July 4, 2022 — Three Siuslaw High wrestlers have qualified to compete at the 2022 U.S. Marine Corps Junior and 16u Nationals in Fargo, N.D. July 15-22.
Mason Buss, who will be a senior at SHS next year, and Leo Robertson and Macali Lade, who will both be sophomores, all competed at the Oregon Freestyle and Greco State Championships April 22-24 at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Central Point. All three earned their spots at nationals during that tournament.
Buss wrestled in the Juniors Division at 195 pounds, for athletes 17 years old and older, at the state championships. According to Siuslaw wrestling coach Neil Wartnik, Buss wrestled well at state.
“He looked so good, and he was wrestling good people that placed high in previous state tournaments,” according to Wartnik.
Buss finished second in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions at state, earning him a spot at nationals in both.
Both Lade and Robertson competed in the 16u Division at the tournament.
Lade wrestled at 112 pounds. According to Wartnik, the highlight of the tournament for Lade was when she avenged a loss she had suffered at the OSAA state tournament in March.
“In what turned out to be a really sweet match Macali totally dominated Destiny Weaver of Glendale in freestyle,” said Wartnik.
The win over Weaver earned Lade a second place medal in the freestyle portion of the tournament. She was also third in Greco-Roman. Those finishes qualified her for nationals in both divisions.
Robertson competed in the 138 pound 16u Division.
On the first day of the Oregon state tournament, Robertson finished fifth in the freestyle portion putting him one spot from qualifying for nationals in that division.
On day two, Robertson competed in the Greco-Roman Division. He finished fourth earning him a spot at nationals in that division.
Since the state tournament in April, all three have been preparing for their upcoming trip to nationals.
“We’ve been working very diligently since April,” said Wartnik. “Macali and Mason have been training, under our supervision, for the last three months. They are just really improving. There are also other kids from the wrestling team training alongside Mason and Macali and that’s been helpful too.”
Qualifying for the national tournament was the first big hurdle for the three wrestlers. The next challenge is funding the trip.
According to Wartnik, the community’s help would be much appreciated.
It will cost each wrestler $1800 for each wrestler to make the trip to Fargo, including transportation, food, lodging, gear and tournament fees.
“We are grateful for any donation you can make to defray these costs,” said Wartnik.
All donations should be made to the Siuslaw Mat Club, which is under the umbrella of Siuslaw High School. All donations are tax deductible.
Those that wish to help should call Wartnik at 541-991-6033.
“On behalf of the kids and the Siuslaw wrestling community, accept my gratitude for supporting our kids,” said Wartnik.
For more information on the national tournament go to usawrestlingevents.com/event/2100066902/.