Jan. 18, 2022 — The Nick Lutz Memorial Invitational at Siuslaw High School started on the morning of Jan. 15 on a down note with word that some of the teams invited would not be able to attend because of infections caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, once the teams that could make it arrived and the tournament started, things started looking up. When the day was done, the event ended on a high note for the host school as both the boys and girls wrestling teams took first place in the largest home meet of the year.
After initially expecting 20, eight girls teams and 14 boys teams competed in a tournament-style competition at Glen Butler Court. Spectators were prohibited as a precautionary step to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
There were numerous impressive performances by wrestlers on both the boys and girls teams from Siuslaw and all signs point to things coming together for the team just in time for district and state in February.
Highlights for the boys team include junior Yoskar Delamora's first-place finish at 120 pounds. Delamora went 3-0, scoring falls on all three of his opponents to score 28 points for the Vikings.
"Yoskar had the most impressive performance on our team," said fellow junior Mason Buss. "He pinned his way through the tournament with ease."
Buss had an impressive day himself, pinning his first three opponents in less than a minute and a half. He eventually lost in the 170-pound championship match to undefeated Emmett Henderson of Junction City to earn third.
Buss scored 24 points for the team with his third-place finish and gained more experience to help him towards his end of the season goal.
"My goal for the season is to win a state title," said Buss.
Other high scorers for SHS were junior Hunter Petterson, who took first at 132 pounds with a 2-0 record to score 24 points. Sophomore Dayne Muller also brought home a first-place trophy, only needing to win one match because of forfeits, and scored 24 points for the team.
The boys team beat out 5A North Eugene for the team title. Siuslaw finished with 195 points while North Eugene scored 189.
Top performer for the girls was sophomore Makayla Freeman, who went 3-0 at 135 pounds, beating teammate senior Brooke Olson for the first-place trophy. Freeman got 20 points for her first-place finish and Olson scored nine for third.
Freshman Macali Lade took first at 110 pounds, winning both her matches. This earned the team four points.
The girls also edged North Eugene for their team trophy. The Vikings doubled up the second place Highlanders, scoring 33 points to their 16.
Siuslaw's scheduled meet on Jan. 20, the Junction City Three-Way, was cancelled the day before the event because one their opponent's was effected by COVID. The very next day, the Vikings will travel to Coos Bay for a two-day event, the 10-team Bay City Duals at Marshfield High School.