Dec. 12, 2018 — Though the Viking wrestling team didn’t walk away with any top varsity placements at last weekend’s 30-team North Bend Coast Classic wrestling invitational, Siuslaw coach Neil Wartnik was far from disappointed in his team’s performance.
“We had four wrestlers achieve impressive victories on the boys’ side, and our girls caused a major stir,” said Wartnik. “Three competed and three made it onto podium.”
In the girls’ division, freshman Bailey Overton won the 115-lb. bracket, leading the first of three finishes among the top three.
At 145 lbs., Polish exchange student Kinga Bugasjka, a junior, took second place overall, with freshman Hayden Muller placing third at 135 lbs.
“The girls were very excited,” said Wartnik.
None of the seven Viking varsity boys competing at North Bend placed at the meet, there were some standout moments for the underclassman-dominated roster in an invitational that included a number of defending state champions.
Sophomores Elijah LaCosse (138 lbs.) and Christian Newlan (182 lbs.) each had pins during the two-day meet, including a pin against North Salem wrestler Owen Reding in 2 minutes, 13 seconds. Newlan, meanwhile, pinned Tobias Cook of Liberty in 4:38, ultimately scoring 7 of Siuslaw’s 23 team points. LaCosse, along with sophomore Brady Libby (126 lbs.), scored 6 points each, with senior 170-pounder Riley Jennings earning 4 points.
Libby advanced to the quarterfinals after nabbing a win during the Round of 16, while Jennings reached the semi-finals round before narrowly losing 10-9.
In the junior varsity matched, Wartnik said that senior Hector Garcia “Was a standout,” with a third-place finish at 170 lbs., going 4-1 overall.
At 145 lbs., Zekiah Hunt went 1-4, with Louis Gentry going 1-5 at 152 lbs., and Matthew Horrillo wrestling at 285 lbs. and going 2-3 for Siuslaw.
This weekend, the Vikings will return to the mats, this time at the annual two-day Grants Pass Winter Kickoff, which runs Friday and Saturday.
“Rumor has it that 50 teams have registered for this year’s tournament,” said Wartnik, “so it should be quite a competition.”
Siuslaw’s first home meet will be Jan. 15 for the a 3-way dual with Siletz Valley and Toledo, followed by the annual Nick Lutz Memorial Invitational Jan. 19.
Matches for this Friday’s meet get underway at 4 p.m.