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North tops all Oregon teams to take sixth at Classic

RENO, Nev. — North Medford was the highest placing Oregon team in the Sierra Nevada Wrestling Classic on Wednesday.

The Black Tornado scored 125 points and placed sixth in the 97-team field. Sprague of Salem was three points back.

Four North Medford wrestlers placed, led by Robert Ross, who was third at 285 pounds.

"We're a good team," said North Medford coach Nolan Harris. "I expected us to be in the top 10. I don't think anybody else expected it, but I knew going in we had that potential. We really battled. Our goal was to be the top Oregon school, and it was a pretty tight race.

"It came down to the last round, and the kids were picking up falls and bonus points. I was very pleased with our finish. I don't think North has ever done this well in this tournament."

Ross led the way, posting a 4-1 record and pinning the No. 3 and 4 seeds. Ross was seeded sixth.

In the third-place match, he pinned No. 4 seed Kabe Fluaitt of Moses Lake, Wash., in just over a minute.

"Robert did a great job for us," said Harris. "He pinned his last guy and that ended up putting us over the top to be the top Oregon school. He beat a really tough Washington kid."

Cory Haggans placed fifth for the Black Tornado at 171, Ryan Mahoney made it to the semifinals before settling at sixth at 145 and Mark Dickison placed seventh at 189.

Other local teams entered were Illinois Valley, 33rd with 70 points, and Crater, 48th with 56 points.