Union scored the most points in the team race Saturday, but Prairie might have provided the most entertainment.
Union dominated the Clark County Wrestling Championships at Skyview High School, setting a record with 270.5 points in the meet that brings together the top wrestlers in the area -- regardless of school classification.
(Zachary Kaufman/The Columbian)
"We like to be the best in the county," coach John Godinho said after his Titans won their fourth consecutive title at the meet. "Once we knew we were going to win it, we reset our goal and tried to score the most points in county history."
They accomplished that, getting championships from Daniel Rice (113 pounds), Junior Godinho (132) and Jon Reynolds (160).
But it was Prairie, which also had three champions, that delivered some memorable matches.
Will Treadwell enthusiastically won the 120-pound weight class with a pin of Union's Carlos Simon. He used a move called the "Banana Split" to get the pin at 3:12.
"The way I wrestle is kind of risky," the Prairie senior said. "But I was confident I could finish the match."
The past two years, Treadwell had reached the semifinals at the Clark County Championships before losing.
"I was like, 'I just need to do this. It's my senior year. I've got to win county. I've got to win county.'
"Winning three of my four matches by pins, it's a huge boost of confidence for me."
His confidence was matched by teammate Mario Gonzalez, who defeated Gabe Morales of Heritage 13-5 in the 152-pound final.
"Speed," Gonzalez said, asked to describe his style. "I don't try to power; I work on cardio."
Gonzalez prevailed in a fast-paced match.
"He knew my style, so I was going to have to work through his barriers."
And while Treadwell and Gonzalez were joined by teammate Dallas Goodpaster (190 pounds) as champions, no team could match the depth of Union. Heritage was second with 176 points -- nearly 100 behind Union -- and Evergreen third with 156.
"To me, this is my best team. They work together; they wrestle as a team," Godinho said, adding praise for his assistant coaches.
In other highlights Saturday:
• The Clark County Championships don't count toward qualifying for the state meet. They're simply an opportunity to compare wrestlers across classifications. Two athletes from Class 2A Ridgefield won their weight classes, with Grant Gaspar taking the 106-pound title, and John White winning at 195.
White went to a decision in all three of his matches at the tournament, winning by scores of 12-3, 7-2, and 3-1.
Gaspar held on for a tight 8-6 win over Jose Nava-Montez of Skyview in his final. Ridgefield also had a finalist at 113 pounds, where Casey Oviatt lost 21-3 to Union's Rice.
• Vicente Huber of Camas won an exciting match over Cody Gromes of Union for the 182-pound championship. Huber used a takedown (worth two points) to take a 7-6 lead with 30 seconds remaining. He then survived two opportunities by Gromes to escape from the down position in the final seconds.
"You have that shot to get the takedown, and you have to take it," Huber said. "I just had to commit, then at the end hold on for dear life."
• Among the 14 weight classes, eight schools won titles: Union and Prairie three each; Ridgefield and Evergreen (Ramon Ortiz, 126; Anthony Thomas, 170) two apiece; and one each for Mountain View (Kenji Yamashita, 138), Hudson's Bay (Aaron Blaine, 145), Camas, and Heritage (Antonio Pulido, 285).