Southern Oregon has been home to many prominent wrestling duals over the years, mostly thanks to the history of programs like Crater, Eagle Point...
It was a long, grueling day for Riley Finnegan and Abi Borg, but the payoff of a state tournament berth was well worth the wait on Thursday.
With back-to-back tiebreaker wins, Finnegan and Borg vaulted into Saturday's girls doubles semifinal while Kelsey Bartlett paved her way to a state berth and singles semifinal spot in the Southwest Conference District tournament at South Medford High School.
The top four players from the singles and doubles formats earn Class 6A state tournament berths.
The Finnegan-Borg duo outlasted South Eugene's Lillian Snortland and Michelle Chan for a 6-3, 4-6 (10-7) second-round win, then willed their way to a 6-3, 3-6 (10-7) triumph in the quarterfinals over Sheldon's Danielle Clark and Jenny Forrest. The Panthers' pair will take on South Eugene's Elaine Fang and McKenna Vanderkley, the bracket's No. 2 seed.
Bartlett, the No. 3 seeded singles player, earned a quarterfinal victory over South Eugene's Lydia Simonton, 6-3, 6-3. Bartlett also upended Maddie Coates of Sheldon, 6-2, 6-4 in the second round.
Bartlett will face top-seed Emily Beckley of South Eugene in the semifinals.
As a team, South Medford sits in third place with 21 points behind leader South Eugene (36) and Roseburg (22). Grants Pass also has 21 points, while Sheldon (16), North Medford (2) and Thurston (0) round out the team standings.
South Medford's Brittany Reese and Catherine Gustafson both reached the consolation semifinals, while Grants Pass' Rachel Berkley made it to the consolation final.
BOYS SWC DISTRICT TOURNAMENT — At Roseburg, third-seeded Kyler Tosh and unseeded Mitch Steadman posted decisive victories for South Medford at Roseburg High.
Tosh topped Thurston's Treyson Sherk, 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals after downing Roseburg's Zach Carter, 6-3, 6-1 in the second round. He will face South Eugene's Isaac Leve.
Steadman picked up 6-0, 6-0 victories over Sheldon's Chris Cochman and Thurston's Josh Richardson before upsetting No. 4 seed Nevin Taylor of South Eugene, 6-3, 4-6, (10-8) in the quarterfinals.
West's freshman brother, Tyler West, will play in the consolation final match on Saturday.
In doubles, North Medford's Kyle Campbell and Ryan Hogan fell shy of a state berth after Roseburg's Nick Foley and Nate Hansen claimed a 6-2, 3-6 (10-7) win.
South Medford's duo of Jon Phelps and Kai Elam also came up short against South Eugene's Jake Russin and Jack Guenther, 6-0, 6-0. Phelps and Kai needed a 4-6, 6-4 (11-9) win over Tyler Broyles and Eliot Bald of Grants Pass to squeeze into the semifinals.