By John Denny
The Mustangs rout St. Helens, and they wrestle tough in a tournament at Tigard
Milwaukie High School’s wrestling team had a very good week last week, winning 11 of the 14 matches en route to a 57-15 runaway win in a Jan. 21 Northwest Oregon Conference dual meet with St. Helens, and placing fourth at a nine-team tournament hosted by Tigard on Jan 23.
The Mustangs had six wins by fall, three by forfeit and one by decision, in the dual meet with the Lions.
Milwaukie freshman Jacob Ashley and Milwaukie junior Jon Snyder had the quickest falls of the night. It took Snyder just 1:12 to dispatch with St. Helens’ Cole Benshoff at 160; Ashley pinned Joseph Austin of St. Helens in 1:26.
Also earning falls for Milwaukie were: sophomore Matthew Lee (138), over Haidon Allen; junior Mikel Bremner (152), over Logan Carter; senior Mountain Witzel (170), over Geoff Thompson; and sophomore Chazz Amundson (195), over James Poland.
Lee’s second-round fall over Allen was a major upset. Heading into the meet, Allen was ranked the seventh-best 132-pounder in the state; Lee was ranked 13th at 138. And the win was no fluke. Lee was leading 7-1 at the time of the fall.
Milwaukie freshman Bryant Smith continued on track, winning by 10-9 decision in a dogfight with St. Helens junior Elias Fields at 126. Heading into the meet, Fields was ranked 12th in the state and Smith was ranked 14th. Smith was wrestling up a weight in his match with Fields.
Milwaukie junior JuVoni Penn-Harris dropped a tough one, losing by 2-1 decision to Colton Beisley, who was ranked 12th in the state at 145.
The convincing dual win left Milwaukie (2-2) tied with Putnam (2-2) and St. Helens (2-2) in third place in the Northwest Oregon Conference dual standings heading into this Thursday’s (Jan. 28) meet at Putnam. The winner of the meet will likely finish third in the NWOC league dual standings — back of fourth-ranked Hillsboro (4-0) and sixth-ranked Sandy (4-0).
Milwaukie also has dual meets remaining with Parkrose (0-4) and Wilsonville (1-3); Putnam has league dual meets remaining with Wilsonville (1-3) and Liberty (1-3).
The Mustangs scored 210 points and nearly placed second to seventh-ranked Aloha (370 points) at Tigard. Forest Grove (228), Southridge (218) and St. Helens (145) placed second, third and fifth respectively, while Milwaukie finished in fourth place.
The Mustangs had eleven wrestlers place in the top five and they had two finalists.
Wrestling at 120, Bryant Smith was dominant, earning first place with two wins by fall and a third win by technical fall. He defeated Jonathan Grasser of Tigard 15-0 in the championship final.
The Mustangs also had a finalist in senior Josh Hill, who lost to Aloha’s Geordan Grund in his finals match at 195.
Other Milwaukie placers included: JuVoni Penn-Harris (145), Mikel Bremner (152) and River Meyer (170), third; Matthew Lee (138), Chazz Amundson (182) and Andy Montes (195), fourth; and Jacob Ashley (106), Jon Snyder (152) and Noah Ramirez (220), fifth.
After losing his first match, Ramirez pinned his next four opponents, all in under a minute.
“The team wrestled really well, both at the tournament and in our dual with St. Helens,” said Milwaukie coach Brian Duhrkoop. “It was a good week for us.”