It’s an experiment that has true benefit and merit, but also one with a big hill to climb before permanent implementation throughout...
North Medford junior Trent Wilson added another highlight to an already successful wrestling season over the weekend with his championship effort in the prestigious Suplay Reno Worlds in Nevada.
Not only did Wilson win his 14-person weight class at 195 pounds in the age 18-and-under division, the Black Tornado standout did it in overwhelming fashion while competing for the Fantastic Utters, coached by North Medford's Phillip Lopez.
Wilson, who seven weeks ago earned the first state title for North Medford High, scored a 15-0 technical fall in the finals over Jose Robeldo of the Wasco Youth Wrestling Club.
"He just wrestled really good for the whole tournament," said Lopez. "He hasn't really taken a break since the state tournament so he's been looking pretty dominant and explosive right now."
In the finals, Wilson immediately took Robeldo down and built an 8-0 lead through one period. He led 13-0 heading into the third period and ended the match with a quick takedown after Robeldo missed on his attempted throw.
Wilson previously scored a 14-0 major decision in the first round over Nevada's Bobby Gibson and a 10-3 decision over Colorado's Ernie Plascencia in the quarterfinals. His closest match came in the semifinals, when Wilson won 2-1 on an ultimate tiebreaker over Adam Banks of California, whom Lopez said was a California state placer and wrestled back for second place.
Wilson's teammates from North Medford, Skyler Black and Cole Hornbrook, also earned All-American honors for the tournament with top-eight finishes. Black placed fourth at 220 in the 18-and-under division, while Hornbrook was seventh in the 15-and-under division at 157.
Black won in a tiebreaker to reach the semifinals but was pinned in 31 seconds by Trevor Rasmussen to fall into the consolation bracket. Black regrouped to score a 3-1 decision over Devon Wade of Team Bulldog Wrestling to earn a spot in the third-place final, but lost a 2-1 decision to Jake Grantham of Kingston Wrestling Academy.
Hornbrook was pinned in the second round of the championship bracket but won five straight matches to keep his hopes alive. After getting pinned in the consolation seventh round, he won by forfeit over Ben Bolingbroke of Utah United in the seventh-place final.
Rogue River's Garrett Dees also placed sixth for the Fantastic Utters in Wilson's bracket at 195. He lost to Robeldo in the semifinals and then was forced to take a medical forfeit in his final two matches.
The Junior Comets had the largest local contingent (24) compete at the Reno Worlds and finished with four placers across various divisions.
Tommy Winningham paced the Junior Comets by placing third at 157 in the 15-and-under division, while Logan Meek was fourth at 135 and Zeth Brower fifth at 89 in the same age group. Owen Burkhart placed sixth at 100 in the 8-and-under division.
Winningham earned a first-round pin and then three straight victories by two points or less before falling short in the semifinals, 11-3, to Brandon Claiborne of Oak Ridge. Winningham later earned a 2-0 decision in the third-place match against Trager Abatti of the Challis Vikings.
Meek pinned his way to victory through the quarterfinals but dropped a 12-2 major decision to Tommy McMillen of the North Montana Wrestling Club in the semifinals. In the third-place final, Meek lost by technical fall, 15-0, to Hunter Willits of Steel City Elite.
Brower used one-point decisions to reach the quarterfinals but couldn't keep that streak going after falling 3-2 to Dylan Martinez in the quarters. Brower regrouped to score three more decisions and then capped off his run with a pin in 3:21 over Enrique Landeros of the Orland Takedown Club in the fifth-place final.
Burkhart followed a tough road to placing sixth after dropping his opening match and then returning to score three straight decisions to reach the consolation semifinals. A 1-0 loss in that round sent him to the fifth-place final, where he lost 6-4 in overtime to Jose Morales of the Lemoore Tigers.
Club West had 15 wrestlers over different divisions compete, with James McCoy finishing as its only placer by taking fourth at 160 pounds in the 18-and-under division.
McCoy steamrolled his way into the quarterfinal round, where he lost a tough 14-12 decision to Jimmy Jones of the Henley Mat Club. McCoy responded in the consolation rounds to pin Nate Walters of the Junior Comets in 1:27 and Jason Acosta of Poway in 1:26 before earning a spot in the third-place final due to an injury default. In his final match, McCoy again fell short against Jones, this time by a 7-2 decision.
Reach reporter Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.facebook.com/krishenryMT or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry