By Gini Davis – The Creswell Chronicle
Haley Rodolf earned a bid to the OSAA Girls’ State Wrestling Tournament by winning her 115-pound bracket with a 5-0 record during the Girls’ State Qualifier held at Thurston Feb. 2-3.
“She had probably the toughest girls in the state in her bracket, and she won all of her matches by pin, so she should be the number-one seed at State,” said Creswell Head Coach Wayne Roberts. “We’re all so thrilled for her.”
Also wrestling for Creswell were Alexia Vinje, who went 2-2 at 128 pounds; Savannah Taylor, who went 2-2 at 172-plus; and Raven Rimer, who went 0-2 at 122.
As a team, the Lady Dawgs placed 10th of 72 teams, despite having just four wrestlers.
“They did very well,” said Roberts, adding that it was record-breaking tournament, with 202 female wrestlers.
“It was the largest girls-only tournament ever held in the state of Oregon,” he said.
Roberts’ ambition is to develop a full girls-only team at CHS.
“I could see Creswell having a girls-only team; we’ve been able to double our co-ed team each of the last four years, and last year we had just one girl, and this year we’ve got four,” he said. “I think those girls are all definitely talking to their friends about joining the team, and I think we are going to have a powerhouse girls’ team next year.”
The Bulldog boys wrestled Scio and Pleasant Hill at a dual meet hosted by Pleasant Hill on Feb. 2. “We didn’t have the girls wrestle since they had their state qualifier over the weekend,” Roberts said.
With several wrestlers out sick or injured, Creswell fell to Scio 27-48. Winning for the Bulldogs were Jesse Wittenborn at 138 pounds, Titus Mejia-Rice at 145 and Zach Wichman at 182.
Creswell picked up forfeits at 106, 132 and 195 pounds, and gave up forfeits at 113, 120, 160 and heavyweight.
After Haydn Kuhnhausen failed to make weight by 0.2 pounds at 132, he wrestled his Scio opponent in an exhibition match and won, Roberts noted.
Losing their matches were Nick Kubishta, Josh Mitchell, CJ Wilkerson and Blake Nelson.
The Dawgs downed Pleasant Hill 54-24. Winning their matches by pin were Wittenborn at 138, Mejia-Rice at 145 and Nelson at 220.
Creswell picked up forfeits at 126, 160, 170, 182, 195 and heavyweight, and surrendered forfeits at 113 and 120; the teams double-forfeited at 152.
Losing their matches were Alex Metteer at 106 and Kuhnhausen at 132.
The Bulldogs also competed in the two-day, 33-team Cottage Grove Invitational Tournament on Feb. 3-4, where they placed sixth – one position away from bringing home a trophy. “It’s unfortunate, but we still had some kids sick or hurt, and that’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Roberts said.
North Medford won the tournament with 206 points. Grants Pass placed second with 199, Lowell placed third with 192, Glide placed fourth with 178 and South Medford placed fifth with 127.
Blaine Rodolf went 5-0 to win his 126-pound bracket; Mejia-Rice went 4-1 to place second at 138 and Wittenborn went 4-2 to place fourth at 138; and Nelson went 3-3 to place sixth at 220.
The highly-seeded Nelson “had a bad week, but that’s a positive thing; he got caught on the same moves a couple of times, but we talked and he was taking notes, so hopefully he’ll want to work on those things before Districts,” Roberts said.
Kuhnhausen went 2-2 at 132, Wichman went 2-2 at 182, Metteer went 1-1 at 106, Mitchell went 1-2 at 152 and Jeramiya Yates went 1-2 at 195.
Kubishta went 0-2 at 126, Reggie Sizemore went 0-2 at 138 and Wilkerson went 0-2 at 170.
Now two weeks out from the District Tournament, when Roberts hopes to again field a full, healthy roster, the Bulldogs travel to two more competitions this week.
“It’s always good to have these tough tournaments before Districts; it lights a fire under the kids, to want to work on the things they need to work on,” Roberts said.