In addition to wrapping up the Evergreen League dual meet title this past week, the Montesano Bulldogs traveled to Kalama and Raymond to participate in varsity events.
At the 15-team Kalama Rubber Chicken Invitational, Montesano’s wrestlers claimed the championship and at Raymond’s Doug Makaiwi Memorial Tournament, a Bulldog squad composed of primarily freshmen placed third in the 14 team field.
Montesano had one champion in each event.
At Kalama, sophomore Jacob Salstrom tore the title from the grasp of Woodland’s top seeded Gage Pilot. Down 7-6 with less than 5 seconds remaining, Salstrom went for it all, executing an impressive lateral drop that tossed Pilot to his back just moments before time expired to claim an exhilarating 8-7 victory. It was Salstrom’s first competition at 106 pounds this season and proved to be a good fit for the diminutive but powerful Bulldog grappler.
On his road to the finals, Salstrom defeated Black Hills’ Mikey Johnston in a tight 5-4 semifinal match.
Also placing for the Bulldogs at Kalama were Konnor Odekirk, third at 113 pounds; Aaron Lano, second at 120; Cooper Johansson, second at 126; Lucas Salstrom, third at 138; Isaac Pierce, third at 160; Brent Hollatz, third at 182; Alex Delgado, fifth at 195; and Kenny Koonrad, second at 285. At 145 pounds, Malachi Osbekoff scored two pins and picked up 6 team points for the Bulldogs.
At Raymond, Monte freshman Cole Ekerson continued to lead the team with a championship at 120 pounds. Ekerson pinned his way through the event, requiring just 1 minute 29 seconds of the final to dispatch Tristan Walker of Ilwaco.
Coach Jeff Klinger praised Ekerson for his championship effort and also praised his two other finalists freshman Sean Ryker (106) and senior Agui Arreguin (170). “Sean and Agui had great tournaments and demonstrated that they will be ready to go when we begin our post season drive in two weeks,” he said.
Assistant coach Jeff Catterlin said the competition at Kalama was a great experience for Montesano’s grapplers.
“It was exactly what we needed at this point in our preparation, it was great to see how our kid’s responded to the challenge,” he said.
At Raymond, Monte’s other placings were Sean Ryker took second at 106 pounds; Nathan Ryker, third at 160; Carter Roberts, third at 170; Agui Arrequin, second at 170; and Mateo Sanchez, third at 182. Freshman Caleb Ames also won two matches at 132 pounds scoring 7 team points for the Bulldogs.
For Ryker and Arreguin it was their first finals appearance of the season. While both lost by decision, they received high praise from coaches. Arreguin’s loss came in a wild 14-10 bout in which he had the eventual winner, Westin Fruh of North Beach, on his back early in the match.
WRESTLERS OF THE WEEK
Chosen as Wrestlers of the Week are Odekirk, Salstrom, Pierce, Ryker, Roberts, Hollatz and Sanchez.
Montesano will travel to North Beach for a mix and match scrimmage today, Jan. 30, and will begin their post season drive to the state tournament at Forks on Feb. 8.
MONTESANO COMPLETES UNDEFEATED LEAGUE SEASON
Montesano’s wrestling team wrapped up the dual meet season with convincing home dual meet victories over Elma and Forks on Jan. 20. The Bulldogs blanked Elma 78-0 and beat Forks for the first time in several years 39-31.
Bulldogs freshman Cole Ekerson bumped up to 126 pounds and beat the state’s fourth-ranked wrestler in the class, Forks’s Andres Santos-Delacruz, 4-0. The victory completed a stretch where Ekerson defeated three highly-rated grapplers in a four-day span.
Montesano 39, Forks 31
106 pounds — Demorest (Forks) pinned Hollatz (Montesano); 113 — J. Salstrom (M), won via forfeit; 120 — Odekirk (M), WFF; 126 — C. Ekerson (M) decision Santos-Delacruz (F), 4-0; 132 — Weakley (F) pin Johansson (M), 3:29; 138 — Morales (F) dec. L. Salstrom (M), 8-3; 145 — T. Ekerson (M) dec. Duncan (F), 4-3; 152 — Perez (F) pin Whisenhunt (M), 3:20; 160 — Issac Pierce (M), WFF; 170 — Baker (F) dec. Isaiah Pierce (M), 9-4; 182 —. Queen (F) pin Arreguin (M), 2:18; 195 — Cervantes (M), WFF; 220 — Delgato (M) SDOT, 10-8; 285 — Koonrad (M) pin Morales (F), 0:15.
Montesano 78,. Elma 0
106 — J Hollatz (M), WFF; 113 — Salstrom (M), WFF; 120 — Odekirk (M), WFF; 126 — Lano (M) dec. Bristow (Elma), 7-2; 132 — Johansson (M) pin Carr (E), 1:09; 138 — Salstrom (M), WFF; 145 — Ekerson (M) pin Curulla (E), 1:13; 152 — Whisenhunt (M), WFF; 160 — Isaac Pierce (M) pin Whipple (E), 3:58; 170 — Isaiah Pierce (M) dec. Alderman (E), 6-0; 182 — Brent Hollatz pin Wilson (E), 1:12; 195 — Cervantes (M), WFF; 220 — Delgado (M) pin Price (E), 3:35; 285 — Kenny Koonrad (M), WFF.
— For the Grays Harbor News Group