SPRINGFIELD — North Medford senior Kyleigh Lopez and Phoenix junior Emma Truex each took the necessary steps toward another potential state title in girls wrestling Saturday, with each capping championship runs in the Southern Division Regionals to lead the local contingent at Thurston High School.
With their regional titles in hand, Lopez and Truex will vie for repeat state titles in the upcoming girls wrestling state tournament, which will be sanctioned for the first time by the Oregon School Activities Association.
Also advancing to the state tournament from the area were top-four finishers Shayla McNulty and Kara Davis of Eagle Point, North Medford’s Dakota Alewine and Samantha Dara of Grants Pass.
Already with three exhibition state titles under her belt, Lopez steamrolled through the competition at 115 pounds. She needed only 26 seconds to dispatch of her semifinals opponent with a pin before taking out Grant Union’s Arionna Young in the championship match with a fall in 29 seconds.
Truex will be able to vie for her third straight state title after a similarly dominant showing at 125. Her day began with a 15-0 technical fall victory in 4 minutes, 24 seconds, and she capped an unbeaten run in her bracket with a pin in 1:19 over Thurston’s Cailee Hallett.
Davis reached the championship final at 145 for the Eagles after pinning Thurston’s Mariah Cook in 2:52. In the title match, Elmira’s Anna McDougal eked out a 3-2 decision over Davis.
Facing a wrestleback with top-seeded Lindsay Burrell of Thurston, who was upset in her first tournament match so never faced Davis, the Eagle Point sophomore was pinned in 50 seconds and therefore finished as the No. 3 seed out of the regional.
McNulty dropped a 7-0 decision in her semifinal match at 120 but regrouped for an undefeated run through the consolation bracket, beating Sweet Home’s Madelyn Neuschwander, 7-0, before pinning North Medford’s Alewine in 3:26 in the third-place final.
Alewine had pinned third-seeded Yesenia Velazquez of Reedsport in 1:28 to secure her spot among the state qualifiers, finishing fourth at 120.
Dara was pinned in 1:57 in the championship match at 100 by La Pine’s Olivia Flack.
Among the other top finishes, South Medford’s Jasmine Sweitzer placed fifth at 130 after receiving a forfeit in her final match. Sweitzer was previously pinned in 2:58 by top-seeded Taylor Ohlson of Mountain View in the morning’s semifinal round.
Crater sophomore Carisa Hakala worked her way through the consolation rounds to place fifth at 170, scoring a pin in 3:17 in the fifth-place match against Thurston’s Sierra Jenkins to earn a measure of revenge after it was Jenkins that pinned her in the first round.
Ashland sophomore Summer Bertrand finished sixth at 125, coming up just shy in a 10-6 decision in the consolation semifinals before being pinned in 1:28 in the fifth-place match by Reedsport’s Divinity Farris.
Sweet Home surged on Day 2 to overtake Thurston for the team title, 145-138.5. North Medford finished eighth with 55 points, followed by Eagle Point (11th, 42), Grants Pass (16th, 30), Phoenix (17th, 29.5), South Medford (34th, 16), Crater (38th, 14) and Ashland (40th, 13).
3A DISTRICT 3 DUAL CHAMPIONSHIP: Cascade Christian’s Cody Havniear went 5-0 at 132 pounds with four falls and an impressive 10-6 decision over Cole Waldron of Douglas to help the undermanned Challengers place fourth in the six-team event at Cascade Christian High.
Cascade Christian’s lone win came via criteria in a 30-30 matchup with Brookings-Harbor, where the visitors scored only one win in a match that was actually contested. The six-man Challengers used a pins by Jorge Garcia Gutierrez (120), Elijah Nehf (145) and Michael Croy (160) and a forfeit to Gabe Vidlak (126) to earn the criteria advantage.
In other duals, Cascade Christian lost to La Pine (72-6), Sutherlin (47-12), South Umpqua (36-21) and Douglas (48-3).
La Pine placed first after going 5-0 in its duals, with Douglas second and Sutherlin third. The Challengers finished fourth, followed by Brookings-Harbor and South Umpqua.
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN 63, ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST 38: At Bend, junior guard Ruben Tovar had 16 points and five assists and sophomore guard Caleb Jackson 12 points, four rebounds and three blocks to lead RVA, which fell to 8-10 overall and 3-10 in the Mountain Valley League.
Central Christian (9-10, 6-7) won for the fifth time in its last seven games.
ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST 45, CENTRAL CHRISTIAN 14: At Bend, junior guard Paris Quave went 4-for-4 from 3-point land on her way to 17 points while also dishing out five assists and coming up with three steals to lead the Red Tail Hawks, who rolled to their fourth straight MVL victory.
Madelyn Bennett added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Savanah Zamora eight points and six steals for RVA (16-2, 11-2 MVL), which hosts Hosanna Christian on Tuesday for a chance at ascending to the top of the league standings.
Central Christian (1-17, 1-12) suffered its fourth straight loss.
NORTH LAKE 48, PROSPECT 18: At Silver Lake, Prospect remained winless in Mountain Valley League as host North Lake proved too much in the runaway win.
The Cougars dropped to 3-18 overall and 0-14 in MVL play, while North Lake moved to 12-8 and 10-4 in league.