Two wrestlers qualify for State
Last updated 2/14/2023 at Noon
Two seniors will be representing Sisters High School at the OSAA 3A Wrestling Championships February 17 and 18, based on their performance at the 3A Special District 4 tournament held at Riverside High School.
Hayden Kunz qualified in the 145-pound class, which surprisingly included just five wrestlers. Kunz punched his ticket to State with a second-place finish by taking down Andrew Barnes of Burns (4:36) in the second round, and then moving on to the championship match where he faced another Highlander, Carter Lundy. Lundy beat Kunz for the title by fall (3:18).
Senior Ben Cooper took the long way around to qualify for State in the 152-pound class. After opening with a win over Wesley Graham of Burns, which took just 1:04 seconds, Cooper then lost to Garrett Forbes of La Pine (3:39), which sent him to the consolation round in the hope of a third-place finish. William Harris of Riverside gave Cooper some trouble, but the senior prevailed by fall (5:10) to set up a rematch with Graham. Cooper dispatched Graham a second faster than the first round and claimed the third-place medal and a spot at State.
“I am so proud to be taking our two seniors to the state tournament,” said Head Coach David Kemp.
The rest of the team all placed in the top five.
After a first-round bye, Carter Van Meter took just under two minutes to take down Allen Jordan of La Pine in the 120-pound division. He then faced eventual champion Canon Winn of Burns who pinned Van Meter at the 1:56 mark. Van Meter bounced back for fifth place by beating Jordan for a second time, this time in just 35 seconds.
The 132-pound freshman Tyson Kemp faced Landyn Philpott of La Pine after a first-round bye, and lost to the eventual champion by fall (1:29). In the consolation round, Kemp overcame Thomas Rodriguez of Vale (5:43), but lost by fall in just 22 seconds to Cooper Yensen of McGloughlin, who went on to finish third, while Kemp settled for fifth.
Scott Henderson faced some tough competition in the 170-pound class and came up just short of a State berth. Cache Montgomery of La Pine sent Henderson to the consolation round with a win by fall (3:09), which set up a match against Francisco Delarosa of McGloughlin. Henderson took care of business in just 1:27 and advanced to meet Ryan Richardson of Nyssa. Henderson won again by fall (2:30) and met Joe Weil of Burns with berth to State at stake in the third-place match. It was not meant to be for the junior, as Weil got the victory by fall (4:19), leaving Henderson to try again next year with a fourth-place finish.
Freshman Jace Owens picked up quality varsity experience at 152 pounds, according to Kemp, and finished fifth. Owens lasted just 24 seconds against the eventual champion Hunter Kemper of Burns in his first match, worked his way back to place fifth with a 5-1 decision against Willam Harris of Riverside.
“It was a great day for us to have all six of the boys place at District,” said Kemp. “What a night!”
The state championships will be held at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.