At the Hood River Invitational Saturday, Dusty Dodge claimed another title, and teammates Karen Villa, Steven Preston, Taylor Morehouse and Miguel Torres all placed in the top 6 to give The Dalles 11th place with 58 points.
“Considering the single-entry format and the incredibly tough field, our kids performed well,” said TD head coach Paul Beasley.
Starting with his perfect 4-0 record, Dodge moved his record to 12-0 in the 170-pound division.
The junior won his first three matches in quick form, all by first-round pin, as he dropped Dominick Evans (La Pine) in 1:22, Auron Cramer (Thurston) in 1:16 and Quinten Hallgarth (Grant Union) in 46 seconds.
In the championship, Dodge waited until the third round before he took out Thurston’s Shane Teigen (30-8 record) at the 4:50 mark.
“Dusty was spectacular on Saturday, defeating a ranked wrestler from a very tough Thurston program,” Beasley said.
Tipping the scales at 160 pounds, Preston went 2-2 on the day and placed fifth overall.
Following a bye, the Riverhawk senior outworked Grant Union’s Frank Douglass (52 seconds), but then lost his next two matches to Thurston’s Varney Doreen (4:28) and Hood River Valley’s Javier Galvez (2:25).
Riding for fifth place output, Preston got back on the winning track by pinning Riverside’s Jose Puerta at 1:19 of the first round.
At 182 pounds, Morehouse lost his opening match by pin versus La Pine’s Landen Roggenkamp (5:59), and after a consolation round bye, he pinned Lane Palahnuk (Thurston) in 1:59 and tacked on a 16-2 major decision triumph over Camden Goldberg (Cleveland).
Morehouse lost in the consolation semifinals against Mountain View’s Ryan Calderon by major decision (14-2) and was defeated in the fifth and sixth place match with Barlow’s Jackson Kane in an 8-3 decision.
“Taylor was resilient and mentally tough, especially after losing his first match,” Beasley said. “For him to come back to take fifth place, in a very competitive 182-pound bracket, shows the type of heart you like to see in a wrestler. He continues to show improvement, regardless of the outcome.”
Torres, another senior, ended up placing sixth after a 1-3 record, with his lone victory coming against Yosta Asimi (Barlow), by major decision (13-5), in the third consolation round.
Torres (220 pounds) lost to Hood River Valley’s Logan Jensen and Abraham Tinajero by first-round pins and lost the fifth and sixth place match against Thurston’s Dylan Stephens by fall at 1:49.
Zak Tackett (113 pounds), Angel Oregon (120) and Aiden Marx (160) all went 0-2 in two matches apiece, and Ophath Silaphath (170) notched a win in three matches, scoring a first-round pin over Justin Pineda (Bend) at the 1:21 mark of the first round.
While much of the heavy lifting was done by the veterans, Beasley was encouraged by his young underclassmen.
“Our freshmen continued their steady improvement,” Beasley said. “Marquies Sagapolutele went 3-0 with three pins to win his bracket in the JV meet. Isaac Baker fought with grit and toughness, and Aiden continues to impress in varsity tournaments.”
The girls were on the mats Saturday and Villa placed third, Megan Laurentson posted a 1-2 record and Elejah Sutton-Lott did not dress down due to an illness.
In her 125-pound division, Villa started off by pinning Erynn Sanders (Forest Grove) in the third round (3:55) and then scored an 11-5 decision versus Janessa Bork (Warrenton).
Villa lost her semifinal match, 16-0, against Haley Hewlett (Molalla), but then beat Katelin Eder (Hillsboro) by a 10-6 decision.
Kayla Edwards (Century) and Villa (The Dalles) had a double forfeit in their third and fourth place bout.
Laurentson (135 pounds) pinned Alaina Clar (Oregon City) at 4:50 of the third round in her first match to move on to the quarterfinals, where she lost to Lindsay Burrell (Thurston) by pin at 38 seconds. In her consolation match, Laurentson lost by pin to Centennial’s Jewel Munoz (1:39)
The Dalles is in Portland Wednesday and the district tournament is slated for Feb. 22 in Redmond.
“The team is heading into the home stretch of the season,” Beasley said. “We need to continue to compete with the emphasis on fighting to our feet, being dominant on top and going all six minutes of the match to be successful at this time of the season. We are counting on our veteran group of seniors to lead the team in this critical time with intense practices and helping the underclassmen make it through to the district tournament. I believe our group is very hungry to have success and earn a berth in the state tournament. It will take a laser focus and confidence in their abilities to make this dream a reality.”