No finalists, no problem for the Papermakers.
Marcus Hartman, Dakota Safford, Tyler Weiss and Miguel Salamanca all brought home third-place medals from the Clark County Championships Friday and Saturday, at Skyview High School in Salmon Creek. Gabe Wells grabbed fourth, and Tye Lommason and Lucas Nicacio finished fifth. These seven medallists propelled the Papermakers to fifth place at the 15-team event, with 120.5 points.
“We got off to a really good start, and several of our kids made it to the semifinals. We were hoping for a little magic, but we were a little overmatched in that round,” said head coach Glenn Hartman. “I was pleased that our kids did not give up, and they used that disappointment as motivation to finish as strong as they could.
“At the end of the day, I think the kids were happy,” he added. “Several of them said they had never placed that high before at county.”
Marcus Hartman defeated Skyview’s Alex Ojeda in the second round, but found himself trailing by four points in the rematch for third place at 112 pounds. Hartman delivered two takedowns in the final two minutes, and pulled ahead for an 8-7 victory. He said he would never forget the thrill of having his hand raised after such an exhausting match.
“Doing well at county means a lot,” Hartman said. “We’ve all been working hard, and it shows. We still had a lot of fight left in us.”
After losing his quarterfinal match in overtime, Safford won four consolation matches to earn third place at 119. He beat Washougal’s Cory Wicklander by a technical fall, Union’s Luke Sparks 3-2, Skyview’s Brooks Dahmen 7-2 and Prairie’s Will Treadwell 2-1.
“It was great knowing I was competing with the best wrestlers in the county. Getting third just topped it all off,” Safford said. “It just makes me want to push myself harder at practice, and even stay afterwards to gain an edge on my opponents. It’s really encouraging.”
Weiss lost to eventual 135 champion Tyler Davis of Union in the semifinals, but the Papermaker bounced back with two wins in consolation. Weiss outlasted Skyview’s Garrett Ostergard 2-0 in overtime. Then, he beat Battle Ground’s Adam Peterson 10-8 for third place.
“It was just a good learning experience,” Weiss said. “It shows that we have to put in a lot of work, if we want to be on top.”
After a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals, Salamanca showed he still had the beat. The CHS senior pinned Heritage’s Kendrick Spiller in 5 minutes, 54 seconds, before beating La Center’s Jake Johnson by injury default for third place at 145 pounds.
“It’s hard to lose those semifinal matches, but we battled back,” Salamanca said. “We have a lot of young guys who went out there and battled hard. It shows that we have a lot of heart on this team.”
Wells pinned his first two opponents, before coming up short in the semifinals. He beat Josh Frieli of Hudson’s Bay 8-3, but suffered an injury and settled for fourth place at 189 pounds.
Nicacio defeated Dakota Kerns of Heritage 4-1 for fifth place at 125 pounds. Lommason pinned Mountain View’s Benny Dixon for fifth place at 103 pounds.