Feb. 2, 2019 — For two members of Siuslaw's wrestling teams, Thursday was the last night they would take to the mats beneath the spotlight in front of a home crowd. The evening had initially been scheduled as a three-way Senior Night dual meet with South Umpqua and South Eugene until the Axe bowed out, leaving a shortened, two-team match between the Vikings and Lancers.
Siuslaw coach Neil Wartnik began the evening recognizing the teams’ two lone seniors, Riley Jennings on the boys team and Kenga Bugajska of the girls team.
“I’ve known Riley for a long time through wrestling and it has been a real pleasure to watch him become a strong competitor and quality young man,” Wartnik said of Jennings, who wrestles at 170 pounds.
Bugajska, an exchange student from Poland, is one of four wrestlers making up this year's girls team, wrestling at 145 pounds.
“She just showed up in my classroom one day and said, ‘Hey, I’d like to wrestle for you,’ and I said ‘Hey, I’d like to have you on the team,’” recalled Wartnik. “She has added a lot to our team.”
With South Eugene absent from the meet, Bugajska was left without a match, claiming her bout at 145 lbs. by forfeit.
Jennings, meanwhile, dominated his match at 170 lbs., getting a 17-3 lead before winning by pin midway through the second round.
While the seniors were highlighted Thursday night, Siuslaw had several standout performances in the meet, including pins by sophomore Elijah LaCosse (138 lbs.) in 3:02 and junor Matthew Horrillo (220 lbs.) in 5:39.
In an exhibition match, freshman Bailey Overton, wrestling at 120 lbs., took her male opponent through all three rounds, staving off a pin three times and almost getting a pin before eventually losing by a narrow decision.
South Umpqua won the meet by a slim margin, 36-30.
Today, the Viking boys are competing at the Oregon West Conference Duals at Philomath and the girls will be at Thurston High School in Springfield for the Women’s State Qualifying Tournament.