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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation October 15, 2018

1/9/2018 1:09:00 PM
Wrestlers make historic showing at invitational
The Outlaws wrestling squad turned in the most successful showing in school history on January 6. photo provided
+ click to enlarge
The Outlaws wrestling squad turned in the most successful showing in school history on January 6. photo provided

By Rongi Yost

The Outlaws wrestling team finished third (124 points) out of 11 teams who competed at the Bend Invitational held Saturday, January 6. The third-place finish was the most successful showing in Outlaws history.

Mt. View, which boasts 30 wrestlers, took first with a score of 446.5, and Bend (24 wrestlers) was runner-up at 252. Also in attendance were: Summit, Madras, Ridgeview, Siuslaw, Ontario, Thurston, Sunnyslope out of Arizona, and Homedale out of Idaho.

Seventeen Outlaws attended the tournament and 13 of them won at least one match. Sisters recorded 23 wins, and 17 of them were earned by a pin.

Sisters' top placer for the tournament was senior Dustin Smith, who wrestled in the 160-pound weight class. This was the first time in his career that Smith wrestled in a first-place finals match, and he earned a second-place finish.

Sophomore Dylan Vantress (106 pounds), who according to Coach John Downs had a great week at practice, was focused and determined, and took third. Senior Casey Warburton also earned a third-place spot. Casey again gave up over 30 points to his opponent, and battled hard throughout the tournament.

Jake Stevens (senior) competed for the first time this season, and fought his way to a fourth-place finish in the 170-pound weight class. Downs told The Nugget that watching Jake wrestle at the tournament has him convinced he will only improve throughout the rest of the season.

Dalton Ford (132 pounds) wrestled at 132 pounds and recorded four pins, the most pins of all wrestlers that competed. The senior wrestler lost his second match of the tournament, but came back and won his remaining matches to finish fifth.

Three Outlaws finished sixth: freshman Jesse Peskin (113 pounds), senior Damien Wills (152 pounds), and sophomore Damien King (220 pounds).

Peskin had never wrestled before he joined the squad this year, and he won three matches to fight all the way back for a sixth-place finish. Wills was gone for a majority of the holiday break, but did get in a couple of practices before the tournament. Damien won three of his five matches.

Downs told The Nugget it's been a rough road for King at the bigger weights, but he earned the starting varsity spot at 220 pounds, with wins over two of his teammates.

Downs said, "I was impressed with many of the wrestlers on the team, but our placing wrestlers had impressive improvements. I'm proud of all 17 that were at the tournament, even those that did not win a match, because they are still the partners of those that did win. It takes lots of practice time, and a good partner to be better every day."

The matmen have a dual match at home in Sisters against Junction City on Wednesday, January 10. The match is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. On Thursday, the squad will compete in the Oregon Classic held at the Deschutes County Expo Center.

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