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Home arrow Opinion arrow HIMES, ECKSTEIN IN STATE FINALS


PORTLAND — Enterprise's Austin Himes and Elgin's Blake Eckstein have grappled their ways into the state finals at the 2A/1A OSAA Wrestling Championships at the Memorial Coliseum.

Himes, the No. 1 seed at 130 pounds, won two matches Friday to get into the championship match today.

Himes won his first match by technical fall over Tyson Gilpin of Wahtonka, then beat Vince Fagundes of Willamina 15-5 in the semifinals. He will wrestle the No. 2 seed, Barry Johnson of Dayton, for the state championship today.

Eckstein, wrestling at 215 pounds, won two matches, both by pin. Eckstein won his first match with a pin in just 29 seconds over Kyle Sukanen of Nestucca. He won his second match with a second-round pin over Cody Perini of North Douglas.

Eckstein will be wrestling Hank Mast of Myrtle Point today in the championship.

Three other local wrestlers made it to the state semifinals.

At 152 pounds, Codi Burgess of Elgin pulled an upset, winning 3-2 against the No. 1 seeded wrestler in the state, Josh Engle of Colton.

Burgess was then pinned in the semifinals by Jake Howell of Monroe with 30 seconds left in the third round.

Daniel Johnson of Imbler won two matches with first-round pins. He beat Shaun Hazelton of Colton in 1 minute, 33 seconds; then he beat Aaron Lyons of Yoncalla in 1:53.

In the semis, Johnson was beaten by Rick Walter of Warrenton in a close match 18-14.

Jake McCleary of Enterprise, the No. 2 seed at 119 pounds, beat Brandon Boyce of Nestucca 9-4 in overtime. He beat Cal Hermann of Myrtle Point 11-4 to get into the semis.

In that match, against Adam Kinley of Culver, McCleary was pinned in the third round.

Johnson, Burgess and McCleary are all still alive in the consolation bracket and can finish as high as third. Several other local wrestlers are also alive in the consolation bracket.

Zach Myers of Imbler at 160 pounds lost to Austin Hunsinger of Knappa 9-6, but then won his consolation match against Boe Brown of Riddle with a pin just 24 seconds into the first round.

Jimmy VanBelle of Enterprise at 189 pounds lost his first match 8-3 to Travis Gwin of Vernonia. (Gwin will be in the state finals today). VanBelle turned around and beat Bruce Eyles of Lowell 12-4 in a consolation match.

Teran Taylor of Wallowa is still alive. He lost 18-3 in his first match against Earl Nollen of Scio, the No. 1 seeded wrestler at 135 pounds.

Taylor came back and won his consolation match against Tyler Miller of Pine-Eagle 8-3.

Pat Lynn of Joseph at 130 pounds lost his first match to Barry Johnson of Dayton in a second-round pin. He won his consolation match 5-0 over Cody Petterson of Nyssa.

Justin Moncrief, Andy Wallace and Collin Cunning-ham of Enterprise, Vance Horn of Elgin, Ryan Barstad of Joseph and Jeff Smith of Imbler all lost two matches and are done for the tournament.

— Pierre LaBossire

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