bend (20th, 21), Ridgeview (21st, 17), and Summit (22nd, 14). Kroll was especially enthused about beating Pendleton, who had placed ahead of HRV in the district tournament.
“Oh yeah, loved that,” he said.
Wilson will be the lone varsity senior departing the team, which will leave the Eagles largely intact for the 2017-18 season.
“We have a great group coming back next year. We have great leadership in Ryan Zeller and Jason Shaner,” he said. “I’m super excited about the future of the program.”
The girls team placing had already been decided two weeks prior, which saw the girls finish second. In the individual match last weekend, the girls didn’t come home with any titles, but saw both Grace Miller and Monique Verduzco take home silver medals in the 126-pound and 138-pound brackets, respectively. Christine Marquez placed fourth and Kroll said that all three had some difficult competition, including some All-American wrestlers. Miller nearly came away with a title, losing 3-2 in her first-place match.
106 pounds: Ryan Zeller, 2-2 (Win by fall, 8-6 loss by sudden victory, 9-2 win, loss by fall)
113: Chad Muenzer, 3-3, 6th (WBF, 5-1 loss, 4-2 win, 6-4 win, 6-0 loss, 5-4 loss)
126: Jason Shaner, 4-0, 1st (26-11 win by technical fall, 22-6 WBTF, 21-8 win by major decision, 7-4 win)
285: Adrian Ramirez, 1-2 (3-0 win, LBF, LBF); Justin Wilson, 1-2 (WBF, 8-4 loss, LBF)
126: Grace Miller, 1-1, 2nd (WBF, 3-2 loss)
138: Monique Verduzco, 1-1, 2nd (Win by injury default, LBF)
170: Christine Marquez, 0-2 (LBF, LBF)