Prairie’s Yana Paskar readjusted her grip on Union’s Grace Strong.
The Titans grappler was nearing a last-round escape to take the lead in their 145-pound finals match, but with the Falcon faithful at her back, Paskar thwarted the attempt and quickly put Strong on her shoulders.
That pin on Saturday at Skyview High School secured the Prairie girls their first Norm Friehauf Clark County Championships team title.
The senior had mixed emotions after the win.
“I feel like crying, but also like eating sushi,” she said, a smile stretching ear to ear. “The first thing that came to mind is ‘I’m so hungry.’ ”
Paskar, a Falcons veteran, has seen firsthand how far the Prairie girls’ program has come.
Two years ago coach Rob Smith hired Caily Mendez to head the girls team. Along with Jake Wilcox, Mendez has ignited the girls’ squad.
“I started at Prairie 18 years ago,” Smith said. “I never thought we’d have a girls team this good.”
Six Prairie girls competed in Saturday’s finals. Faith Tarrant (235 pounds) and Kennedy Wilcox (125) also secured victories. The Falcons outpointed Union 112-100 as a team. Kelso finished third with 89 points.
“It’s a dream come true,” Paskar said. “I’m just shocked right now.”
On the boys’ side, Union ran away with its 12th straight Clark County title. Noah Koyama (120), Spencer Needham (126), Elijah Cassidy (145) and Averie Sikes (285) all won their finals matches.
For Cassidy, the honor of being a Clark County champion is a culmination of his efforts over the past four years. He finished third as a freshman, and second as a sophomore. Last year’s event was canceled. He defeated Battle Ground’s Gunnar Henderson in a tough 4-2 decision to finally be able to call himself the best in Clark County.
“It means a lot to me, and our team especially,” Cassidy said. “I’m so proud to be a part of Union’s team.”
Titans freshman Noah Koyama also turned heads with his 11-4 decision win over La Center’s Malachi Wallway. Koyama, currently ranked eighth in the state among 4A 120-pounders, was seeded third in this weekend’s bracket.
That will be a rare occurrence if Koyama keeps performing as he did Saturday.
“If they don’t (notice) now, they’re going to notice me at state,” Koyama said.
Other individual champions included Washougal’s Davis brothers, Brody (106) and Caleb (113), along with teammate Henry Jones (220), Skyview’s Owen Pritchard (132) and Jon Schoenlein (160), Columbia River’s Tennyson Kurtz (138), Battle Ground’s Ethan Joner (152), Prairie’s Alex Ford (170) and Caleb Blick (182) and Hockinson’s Cody Wheeler (195).
On the girls’ side, La Center freshman Leah Wallway knocked off 2020 Clark County champion Dayzie Barragan with a first-round pin.
“I’ve worked up to an opportunity like this, and I went after it,” Wallway said. “It’s just an amazing feeling.”
Columbia River’s Madison Nguyen (105) and Jadalyn Alonso (135), Ridgefield’s Uruwa Abe (110), Mountain View’s Aryan Benson (115), Heritage’s Yasmin Juarez), Union’s Janessa O’Connell (130), Washougal’s Kiersten Lees (155) and Lacey Klopman (170) and Kelso’s Tara Liebe all won by fall in the finals.
Norm Friehauf Clark County Wrestling Championships
At Skyview High School
Team scores — Union 269.5, Washougal 174.5, Skyview 158.5, Prairie 130, Columbia River 126, Battle Ground 121.5, La Center 91, Mountain View 79.5, Hockinson 79, Ridgefield 59.
106 — Brody Davis (Washougal) def. Rowen Blaikie (Skyview), dec. 8-3
113 — Caleb Davis (Washougal) def. Garrett Hurliman (Battle Ground), fall 5:10
120 — Noah Koyama (Union) def. Malachi Wallway (La Center), dec. 11-4
126 — Spencer Needham (Union) def. Dylan Dalgord (Union), fall 3:53
132 — Owen Pritchard (Skyview) def. Jordin Jimenez (Union), fall 0:38
138 — Tennyson Kurtz (Columbia River) def. Armando Nicacio (Union), fall 2:54
145 — Elijah Cassidy (Union) def. Gunnar Henderson (Battle Ground), dec. 4-2
152 — Ethan Joner (Battle Ground) def. Caden Porter (Columbia River), fall 0:39
160 — Jon Schoenlein (Skyview) def. Mason Frei (Prairie), fall 3:26
170 — Alex Ford (Prairie) def. Austin Mattson (La Center), fall 5:44
182 — Caleb Blick (Prairie) def. Cota Stover (Ridgefield), dec. 8-3
195 — Cody Wheeler (Hockinson) def. Owen Wann (Battle Ground), fall 0:46
220 — Henry Jones (Washougal) def. Jose Garcia (Mountain View), fall 1:16
285 — Averie Sikes (Union) def. Nathan Nellis (Fort Vancouver), fall 4:40
Team scores — Prairie 112, Union 100, Kelso 89, Camas 81, Washougal 71, Columbia River 60.5, Ridgefield 39, Skyview 35, Evergreen 31, Heritage 24.
100 — Leah Wallway (La Center) def. Dayzie Barragan (Columbia River), fall 1:49
105 — Madison Nguyen (Columbia River) def. Breeana Bowman (Prairie), tech. fall 5:13
110 — Uruwa Abe (Ridgefield) def. Ellie Freund (Kelso), 1:05
115 — Aryan Benson (Mountain View) def. Ava Weatherl (Camas), fall 1:10
120 — Yasmin Juarez (Heritage) def. Katelyn Lyle (Prairie), fall 2:36
125 — Kennedy Wilcox (Prairie) def. Niah Cassidy (Union), fall 1:24
130 — Janessa O’Connell (Union) def. Christine George (Evergreen), fall 1:51
135 — Jadalyn Alonso (Columbia River) def. Lilly Mucha (Washougal), fall 1:47
145 — Yana Paskar (Prairie) def. Grace Strong (Union), fall 5:24
155 — Kiersten Lees (Washougal) def. Sonia Landas (Battle Ground), fall 2:55
170 — Lacey Klopman (Washougal) def. Aaliyah Young (Prairie), fall 3:35
190 — Tara Liebe (Kelso) def. Eowyn Linthewaite (Camas), fall 0:17
235 — Faith Tarrant (Prairie) def. Alexia Jimenez (Kelso), dec. 11-5