Ben Hernandez
Ben Hernandez (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath High School wrestling program went up against the best in the state on Friday and Saturday at the Oregon Classic — the top duals meet of the season with 16 mats of action at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond — and came home with seventh place in the Class 4A competition.

The tournament’s first day featured pool competition and the Warriors went up against Baker, Tillamook, Sisters and Phoenix. Based on those results, teams then advance on the second day into groups of eight wrestling off for final placings.

Philomath opened with a 39-33 win over Baker in a dual that featured three hard-fought Warrior victories on decisions. Freshman River Sandstrom pulled out a 14-12 win at 106 pounds, junior Chase Ringwald was a 10-7 winner at 132 and junior Caleb Blackburn took a 9-5 decision at 138. Junior Ben Hernandez (120), senior Blake Niemann (126), sophomore Jonathan Doig (152), junior David Griffith (160) and senior Blaise Pindell (170) all won on pins. Philomath had to give up 12 points on forfeits.

The Warriors then went up against a tough Tillamook squad and lost by a 58-21 margin. Hernandez, Pindell and senior Joseph Choi at heavyweight had first-period pins and Griffith pulled out a victory on an 8-6 decision.

Philomath regrouped to defeat Sisters, 45-30. The two schools split four of eight on-the-mat matches but the Warriors had an advantage with points off forfeits. Individually, Ringwald had the most competitive match with a 7-5 decision over his opponent at 132. Sandstrom, Griffith and Pindell won on pins.

The Warriors easily beat Phoenix in their final pool match, 57-16. In matches on the mat, Sandstrom, Hernandez, Niemann, sophomore Gradin Fairbanks and Pindell all had victories on pins. Blackburn defeated his opponent on an 8-1 decision.

Philomath’s 3-1 record on Day 1 qualified the Warriors for Saturday’s championship round. In the first dual, the Warriors lost to Banks, 51-30. Hernandez continued a string of fast first-period pins and Blackburn, Griffith, Pindell and Choi also won on falls.

The loss dropped the Warriors into a consolation semifinal against Henley and Philomath lost, 46-34. Hernandez, Niemann, Fairbanks and Pindell had victories on pins. Sandstrom recorded an 11-3 major decision over his opponent.

Philomath and Mazama then met in a match for seventh place and the Warriors pulled out a 36-34 win. On the mat, the Warriors and Vikings each won five of the 10 matches. Mazama got forfeit wins at 152 and 182, Philomath got a forfeit win at 220 and there was a double forfeit at 195.

Sandstrom, Hernandez, Niemann, Griffith and Pindell all won on pins. Both Ringwald and Choi lost on close two-point decisions to their opponents.

Individually, Pindell and Hernandez were unbeaten at the two-day event. Pindell won all seven of his bouts on pins. Hernandez went 6-0 and also won all on pins — five of his six falls came in under 60 seconds, two under 25 seconds.

Griffith went 5-1 at the tournament with four pins and Sandstrom finished 5-2 with three pins. Niemann was 4-2 with all of his wins on pins. Blackburn and Choi both had split records at 3-3 and 2-2, respectively. Ringwald and Fairbanks each had two wins and Doig had one.

In all on-the-mat bouts combined, Philomath wrestlers had a 37-36 record.

La Grande won the team title in the 4A competition with Sweet Home second and Tillamook third. In the other classifications, team winners included Newberg (6A), Thurston (5A), La Pine (3A) and Culver (2A/1A).

Philomath is scheduled to compete Wednesday in a conference duals meet at Stayton. Elmira and Sweet Home are scheduled to join the Warriors and host Eagles. Philomath will then compete on Jan. 22 — the boys at the Screaming Eagle at Santiam Christian and the girls at the Lady Dragon Invitational at Dallas.

Oregon Classic
Friday, Jan. 14 at Deschutes County Fairgrounds, Redmond
Pool 3
Philomath 39, Baker 33

106River Sandstrom, Philomath, dec. Marcus Chamberlain, 14-12
113Aldo Duran, Baker, pinned Cameron McConnell, 0:32
120Ben Hernandez, Philomath, pinned River Clark, 3:39
126Blake Niemann, Philomath, pinned Sage Darlington, 3:01
132Chase Ringwald, Philomath, dec. Cole Hester, 10-7
138Caleb Blackburn, Philomath, dec. Riley Martin, 9-5
145Gavin Stone, Baker, pinned Gradin Fairbanks, 3:40
152Jonathan Doig, Philomath, pinned Julian Garcia, 1:58
160David Griffith, Philomath, pinned Ryan Brown, 2:17
170Blaise Pindell, Philomath, pinned Cody Eskew, 1:31
182Gauge Bloomer, Baker, won by forfeit
195Ethan Morgan, Baker, won by forfeit
220Alex Ritter, Baker, pinned Jacob Hamlet, 0:57
285Jaden Martin, Baker, dec. Joseph Choi, 5-1

Tillamook 58, Philomath 21

106Bryce Haltner, Tillamook, pinned River Sandstrom, 0:31
113Joshua Perdew, Tillamook, pinned Cameron McConnell, 0:57
120Ben Hernandez, Philomath, pinned David Weathers, 0:49
126Austin Simmons, Tillamook, maj. dec. Blake Niemann, 20-11
132Bradley Rieger, Tillamook, pinned Chase Ringwald, 0:11
138James Goddard, Tillamook, pinned Caleb Blackburn, 3:00
145Parker McKibbin, Tillamook, pinned Gradin Fairbanks, 1:04
152Gilbert Whitlatch, Tillamook, pinned Jonathan Doig, 1:20
160David Griffith, Philomath, dec. Austin Bosch, 8-6
170Blaise Pindell, Philomath, pinned Logan McKibbin, 1:46
182Hayden Hamerl, Tillamook, won by forfeit
195Koi Smith, Tillamook, won by forfeit
220Jackson Contreras, Tillamook, pinned Jacob Hamlet, 0:33
285Joseph Choi, Philomath, pinned Michael O’Neil, 1:25

Philomath 45, Sisters 30

106River Sandstrom, Philomath, pinned Conrad Irlam, 1:18
113Carter Van Meter, Sisters, pinned Cameron McConnell, 3:59
120Ben Hernandez, Philomath, won by forfeit
126Blake Niemann, Philomath, won by forfeit
132Chase Ringwald, Philomath, dec. Carson Brown, 7-5
138Caleb Blackburn, Philomath, won by forfeit
145Ben Cooper, Sisters, pinned Gradin Fairbanks, 3:24
152Wyatt Maffey, Sisters, pinned Jonathan Doig, 0:48
160David Griffith, Philomath, pinned Dolan Pool, 1:17
170Blaise Pindell, Philomath, pinned Jayden Vogt, 1:05
182Gabe Bailey, Sisters, won by forfeit
195Double forfeit
220Henry Rard, Sisters, pinned Jacob Hamlet, 1:17
285Joseph Choi, Philomath, won by forfeit

Philomath 57, Phoenix 16

106River Sandstrom, Philomath, pinned Tanner Schuh, 2:46
113Cameron McConnell, Philomath, won by forfeit
120Ben Hernandez, Philomath, pinned Jackson Scala, 0:17
126Blake Niemann, Philomath, pinned Erik Reyes, 1:55
132Chase Ringwald, Philomath, won by forfeit
138Caleb Blackburn, Philomath, dec. Hunter Nash, 8-1
145Gradin Fairbanks, Philomath, pinned Eric Peltier, 0:48
152Hunter Everhart, Phoenix, maj. dec. Jonathan Doig, 10-2
160David Griffith, Philomath, won by forfeit
170Blaise Pindell, Philomath, pinned Marcelo Camargo, 3:30
182Double forfeit
195Trevor Sharrar, Phoenix, won by forfeit
220Joseph Baynard, Phoenix, pinned Jacob Hamlet, 1:25
285Joseph Choi, Philomath, won by forfeit

Oregon Classic
Saturday, Jan. 15 at Deschutes County Fairgrounds, Redmond
4A Championship Bracket
Banks 51, Philomath 30

106Benjamin Dinan, Banks, pinned River Sandstrom, 4:56
113Mason Warren, Banks, pinned Cameron McConnell, 1:26
120Ben Hernandez, Philomath, pinned Jace Thompson, 0:36
126Hunter Smith, Banks, tech. fall Blake Niemann, 15-0
132Dylan Smith, Banks, tech. fall Chase Ringwald, 15-0
138Caleb Blackburn, Philomath, pinned Jack Vandehey, 3:10
145Jackson Lyda, Banks, tech. fall Gardin Fairbanks, 19-4
152Luke Bozied, Banks, pinned Jonathan Doig, 2:44
160David Griffith, Philomath, pinned Philemon Mauck, 1:04
170Trent Rogers, Banks, won by forfeit
182Blaise Pindell, Philomath, pinned Daevon Vereen, 2:38
195Mishael Mauck, Banks, won by forfeit
220Braydon Ball, Banks, pinned Jacob Hamlet, 0:18
285Joseph Choi, Philomath, pinned Luke Bigsby, 0:48

Henley 46, Philomath 34

106River Sandstrom, Philomath, maj. dec. Emma Poe, 11-3
113Dylan Clark, Henley, pinned Cameron McConnell, 0:34
120Ben Hernandez, Philomath, pinned Cole Davis, 0:51
126Blake Niemann, Philomath, pinned Kyle Nichols, 3:30
132Riley Ore, Henley, maj. dec. Chase Ringwald, 11-2
138Jaxon Mengis, Henley, pinned Caleb Blackburn, 2:43
145Gradin Fairbanks, Philomath, pinned Ryan Dotson, 3:38
152Sam Mckeen-Hornbeck, Henley, pinned Jonathan Doig, 0:23
160Dominic Ingle, Henley, pinned David Griffith, 3:22
170Blaise Pindell, Philomath, pinned Estefan Muneton, 0:26
182Nolan Sieben, Henley, won by forfeit
195Matthew McCoy, Henley, won by forfeit
220Hagen Greer, Henley, pinned Jacob Hamlet, 2:28
285Joseph Choi, Philomath, won by forfeit

Philomath 36, Mazama 34

106River Sandstrom, Philomath, pinned Michael Rasdal, 0:56
113Haydn Burk, Mazama, pinned Cameron McConnell, 2:36
120Ben Hernandez, Philomath, pinned Gabriel Aumiller, 0:21
126Blake Niemann, Philomath, pinned Braden Davis, 0:41
132Treyce Horton, Mazama, dec. Chase Ringwald, 4-2
138Tanner Wood, Mazama, maj. dec. Caleb Blackburn, 13-0
145Savien Burk, Mazama, pinned Gradin Fairbanks, 1:11
152Kris Baldwin, Mazama, won by forfeit
160David Griffith, Philomath, pinned Taylor Casey, 1:47
170Blaise Pindell, Philomath, pinned Dominic Schreiber, 1:12
182Seth Wright, Mazama, won by forfeit
195Double forfeit
220Jacob Hamlet, Philomath, won by forfeit
285Isaac Pena, Mazama, dec. Joseph Choi, 3-1