The 15th annual Oregon Beach Wrestling Championships took place June 8 down on the shores of the Columbia in Hood River. Dozens of participants of varying weight classes and ages came together to toss, tumble and pin in an effort to claim themselves king or queen of the sand. When the matches were over, Hood River boasted several top place finishers, including five champions: Chad Muenzer Jr., Clayton Morris-Reade, Cody Durham, Nigel Bond and Emily Mitchell. Carson Farlow, Kevin Castro and Andrew McCreery each placed third in their respective classes.
Muenzer took the title in the High School Middleweight division, Morrise-Reade in the High School Light Heavyweight division, Durham in the High School Heavyweight division, Bond in the Open Heavyweight division and Mitchell in the Women’s division. There were 16 total divisions, ranging from elementary through open.
“It was an awesome day and great event,” said Trent Kroll, athletic director at Hood River Valley High School.
The Beach Wrestling Division was formed by the Oregon Wrestling Association in 2005, its purpose being to coordinate and provide opportunity for OWA members to participate in beach wrestling events throughout the year. The Oregon State Beach Wrestling Championships, which began that year, was the first organized beach wrestling tournament in the USA, and remains the longest consecutive running since its inception.