Feb. 5, 2020 — It was a tough weekend for Siuslaw wrestling at the highly competitive Cottage Grove Invitational, with the team taking ninth overall in the tournament.
“But in many ways, it was a very good weekend,” coach Neil Wartnik said, pointing out that the competition was expected to be hard.
“Some of our top wrestlers were in highly competitive weight brackets,” he continued. “They may not have achieved high placements, but they wrestled against some of the toughest competitors in the region and came away learning a lot about what they need to do to improve as they prepare for regionals.”
Wartnik added, “Still, to place ninth out of 30 teams isn’t bad.”
The lone champion of the meet was Hayden Muller, who placed first in her bracket, scoring 26 points for the team.
“She was dominant and impressive in all three of her matches — all won by pin,” Wartnik said.
Yoskar De la Mora’s second-place win in the 106-lb. division was an achievement in its own right, considering he “had to overcome adversity a number of times to reach the finals,” Wartnik said. “His victory in the semi-finals over Havniere from Cascade Christian was a huge accomplishment.”
Havniere is ranked third in the state 3A division and had pinned De la Mora at the Grants Pass Winter Kick-off this past December.
Mason Buss placed third in the 120-lb. bracket and was close to defeating eventual champion Josef Miner from Grants Pass, though he couldn’t execute a pivotal takedown attempt.
“Ryan Jennings’ fifth-place finish at 160, and Christian Newlan and Matthew Horrillo’s sixth- place finishes at 195 and 285, were also fine accomplishments,” Wartnik said.
Arrianna Brown also placed fifth in the 110-lb. division.
Elijah LaCosse’s 138-lb. bracket was debatably the toughest in the tournament, according to Wartnik.
“Even though he did not place, he competed well,” Wartnik said. “Both of his losses were hotly contested matches, and though we came away disappointed, we were also encouraged. We know he is able to stand toe-to-toe against some of the best wrestlers in his weight class.”
The junior varsity mat had success as well. Hunter Petterson won, while Pedro Infante and Kyle Hughes showed great growth, said Wartnik
“Everyone competed with heart,” Wartnik said. “And As always, we were impressed by how the students supported each other throughout the tournament. Every week, they do a great job of working together as a team.”
This weekend will be the girls state qualifier, with Bailey Overton and Hayden Muller representing Siuslaw on the mats.
“Each has a good shot of qualifying for state,” Wartnik said.