February 14, 2002 11:00 pm

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

Two of La Grandes nine remaining varsity wrestlers are top seeds going into todays Greater Oregon League Wrestling Championships at Riverside High School.

Austin Zander at 119 pounds and Adam Kleck at 160 are seeded first after Thursdays seeding meeting among coaches.

Zander is seeded first even though he lost to the second seed, Jeremiah Hernandez of Ontario, during the dual meet season. Zander has the better overall record.

Austin got a real good draw on seeding criteria because of his real good record, La Grande coach Miles Hancock said.

The tournament starts at 3 p.m. today and runs through the quarterfinals. Saturdays session starts at 10 a.m. with the semifinals. The third-place matches will be contested at 4 p.m., with the championship finals at 6 p.m.

La Grande enters the tournament minus three wrestlers. Jacob Cox is ineligible and Shawn Hescock and Tony Shaw are injured. Shaw got a concussion during Tuesdays dual meet loss to Baker.

That leaves La Grande with nine wrestlers, three, possibly four that have a pretty good chance of making it to state if they can put together a good tournament, Hancock said.

Zander and Kleck, as long as they wrestle well, have a pretty good chance. Getting the first seed gives them a real good draw.

The surprise for the Tigers was getting Dennis OReilly seeded third at 171. OReilly started the season as a JV wrestler but was forced into the varsity lineup and has responded with a strong dual meet season.

He built up a record that got him seeded, Hancock said.

Levi Hug is seeded third at 125, but the two wrestlers seeded above him needed overtime to beat him during the dual season.

Travis Carson is seeded seventh at 152. Burns, the tournament favorite, has two strong wrestlers at that weight, Troy Mackey and Abe Jacobs.

Travis is going to have to wrestle really, really well to make it to state, Hancock said.

La Grandes other wrestlers are Jake Moncrief at 125, James Cox at 140, Chaney Parker at 171 and Dellan Kodep at 275.