For the first time in nearly a decade, The Dalles wrestlers put it all together with three top-5 finishes to take home ninth place out of 21 teams at the two-day Don York Invitational ending Saturday at Cleveland High School in Portland.
In addition to the efforts of Steven Preston’s 160-pound title run with five pins, JR Scott tacked on runner-up status and Austin Greene’s fifth-place output, Eleyah Sutton-Lott enjoyed a second-place charge in the girls division.
Preston (11-5 record) got in at the 160-pound bracket and pulled off the championship with an eye-opening two first round pinfall wins, two second-round takedowns and a third-round pin to score 34 team points.
The Riverhawk junior won by fall over Cleveland’s Dalton Mason (17 seconds) and added a pin triumph against Carlos Rodriguez, of Gladstone, at the 3:20 mark, to move into the quarterfinals.
After a pin victory at 2:56 of the second round versus Rachawn Lee (St. Helens), Preston kept his streak going with a pin at 4:40 of the third round in a semifinal bout opposite Burgess Myers (Reynolds).
One win away from his first tournament championship of the season, Preston battled it out with Tualatin’s Jake Reser (13-7).
By the end of the opening stanza, Preston finally seized control and earned the pin win at 2:00.
Scott (14-5) went to work in the 195-pound classification and claimed first-round pins in his first three matches against McMinnville’s Rylee Charter (0:25), Erick Onofre, of Forest Grove, (1:06) and Liberty’s Adrian Hinojosa (Fall 0:50).
The senior then notched a second-round semifinal pin of Bailey Sparks (Centennial) at 2:43 for his finals berth.
Scott lost a third-round heartbreaking decision, 5-4, versus Justin Dicola (Tualatin) in the finals.
Greene had the best finish of the year after scoring fifth-place honors in his 152-pound weight class to give the Hawks 17 team points.
In three matches to start his tournament, Greene (8-8 record) rattled off consecutive wins, two by pin, to lock down a semifinals spot.
The senior won by 7-3 decision over Hunter Lehman (Gladstone), turned in a second-round pin at 2:13 versus Adam Stockwell (St. Helens) and secured a pin win in a quarterfinals match with Lincoln’s Jude Soldati (5:48).
Up next, Greene lost his semifinal match by opening-round pin at 1:00 against Jonathon Hernandez (Putnam) and was upended in the consolation semifinals contest with Isaac Lee, of Liberty, at the 3:49 mark of the second round.
Given a chance to pick up fifth-place honors, Greene needed 1:48 of the first round to dispatch of Soldati.
On the girls side, Sutton-Lott had a solid 14-point run to the 135-pound bracket for second place.
Sutton-Lott (3-6 record) won by pinfall over Centennial’s Fartun Mohamed (0:54) in the semifinals to chalk up a finals bid versus Forest Grove’s Salyn Cabral.
Both grapplers lasted six minutes, but Cabral held off a late surge to get a 3-2 decision victory.
At 138 pounds, Andrew Richman (10-5) went 3-2, with a 48-second pin versus Max Schroeder (Benson) and an injury default win in the next round for rise into the quarterfinals.
The senior, from Dufur, lost to Phillip Kue (Centennial) by first-round pin (44 seconds), but then rebounded for a second-round pinfall at 3:43 in the consolation round over Carson Brown (McMinnville).
In the next consolation match, Richman lasted three rounds in a nip-and-tuck showdown with Ian Replinger (Cleveland), which wound up being a 5-3 decision triumph for Replinger.
While Richman had an 11-point effort, Ophath Silaphath posted 10 team points at 160 pounds.
Silaphath registered a pinfall win over Tyler Paysse (Liberty) at 2:35 to get off to a solid start.
Cleveland’s Oliver Borg sent Silaphath to the consolation bracket after a pin at 1:29 of the first round.
Silaphath won back-to-back consolation matches by first-round pins versus Cleveland’s Daniel Passmore (0:57) and Forest Grove’s Jonah Jones-Ley (0:51).
In his following bout, Silaphath suffered a tournament-ending defeat at the hands of Rachawn Lee, of St. Helens at the 2:16 mark of the second round.
At 106 pounds, Conor Blair (2-7) racked up his first two victories of the year, both by pin, as he ended up 2-2 for eight team points.
Blair won by fall at 2:55 over Simon Shulevitz (Benson) in his opening match, and then lost a 6-3 decision in the next bout with Jordan Ow (McNary).
Blair pinned Benson’s Bryan Yanase in the second round (2:34) to stay alive, until a pinfall loss against Damian Hernandez, out of McNary (2:29).
Ben Nelson split four matches at 145 pounds, as he notched consecutive pinfall victories in the consolation rounds with Hood River Valley’s Aiden McNair (3:00) and Patrick Barnette, of Lincoln (0:53).
Following that second win, Belson (4-7 record) had his tournament slate cut short after a 2-0 decision setback against Dominic Zupo (Cleveland).
Miguel Torres (6-7) hit the mats at 220 pounds and lost by first-round pin versus Anthony Garcia-Reyes (0:39) in his opener, but went 2-0, both pins, in his next two consolation matches with McMinnville’s Davis Kennedy (0:35) and Benson’s Conry Mogensen (4:21).
Looking to keep the momentum going, Torres had to come away successfully against Blake Willis (Hood River Valley).
This match had to be settled in overtime, however, with Willis inching ahead by sudden victory, 10-8.
Taylor Morehouse (4-6) had one win, an opening-round pinfall against Alex Marin (McMinnville) at 38 seconds.
He then wound up losing by pin in his next two bouts opposite Tualatin’s Christain Bostick (1:55) and Anthony Peralez, of Southridge (2:55).
In the 138-pound class, Jake Haughton (5-7) lost his first match by 7-3 decision versus Austin Vue (Centennial), won by 8-5 decision over Itan Hernandez-Salazar (Benson) and suffered defeat against Daniel Craig (Sunset), an 8-5 decision.
Josh Sandoz (5-7 record) posted a 15-3 major decision win over Aaron Osborne (Hood River Valley), won by 8-5 decision versus Caleb Dehart (Hood River Valley) and slipped past Riley Limberg (Seton Catholic) in a 7-2 decision to finish 3-2.
Sandoz’s final consolation match was a 3-0 decision loss versus Justin Carpenter (Wilsonville).
Tualatin claimed first place in the team standings with 330 points, finishing ahead of Centennial (309.5), St. Helens (186) and McMinnville (173).
Hood River Valley (168) was sixth and The Dalles totaled 125 points to secure ninth place out of the 21-team field.
Up next, The Dalles hosts Pendleton and Ridgeview in a league double dual starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Kurtz Gym.
After that, TD takes a trip to Forest Grove with a start time of 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13 for the Bob Beisell Invitational.