Philomath High School’s wrestlers had to settle for second place at Saturday’s Santiam Christian Screamin’ Eagle with a squad out of Washington snagging the top team trophy in a close finish.
The final tally showed Columbia River with 196 points and Philomath in second with 191 points. The difference pointed to team depth with the Vancouver school having a 13-12 edge as far as the number of weight divisions filled with wrestlers. In matches involving wrestlers eligible to score points, the Rapids had a 27-16 record and Philomath had a 22-15 record. Both teams had three individual champions.
Philomath was well represented in the championship matches with eight Warriors competing for titles. Sophomore River Sandstrom, senior Ben Hernandez and senior Chase Ringwald all won first-place medals. Freshman Lukas Hernandez, freshman Riley Barrett, freshman Porter Compton, senior David Griffith and junior Jacob Hamlet had runner-up finishes.
Sandstrom continued his stellar season by defeating three opponents on a pin and a pair of decisions. In the 106-pound finale, he outpointed Rainier’s Hunter Hendricks, 10-4.
Ben Hernandez went unchallenged at 120 pounds with three straight first-period pins — the first two in 35 and 53 seconds, respectively. In the finale, he went 1:13 in a victory over Culver’s Debren Sanabria.
Ringwald took first at 138 with a quick pin and two hard-fought decisions on points. Ringwald’s first match was a pin in 49 seconds and he followed up with wins of 4-2 and 5-1 — the latter coming in the finale against his teammate, Compton. Compton was designated as the scoring athlete in the weight division but it didn’t really matter much with two Warriors in the finals.
Of note, Philomath and Columbia River didn’t have any head-to-head matches in the final round. In fact, wrestlers from those two schools squared off only three times in the entire tournament with Philomath winning two — Hernandez in the 120 semifinals and Compton in the 138 semifinals.
Lukas Hernandez reached the finals at 126 with his most-exciting match coming over a Corvallis opponent on a 13-10 decision. He also had a pin over a Pleasant Hill wrestler. Santiam Christian’s Sam Schmidgall defeated Hernandez for first place.
Barrett took care of opponents from Monroe and Scio to reach the finals at 132 against Santiam Christian’s Kaden Haugen. The Eagles senior, who placed third at 138 in last season’s state tournament, held on to beat Barrett on a 7-5 decision.
As mentioned, Compton finished second at 138 with the loss in the finals to his teammate. Compton advanced with three straight major decisions over opponents from Scio, Dayton and Columbia River.
Griffith had back-to-back first-period pins over Scio and Rainier wrestlers to reach the championship match at 170 pounds. There, he faced off against Regis junior Thomas Bischoff, who placed third at state last season, and lost on a pin late in the third period.
Hamlet’s second-place finish at 220 included two victories on pins against opponents from Corvallis and Culver. In the championship match, Scio junior Jackson Braa got the win.
Other placewinners for Philomath included junior Gradin Fairbanks at 152 (fourth), junior Jared Gerding at 182 (sixth) and sophomore Brady Russell at 195 (sixth).
Morton places 2nd in girls tourney
Philomath junior Ellie Morton placed second at 110 pounds in the Screamin’ Eagle’s girls tournament. Morton opened with a pin in 48 seconds over an opponent from North Marion and followed with a pin in 2:15 against a Columbia River opponent to reach the championship match.
In the finale, Morton went up against Scio’s Emily Zamudio and lost on a pin midway through the second period.