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By Raenelle Kwock

Observer Staff Writer

First-time La Grande state wrestling qualifiers senior Travis Carson and freshman Dino May hope to come home from Portland among the top six in their respective weight divisions.

Carson said it feels good to qualify for state his senior year and his goal is to place. The 171-pounder said it will be stressful during the tournament, but he wants to try to have fun one last time.

The 3A tournament starts Thursday at Memorial Coliseum and continues through Saturday.

Carson has a 20-11 record. He said his highlight of the season occurred at the Clearwater Classic in Lewiston, Idaho, Jan. 24-25.

He got a pin and won a double overtime match to advance into the semifinals and wound up fifth.

He is one of three seniors on the team, which had five freshmen place at district. He said the future of La Grande wrestling looks good.

"I think it's going to get better every year," he said.

The 140-pound May was one of five freshmen placing among the top six at district.

May said he barely qualified for state after pulling out a 6-5 win in his third/fourth place match at district.

"I hope to ‘podium'," he said. "It will be hard."

May has a 21-12 record. He has enjoyed wrestling because of the individual aspect, since there is no one to blame.

"It's all you; that's the good part about it," he said.

He said teammate Michael Godfrey has been helping get ready for state.

May plans on returning to the team next season and will miss the senior leadership.

"I just enjoyed mostly not having mean seniors, I guess," he said. "They're nice to me," he said, laughing.

He wants to wrestle as long as he can. He wants to wrestle in college because that is what it is all about.

"I just wish more people were going to state," Carson said.

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