David Griffith
Warriors junior David Griffith, champion at 160 pounds, won his three matches on Saturday in a combined 3 minutes, 22 seconds. (Photo by Eric Niemann)

The Philomath High School wrestling team had its full varsity roster available for the first time this season at Saturday’s King of the Hill tournament. David Griffith was able to finally make his season debut at the Pleasant Hill event and the junior delivered with a first-place finish.

Seniors Joseph Choi and Blaise Pindell, both of whom have also missed time this season because of injuries, were winners in their weight divisions. Senior Blake Niemann took first-place as well as his season continues to trend in a positive direction.

Philomath High’s wrestling team took first place in Saturday’s 15-school tournament at Pleasant Hill. (Photo by Eric Niemann)

Along with four second-place finishes and others contributing with points, the Warriors won the team title by a considerable margin over runner-up Siuslaw. Fifteen teams had wrestlers on the mat.

Griffith’s first-place showing actually came fairly easily with three first-period pins. In the 160-pound finale, he pinned Jared Miller of Sisters in his longest match of the day at 90 seconds.

Philomath senior Joseph Choi battles Diego Medina of Springfield in the 285-pound finale. Choi won on a pin in 3:55. (Photo by Eric Niemann)

Choi also went 3-0 in his matches at 285 pounds, winning all of them on pins. After disposing of opponents in the quarterfinals and semifinals on first-period pins, Choi was challenged in the first-place match by Springfield’s Diego Medina. But Choi ended up sticking his opponent in 3:55.

Pindell remained undefeated this season with three victories at 182 and he also took them all on pins. In the first-place match, Pindell took out John Granas of Pleasant Hill in 1:40. In his earlier matches, Pindell won on pins in 3:04 and 2:40.

Niemann had three wins to take first place at 126. In one of the closer matches of the day, he outlasted teammate Chase Ringwald in the weight division’s title match on an 8-5 decision. Niemann’s other wins came on a pin in 35 seconds and on a 20-5 technical fall.

Senior Blake Niemann took first place at 126 pounds. (Photo by Eric Niemann)

Junior Ben Hernandez saw just two bouts in the tournament and reached the finals at 120 with a pin in 1:21. Hernandez faced Juventino Macias of Springfield in the first-place match and came up short with a loss on a third-period pin.

Freshman River Sandstrom was the runner-up at 106. Sandstrom went 2-1 for the tournament with a loss in the championship match to Lowell’s Harley Hardison.

Ringwald, as mentioned, was the runner-up at 126. He had a challenging match in the semifinals in a 6-2 decision over a Siuslaw opponent.

Junior Caleb Blackburn placed second at 132, reaching the championship match with pins over his first two opponents. Blackburn faced Springfield’s Fernando Gonzalez for first and lost on a competitive 7-3 decision.

Senior Blaise Pindell remains undefeated on the season with a 10-0 record. (Photo by Eric Niemann)

Others placing for Philomath included freshman Cameron McConnell (113, fourth), Ty Olsen (145, sixth) and Jacob Hamlet (220, sixth).

In the girls’ portion of the tournament, both of Philomath’s wrestlers saw action. Sophomore Ellie Morton defeated her lone opponent in the 100-pound weight division for first place. Morton won in a 52-second pin over Churchill’s Izel Tavallai.

Elmira won the team title by four points over runner-up Creswell.

Philomath’s next action on the wrestling mat is scheduled for 5 p.m. Wednesday at home for a conference duals event. Joining the Warriors will be Newport, Siuslaw and Sweet Home.

King of the Hill
Saturday, Jan. 8, at Pleasant Hill HS


Team Scoring
1, Philomath 204.5; 2, Siuslaw 155; 3, Springfield 136; 4, Sisters 118; 5, Lowell 98; 6, Pleasant Hill 97; 7, Elmira 82; 8, Oakland 81.5; 9, Douglas 70; 10, Cottage Grove 69; 11, Creswell 48; 12, Churchill 40; 13, Monroe 38; 14, North Lake 15; 15, North Douglas 7.

PHS Results

106: River Sandstrom (2-1, 2nd)

Lyosha Mitchell, CreswellW-MD12-2
Levi Stewart, LowellWin-Pin0:47
Harley Hardison, LowellL-Pin1:49

113: Cameron McConnell (0-2)

Jackson Howard, Cottage GroveL-Pin4:56
Gavin Haratyk, Pleasant HillL-Pin0:49

120: Ben Hernandez (1-1, 2nd)

Joseph Plueard, SpringfieldW-Pin1:21
Juventino Macias, SpringfieldL-Pin5:15

126: Blake Niemann (3-0, 1st)

Hasstin Nelson, ChurchillW-Pin0:35
Eli Anderson, Pleasant HillW-TF20-5
Chase Ringwald, PhilomathW-Dec8-5

126: Chase Ringwald (2-1, 2nd)

Cian Merz, Cottage GroveW-Pin0:58
Yoskar Delamora, SiuslawW-Dec6-2
Blake Niemann, PhilomathL-Dec8-5

132: Caleb Blackburn (2-1, 2nd)

William Blakely, ChurchillW-Pin1:36
Cord Mincher, DouglasW-Pin4:46
Fernando Gonzalez, SpringfieldL-Dec7-3

132: Walker Westbrook (0-2)

Dillon Greene, MonroeL-Pin2:00
Alexander Murray, ChurchillLInj. Def.

138: Gradin Fairbanks (1-2)

Leonardo Robertson, SiuslawL-Dec13-11
Kaleb Miller, DouglasW-Pin0:15
Enrico Cervantez, ElmiraW-Pin4:32

138: Lucas Bourguois (1-2)

Noah Sawyer, ElmiraW-Pin1:59
Hunter Petterson, SiuslawL-Pin0:19
Wayde Walton, ElmiraL-Pin0:16

145: Ryder Zitlau (0-2)

Davin Gottschall, OaklandL-Dec7-6
Michael Owens, SpringfieldL-Pin1:47

145: Ty Olsen (3-2, T-6th)

Lucas Richardson, SpringfieldW-Pin4:43
Marc Griffiths, Pleasant HillL-Pin2:3
Joshua Bledsoe, MonroeW-Pin1:37
Lucas Richardson, SpringfieldW-Pin3:10
Gavin Hoellrich, Pleasant HillLNo contest
Marc Griffiths, Pleasant HillDouble forfeit

152: Jonathan Doig (1-2)

Micah Spear, Cottage GroveW-Pin0:47
Leland Good, OaklandL-Pin1:07
Kyle Arscott, OaklandL-Pin2:19

160: David Griffith (3-0, 1st)

Hooper Slagle, MonroeW-Pin1:06
John Corser, SiuslawW-Pin0:46
Jared Miller, SistersW-Pin1:30

170: Jared Gerding (2-2)

Austin Kennedy, DouglasW-Pin0:34
Mason Buss, SiuslawL-Pin1:55
Jayden Vogt, SistersW-Pin0:35
Ezekiel Allison, ChurchillL-Pin2:06

182: Blaise Pindell (3-0, 1st)

Jayden Henry, OaklandW-Pin3:04
Alexander Waizman, SpringfieldW-Pin2:40
John Granas, Pleasant HillW-Pin1:40

220: Jacob Hamlet (2-2, T-6th)

Jacob Washington, SistersL-Pin0:34
Shawn Wirtz, OaklandW-Pin0:27
Wyatt Hufford, North LakeW-Pin5:40
Henry Rard, SistersL-Pin4:44
James Barnett, SpringfieldDouble forfeit

285: Joseph Choi (3-0, 1st)

Corbin Allison, CreswellW-Pin1:11
Nathan Abrams, Cottage GroveW-Pin1:09
Diego Medina, SpringfieldW-Pin3:55


Team Scoring
1, Elmira 28; 2, Creswell 24; 3, Oakland 19; 4, Springfield 18; 5, Sisters 16; 6, Siuslaw 8; 7, Cottage Grove 7; 7, Philomath 7; 9, Churchill 2; 10, Douglas 0; 10, Lowell 0; 10, Monroe 0; 10, North Douglas 0; 10, North Lake 0; 10, Oakridge 0.

PHS Results

100: Ellie Morton (1-0, 1st)

Izel Tavallai, ChurchillW-Pin0:52

110: Taylor Mussati (0-2)

Macali Cade, SiuslawL-Pin1:24
Bella Eyler, OaklandL-Pin4:14