Multiple district champions have several schools pegged as state favorites
Feb. 19, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
With two days until the state wrestling championship begins, the schools with large numbers of district champions have emerged as either favorites or contenders to win a team title at Memorial Coliseum.
Crook County leads all teams with nine district champions at Class 4A, a class that's seen significant power shifts since the state moved to six classes in 2007. Five schools have won the 4A title in those six years, with only Sweet Home winning twice. Last year, the title was decided by just three points, with Cascade edging Henley.
Sweet Home is back with seven district champions, Henley, which finished third, has six and Cascade has four. Crook County finished fourth last year.
Glide, at Class 3A, has eight district champions, while four other schools have seven - half the number of champions available in each district tournament. In addition to Sweet Home and Hillsboro, Hermiston, Culver and Willamina all have seven.
The state championships begin with first-round matches in the 16-wrestler brackets at 8:30 a.m. Friday. Finals are set for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
Subscribe to Oregonsports Journal for advanced coverage of the tournament, including a special print issue.
Among defending champs, the Indians have plenty to work through
Feb. 22, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
After three consecutive state titles, and five in six years, sending 17 wrestlers to the state tournament would basically put Roseburg High into its fourth-straight and six in seven years.
That would be an easy conclusion.
But, David Douglas has been building for several years, is coming off a second-place finish and has more district champions than the Indians do as the state tournament prepares to begin Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
And, Hillsboro and McNary seem ready to be contenders as well.
A title by any of those three teams would take fans into their history books as none has won a team title since 1990, when Hillsboro won. McNary hasn’t won since 1975, and David Douglas last won in 1966.
The Bulldogs look to reclaim the state title they lost to Dallas last year
Feb. 22, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
It was after a loss in the Cadet Junior Nationals last summer that Hermiston’s Tyler Berger took to using the result as a source of inspiration for his future matches. So, he fashioned a plaque of inspirational sayings and placed it above the door of his room so that he would be able to view it daily.
“I wanted to use that as something to help motivate me to work harder, and try harder,” Berger said. “I see that every day and try to use that every day to get better.”
Berger has been at the top of his weight in Oregon the past two years, and is seeded No. 1 at 138 pounds as the OSAA Championships are set to begin Friday at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Several districts have already held meets, while other are set for Friday/Saturday
Feb. 11, 2013
The Roseburg wrestling team, the defending Class 6A champion, rolled through its district meet last weekend and qualified an amazing 17 wrestlers for the state meet, gaining an extra week of rest in the process as the District 4 meet ended Saturday.
The District 3 meet, won by Sprague also ended Saturday, as did the District 4 meet in Class 5A - won by Redmond.
For the rest of the state, Friday and Saturday will see the top four qualifiers earn a spot in the final 16, when the state championship are played out at Memorial Coliseum, Feb. 22-23.
While Roseburg is the defending Class 6A champion, Dallas will look to defend the state title it won last year at Class 5A - the school's first. Cascade won the Class 4A title, and Nyssa ended a 10-year title run by Burns with the Class 3A title. Culver win its sixth-straight Class 2A title.
Here is the district meet schedule, along with team scores for the three districts that have competed.
Oregonsports Journal will preview the team races within each classification, as well as feature programs at Roseburg and Hermistion with a special print edition set for distribution Feb. 21.
DISTRICT MEETS Friday and Saturday
CLASS 6A DISTRICT 1, at Westview High Aloha, Beaverton, Century, Forest Grove, Glencoe, Grant, Hillsboro, Lincoln, Southridge, Sunset, Westview
DISTRICT 2, at Oregon City Barlow, Canby, Centennial, Clackamas, David Douglas, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Lakeridge, Oregon City, Reynolds, West Linn
DISTRICT 3, at Tualatin Feb. 8/9 TEAM SCORES: Sprague 310.5, NcNary 263.5, McMinnville 263.5, Tualatin 211,5, Newberg 199, North Salem 177.5, West Salem 177.5, West Salem 157.5, McKay 143, Tigard 106, South Salem 49.
DISTRICT 4, at Crater High, Feb. 8/9 TEAM SCORES: Roseburg 396.5, North Medford 283.5, Crater 277, Thurston 186.5, Grants Pass 169, Sheldon 91, South Medford 76, South Eugene 55.
CLASS 5A DISTRICT 1, at Sandy High Liberty, Milwaukie, Parkrose, Putnam, Sandy, Sherwood, St. Helens, Wilsonville
DISTRICT 2, at Marshall High Benson, Cleveland, Franklin, Hermiston, Hood River Valley, Jefferson, Madison, Pendleton, Roosevelt, The Dalles, Wilson
DISTRICT 3, at Corvallis High Corvallis, Crescent Valley, Dallas, Lebanon, Silverton, South Albany, West Albany, Woodburn
DISTRICT 4, at Churchill, Feb. 8/9 TEAM SCORES: Redmond 379, Eagle Point 297, Churchill 285, Mt. View 208, Marshfield 109.5, Summit 102, Willamette 91, Springfield 90, Ashland 78.5, Bend 75, North Eugene 16.
CLASS 4A DISTRICT 1, at Tillamook Astoria, Banks, Estacada, Gladstone, Molalla, North Marion, Scappoose, Seaside, Tillamook, Yamhill-Carlton
DISTRICT 2, at LaGrande Baker, Crook County, La Grande, La Pine, Madras, McLoughlin, Ontario, Ridgeview, Sisters
DISTRICT 3, at South Umpqua Brookings-Harbor, Douglas, Henley, Hidden Valley, Mazama, North Bend, North Valley, Phoenix, Siuslaw, South Umpqua, Sutherlin
DISTRICT 4, at Philomath Cascade, Central, Cottage Grove, Elmira, Junction City, Newport, Philomath, Stayton, Sweet Home, Taft
CLASS 3A DISTRICT 1, at Clatskanie Chemawa, Clatskanie, Colton, Corbett, De La Salle North, Gervais, Rainier, Scio, Warrenton
DISTRICT 2, at Jefferson High Amity, Dayton, Harrisburg, Jefferson, Pleasant Hill, Santiam Christian, Sheridan, Toledo, Willamina
DISTRICT 3, at Coquille Cascade Christian, Coquille, Creswell, Glide, Illinois Valley, Lakeview, Rogue River
DISTRICT 4, at Riverside High Burns, Nyssa, Riverside, Vale
CLASS 2A DISTRICT 1, at Vernonia Knappa, Monroe, Neah-Kah-Nie, Nestucca, Triangle Lake, Vernonia, Waldport
DISTRICT 2, at Oakridge High Crow, Glendale, Gold Beach, Lowell, McKenzie, Mohawk, Myrtle Point, North Douglas/Yoncalla, Oakland, Oakridge, Reedsport, Riddle
DISTRICT 3, at North Lake Bonanza, Central Linn, Chiloquin, Culver, Gilchrist, Hosanna Christian, North Lake, Santiam
DISTRICT 4, at Crane Adrian, Crane, Elgin, Enterprise, Grant Union, Heppner/Ione, Imbler, Irrigon, Joseph, Pine Eagle, Union/Cove, Wallowa
CLASS 6A District 3, at Tualatin Saturday Results TEAM Sprague 310.5, NcNary 263.5, McMinnville 263.5, Tualatin 211,5, Newberg 199, North Salem 177.5, West Salem 177.5, West Salem 157.5, McKay 143, Tigard 106, South Salem 49. Championship Finals 106- Raymond Smith, North Salem, dec Jeff Whitaker, Tualatin, 5-0 113 - Kaleb Raber, Sprague, pinned Humberto Santana, McKay 3:40 120 - Louis Palos, McNary pinned Bryce Branson, McMinnville, 1:54 126 - Raul Villareal , South Salem, dec. Jose Franco, McKay, 2-0 132 - Jered Sublet, McMinnville dec John Whitaker, Tualatin 5-3 138 - Zach Zehner ,Sprague dec Tristen Snow Wes,t Salem 3-2 145 - Devin Reynolds, McNary pinned Mark Hall, Tigard 1:29 152 - JT Barnes, McMinnville dec Kris Bjornson, West Salem, 7-6 OT 160 - Grant Gerstner, McNary pinned Rob Phelps, McNary 1:39 170 - Tiger Paasch, McMinnville pinned Kage Wabaunsee, Tualatin 1:59 182 - Zach Hammerschmith, McNary pinned Darryn Anderson, McKay 1:51 195 - Cody Ratliff, McNary dec Jeremy Husted, McKay 6-4 220 - Mason Ross McNary pinned Kenny Walther, Tualatin 2:51 285 - Cody Summers, Tualatin dec Victor Ceja, Tigard 5-3 Third-Place Finals 106 - Johnny Guevara, North Salem dec Aspen Nelson, McMinnville 9-7 113 - Jeb Powell, West Salem pinned Tim Lane, Newberg 2:26 120 - Solomon Souza, McMinnville dec Garret Rider, Newberg 5-2 126 - Jake Vaughn, Sprague dec Manny Humlie, McMinnville 7-5 132 - Cliff Baxter, Sprague inj def Dreagn Bennett, Sprague 138 - Bobby Crowston, McMinnville pinned Collin Griffin, Sprague 5:23 145 - Justin Waldrop, North Salem maj dec Yasyf Sorensen, Sprague 23-11 152 - Zane Burgess, Newberg inj def Matthew McCarthy, Newberg 160 - Frank Giannone, Tualatin dec Andy Aldana, Sprague 9-4 170 - Kyle Williams, Sprague dec Kellen Poti, Tualatin 6-4 182 - Luke Goessens, Tualatin pinned Will Fox, Newberg 1:59 195 - Sam Hirons, North Salem dec Chris Cerda, McMinnville 8-3 220 - Sala Manu West, Salem pinned Alvaro Venegas, McNary 2:53 285 - Dakota Church, Newberg, dec Justin Jackson, Tigard 7-0
CLASS 5A District 4, at Churchill Saturday Finals TEAM Redmond 379, Eagle Point 297, Churchill 285, Mt. View 208, Marshfield 109.5, Summit 102, Willamette 91, Springfield 90, Ashland 78.5, Bend 75, North Eugene 16. Championship Finals 106 Derick Tollen, Churchill, dec. Tyler Campbell, Marshfield, 7-4 113 - JT Meyers, Mt. View, dec. Jorrin Ishihara, Churchill, 5-3 120 - Thaddeus Nelson, Marshfield, pinned Orlando DeLaCruz, Eagle Point, 4:00 126 - Kaleb Winebarger, Mt. View, dec. Brandon Short, Redmond, 4-2 132 - Max Thomas, Churchill, dec. Ty George, Redmond, 4-2 138 - Kyler Ayers, Mt. View, dec. Justin Kearney, Churchill, 2-1 145 - Chance Lindquist, Redmond, pinned Housten Ezell, Churchill, 1:06 152 - Sarek Sheilds, Redmond, dec. James McCoy, Eagle Point, 10-5 160 - Hunter Hoeptner, Eagle Point, dec. Tanner Barichio, Redmond, 3-2 170 - Joaquin Reyes, Summit, dec. Brock Lash, Redmond, 7-0 182 - Johnny Wilkerson, Eagle Point, dec. Gunnar Sigado, Redmond, 7-2 195 - Mason Montgomery, Ashland, pinned Zach Andruss, Redmond, 3:58 220 - Sumner Saulsbury, Redmond, won by default over Casey Gates, Redmond 285 - Will Dawson, Churchill, dec. Jacob Breitling, Redmond, 3-2 Third-Place Finals 106 – Austin Reed, Willamette pinned Zach Howe, Mt. View 5:35 113 – Gabe Blough, Churchill pinned Colton Love, Mt. View 120 – JT Pascual, Willamette dec Austin Rystedt, Redmond 6-1 126 – Eddie Perez, Eagle Point pinned Levi Pomeroy, Eagle Point :29 132 – Nico Spring, Bend dec Tracy Pitcher, Mt. View 5-3 126 - Eddie Perez, Eagle Point, pinned Levi Pomeroy, Eagle Point, :29 138 - Sherman Hammond, Eagle Point, dec. John Hickey, Redmond, 5-1 145 - Jacob Thompson, Summit, pinned Ethan Pomeroy, Eagle Point, 5:05 152 - Gavin Carroll, Churchill, dec. Thane Baumer, Eagle Point, 11-6 160 - Caleb Ash, Eagle Point, dec. DJ Ishihara, Churchill, 6-4 ot 170 – Gabe Brauchler, Redmond pinned Mitch Hindrum, Churchill :37 182 – Brennan Yates, Redmond dec Eddie Baitey, Springfield 7-6 195 - Austin Arthur, Summit dec Clemens Stahl, Churchill 7-2 220 – Dalton Pachano, North Eugene dec Trevor Roberts, Mt. View 285 – Zakery Jullian, Willamette dec Chad Bach, Mt. View 2-1
Wrestling's status as an Olympic sport should never have been in doubt
Feb. 12, 2013 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal
Talk about coming from out of left field.
The International Olympic Committee took the first step toward cutting wrestling out of the line-up for Summer Games starting in 2020, a move that was absolutely stunning to read about - just the headline - on Tuesday.
Wrestling may have been one of the original sports the Olympics were created around, but the modern keepers of the Games looked past that and voted to take it out regardless of its standing as a much-loved international sport.
The leaders of the sport at the international level, FILA, didn't seem to do much to stop it either, according to what's been written online.
The sport isn't going to stop being contested on the international level - there's going to be World Championships every year, but it's just not going to have the specific appeal it gets every four years. The IOC Executive Board, with its move, seemed to totally miss it's role in assisting non-TV-oriented sports with their popularity every four years.
Take soccer for example. Soccer has its own world celebration - every four years, too - called the World Cup. Soccer as a sport, has professionals worldwide and does just fine without the Olympics.
Basketball has pro leagues across the world and does just fine as a sport without the Olympics. Since professionals have been allowed in, it's essentially another opportunity to watch the All-Star game. Those sports, though, are television-oriented, money generating, so they're always going to be part of the Games. Wrestling, while it nearly sold out all of its tickets in London - more than 120,000 - during its run for Freestyle and Greco-Roman competitions, is not a highly revenue-generating sport on television, so it was on the block along with other sports such as the Modern Pentathlon and field hockey.
The Modern Pentathlon - is there anyone in Oregon who trains for that? Field Hockey - are there any teams in Oregon?
Wrestlng gets to show itself off every four years, much like figure skating or ski jumping do in the Winter Games. There are competitions yearly with World Championships, but the Olympics are the biggest thing in the wrestling world. The IOC looked right past that.
The sport is achieving great success in Oregon, and is growing more than any other sport - roughly 9 percent a year. Only girls cross country (7 percent) and girls track and field (6 percent) are growing among the state's high school sports. Baseball (13 percent) and softball (17 percent) are experiencing the biggest decline. Baseball and Softball are looking to join the Olympics roster in 2020.
For wrestling supporters in Oregon, who've seen programs get dropped at schools throughout the state to where there are just a handful left, it's another snub by the executive level, even though within the state it's highly successful. Oregon State is among the nation's top dual meet teams and is annually ranked in the top 25, while Clackamas Community College has won a national title recently. Half of OSU's team is from Oregon, something none of the other teams at the school can promote.
So, where's the reversal here?
Perhaps wrestling as a sport needs to create its own World Cup, a tournament conducted every four years and held in countries where there's significant interest and revenue available for such an event. The best way to get wrestling back into the Olympics is to have the IOC ask for the sport to come back, and that's going to take some effort at the top level of the sport, something it didn't seem to get recently.
There's a number of online petitions that have sprung up already, urging the U.S. Government for one to take some political action. The first thing the U.S. wrestling establishment should do is lobby to replace the executive level of the international governing body, which seems to have allowed the sport to get taken down without much of a fight, and that's not the way its competitors are raised to address competition.
Zac Brunson has a schedule for getting to the world's biggest sports stage
Feb. 21, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
It didn’t take long for Zac Brunson to impress his wrestling coaches with his ability to focus when he dove into the sport as a 6-year-old.
In less than a year, Brunson honed in on the biggest goal available - the Olympics.
“He’s had that goal basically since he started,” says Scott Kearney, who began as Brunson’s coach with the Churchill Wrestling Club more than a decade ago. “He’s been focused on being a high school, college and Olympic champion and that hasn’t changed since he was a little kid.”
When the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires State Wrestling Tournament begins Friday, Brunson will aim to complete the first step of his path to the Summer Games by winning his fourth state title.
Following graduation, Brunson will head to the University of Illinois, where his goal is to win four NCAA titles.
Then, it’ll be time to work on qualifying for the Olympics. If his path works as he hopes, that’ll be in time for the Summer Games in Rio De Janiero, Brazil.
“I have goals for later this week, goals for later this year and goals for five years from now,” he says. “I can absolutely see myself in the Olympics in Rio. “I want to be the best in my sport and if it works out in four years, I’ll be in the Olympics.”
FOCUS ON WINNING Brunson says he found wrestling to be his sport almost immediately. He showed up in the first week that Kearney, whose brother Chuck was the coach at the University of Oregon, and assistant Jeff Thomas started the Churchill Wrestling Club.
“I love the one-on-one aspect, and think it’s the toughest sport,” Brunson says. “I love how in-depth it goes, how much there is to it.”
Brunson’s skill began to mature as a freshman, when he won the state title at 135 pounds despite being unseeded.
As a sophomore, he won at 145 pounds, scoring a fall or technical fall in all four matches, a feat he repeated last year at 160 pounds.
Heading into his fourth state tournament, Brunson says he’s lost just once to an Oregon wrestler during the high school season. As a freshman, he lost 12-9 to Cleveland’s Eric Luna, a senior who won the state title at 140 pounds later that year.
Brunson’s strategy is very basic - score points.
“My goal is to score 30 points each match,” he says. “If someone takes me down three or four times, I don’t worry about it because I’m trying to score 10 or 12 takedowns and win that way.
“I’ll take a fall if it’s there, but if you can score 30 points, you’ll win.”
“He’s extremely motivated and driven to succeed in the sport,” Scott Kearney says. “He always in the wrestling room, working out, training, figuring out ways to get better.”
Brunson’s skill earned him a national title at the Junior National Freestyle Championships in Fargo, N.D., last summer. He won 11 matches at 152 pounds in three days.
Brunson’s win made him only the ninth national freestyle champion from Oregon, according to Scott Kearney.
Despite being unbeaten and a three-time champion, Brunson was seeded second behind junior Quinn Dreher of Silverton for the state tournament.
Winning a fourth title would put Brunson in a category with only 20 others since the OSAA began sponsoring state tournaments in 1948. Four high school titles has been a goal of his for years.
“When I first started wrestling, I looked ahead and saw you could win four titles in high school,” he says. “That’s something I’ve wanted to accomplish for a long time.”
Three other seniors will be competing for their fourth title this weekend as well. Brandon Griffin (182 pounds) of Sprague, Joey Delgado (138) of Hermiston and Quinn Johnston (145) of Gold Beach have all won titles since their freshman seasons.
Griffin, an occasional practice partner for Brunson, has signed with Lehigh University.
Churchill, which finished second in Class 5A two years ago, also features Chase Kearney, Chuck’s son who won a state title last year. The Lancers expect to compete for a trophy this weekend.
The Next Step Brunson chose Illinois over programs at Minnesota, Missouri, Cornell and Oregon State, although Scott Kearney says Brunson likely would have chosen Oregon if the school hadn’t cut its program in order to restart baseball.
The lure of the Big 10, though, would have been tough to overcome.
“Earlier this year, the Oklahoma State at Iowa dual had 15,000 people in the stands,” Brunson says. “Illinois at Iowa had almost the same size crowd. “I’m really excited about competing in that environment.”
Illinois, which can seat 4,500 fans for home dual meets, has never finished as high as second in the NCAA Tournament but was fifth in the latest NCAA Rankings.
“I really like what they have going on there,” Brunson says. “They’ve got a new staff, and I really connected with them when I visited. “I think they’re the guys I need to be with if I want to win four NCAA titles.”
Collegiately, Brunson will likely run across one of the nation’s top wrestlers, Penn State sophomore Dave Taylor, who competes at 165 pounds and is the leading contender for Wrestler of the Year.
Brunson says he’s ready for that step to college training a competition, which likely will include a redshirt season, along with the challenge of getting a degree. Academically, Brunson says, there’s not a subject that’s jumped at him as being his career path.
“I look at the education as a bonus,” says Brunson, who carries a 3.8 GPA. “I’m going to get my degree, but my main goal in college is to win four NCAA titles.”
Four titles would put Brunson on a level with Cael Sanderson, who won four while at Iowa State (1999-2002) and then won a Gold Medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Summer Games.
Sanderson, who redshirted as an academic freshman, is Taylor’s coach at Penn State, which won the NCAA Tournament last year.
Recently, Sanderson returned to active competition and is the nation’s top wrestler at 84kg.
THE OLYMPIC DREAM As a junior national champion, Brunson is among the challengers for the National U20 team that will be determined in summer. The first step toward earning a spot on that team is a tournament in Madison, Wisc., in April. Brunson will be there.
The trials for the US team that will travel to London for the Summer Games will be held April 21-22 in Iowa City, Iowa. Brunson will be following them closely via the Internet. Brunson would be a college junior or senior (depending on whether he’s used his redshirt season) when the next Olympic Trials arrive, and competition for those spots is likely to be tougher than ever as financial support for the sport increases.
Wrestlers, who used to support themselves as amateurs, are subsidized by USA Wrestling, and many, such as Sanderson, coach.
Mixed Martial Arts regularly attracts wrestlers due to its financial success, something Brunson says has already thought about.
“I can see myself doing that,” he says, “but I look at it as what wrestlers do when they can’t handle wrestling anymore.”
With his focus on and motivation to reach the loftiest of goals, Brunson says he’s very happy with the plan he has for the next stage of his life.
“If I’m good enough, I’d love to wrestle on the Olympic Circuit and make wrestling my profession,” he says. “I’d love to wrestle for the rest of my life.”
Roseburg, Culver win, but three other team titles change hands
Feb. 25, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Roseburg and Culver defended the state wrestling titles, but three of the five other classification battles went to new schools, including Dallas, which won its first title at Class 5A.
Dallas won two weights to edge Pendleton, 164-150, and move up from second in 2011, its best previous finish.
"We're extremely proud of what our guys have been able to accomplish," Dallas coach Paul Olliff said afterward. "There's a lot of hard work by volunteer coaches and dads of the guys that made this happen."
Cascade won at Class 4A, only it second title, while Nyssa won at 3A, which ended a 10-year title run by Burns.
Culver won its sixth-straight title at Class 2A, having won each title since the state expanded to six classes in 2007.
Cascade narrowly defeated defending champion Henley, 188-185.5 getting the deciding points in a head-up battle between the schools. Cody Crawford, a junior seeded first, beat Phillip Morgan, a sophomore seeded second, 10-0 in the 182-pound final. Had Morgan won, Henley would have won the team race.
Four seniors won their fourth title: Quinn Johnston of Gold Beach, Joey Delgado of Hermiston, Zac Brunson of Churchill and Brandon Griffin of Sprague.
Wilson had two champions: sophomore Austin Wallace-Lister at 120 pounds, and senior Brian Wohan at 195, doubling the school total since the OSAA began sanctioning championships in 1948. Wilson finished 12th.
Roseburg won its third straight title with a whopping 237 points that more than doubled the second-place total of David Douglas, which edged Crater 102-101.5.
Culver overcame a solid challenge by Lowell to win 132-118.5.
Nyssa narrowly slipped past Willamina, 171-165, moving from a first-place tie when Sebastian Sanchez won at 195.
Feb. 24, 2012 / By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Roseburg took over the Class 6A state wrestling tournament with eight semifinalists Friday at Memorial Coliseum, while the 10-year run of titles by Burns unofficially came to an end.
The Indians's quarterfinalists each won two matches, including and upset by unseeded junior Brody Faas of second-seeded Jay Devera of McMinnville in the first round at 138 pounds.
Roseburg amassed 102 points, which nearly doubled second-place Sprague's 53 points. David Douglas was third at 50 points.
The remaining four title races were highly competitive, beginning with Class 2A, where five-time defending champion Culver was tied with Lowell at 27 points, and both had eight semifinalists.
At Class 5A, Hermiston's five-year run as champion was headed for an end as Dallas (83) and Pendleton (78) battled for the lead, well ahead of the Bulldogs' total (58.5).
Caascade (91), Crook County (88) and defending champion Henley (84) are dueling for the Class 4A title.
Burns, which has a 10-year run of titles at Class 3A, is in seventh place with 40 points, well behind upstart Willamina, which is leading pre-tournament favorite Nyssa 81-69.
The semifinals and finals conclude Saturday.
TITLE RUNS ON FORECAST FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 10-year run of state titles appears likely to be at an end for Burns High as the OSAA state wrestling championships prepare to play out at Memorial Coliseum Friday and Saturday.
The Hilanders have just two underclassmen seeded first or second and aren't even rated in the top 3 at Class 3A, according to the Oregon Wrestling Forum. The 10-year run, which began in 2002 when the state had just three classifications, is the longest of any school in the sport and second only to the David Douglas girls swim team's run of 14-straight titles from 1967-81.
Hermiston, the Class 5A champion, has won five straight titles, but also appears in jeopardy of having that streak end as Dallas is a significant favorite with Pendleton and Churchill also competing for title recognition.
Roseburg, at Class 6A, Henley at Class 4A and Culver at Class 2A, appear ready to defend their titles - Culver running it's string to six consecutive titles.
Individually, four wrestlers will be aiming for their fourth title: Blake Griffin of Sprague, Joey Delgado of Hermiston, Zac Brunson of Churchill and Quinn Johnson of Gold Beach.
Burns takes its 10th straight team title, Henley claims its first
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
The favorites, including a first-time champion, won all five team races at the OSAA/U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires state wrestling meet Saturday at Memorial Coliseum.
Burns claimed its record 10th straight title, taking the Class 3A title by a wide margin. Hermiston and Culver won their fifth-straight titles, while Roseburg won four titles and finished second twice among the 14 weight classes. Roseburg scored a meet-high 212 points, more than double the score of second place Sprague.
The title for Burns moved it closer to the overall school record for titles held by Lowell at 13. Burns has 11.
Henley, which had only finished as high as once, scored 172 points to win at Class 4A.
OSAA Finals set for Friday, Saturday at Memorial Coliseum
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
The annual pilgrimmage to Portland for the state wrestling championships might got a little more challenging Thursday morning when a snowstorm hit most of the state, but that's not likely to keep the defending champions away from Memorial Coliseum.
And Henley, too.
Roseburg, at Class 6A, Hermiston at Class 5A, Burns at Class 3A and Culver at 2A are poised to repeat as team champions, but the Class 4A race appears very competitive as the start of the OSAA.U.S. Bank/Les Schwab Tires meet approaches Friday morning.
At Class 3A, Burns is the clear favorite to win its 10th-straight title as it has four seniors ranked No. 1 at their weights.
Hermiston and Culver will be chasing their fifth straight titles.
At Class 4A, Henley enters ranked No. 1 in the Oregon Wrestling Forum rankings despite never having won a title. In fact, Henley has only claimed one trophy - second in 1967 throughout the history of the tournament, which began in 1948. The Hornets enter with just one wrestler seeded as high as second: senior Justyn Headley at 189 pounds; but have 16 wrestlers entered at the 14 weights, including two each at five different weights.
At Class 2A, Lowell appears as a strong contender to upend Culver in what could be a very competitive team race. Both schools have four wrestlers seeded No. 1. Lowell, which finished second last year, has two second seeds, while Culver has just one. Culver, though has 10 entrants, while Lowell has just nine.
Lowell is the overall leader in state titles with 13, but it hasn't won since 1991.
The meet champions will be crowned Saturday night when finals begin at 6 p.m.