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Crater places fourth at state wrestling

PORTLAND — The latter stages of the state wrestling tournament weren’t as gratifying as Crater might have hoped, but the Comets left the proceedings at Memorial Coliseum in good spirits Saturday.

Crater had two finalists in late matches, but both Kabb Christensen and Jimmy Jordahl ran up against decidedly stiff competition from Crescent Valley opponents, suffering losses by fall that prevented them from adding to the Comets’ team point total.

Nevertheless, Crater accomplished its goal of placing in the top four and earning a trophy.

The Comets were fourth with 141.5 points, well ahead of fifth-place West Albany (88).

Crescent Valley captured its second straight title with 303 points — in part with the two finals falls over the Crater contingent — while Crook County was second with 226.5 and Thurston was third with 175.5.

Crater finished second to Thurston in the Midwestern League district tournament.

“We were second in our conference and still fourth in the state,” said Comets coach Greg Haga. “I’m real proud of our kids. They wrestled real hard and fought together and we ended up with a team trophy.”

The Comets expect to be back for more. Christensen, at 160 pounds, and Jordahl, at 195, are a junior and sophomore, respectively.

Five other state placers will also be back: sophomore Colby Meek, third at 145; junior Kellen Kerrigan, fifth at 138; freshman Owen Burkhart, fifth at 182; sophomore Matthew Bolanos, sixth at 132; and junior Aric Adams, sixth at 220.

Christensen was the No. 3 seed going up against top-seeded Raiders sophomore James Rowley, who won last year’s 145 crown. Rowley pinned Christensen in 3:00.

Jordahl’s foe, Santos Cantu, was even more accomplished. Cantu claimed three 6A championships at Sprague before transferring to Crescent Valley for his senior year. The top seed, who has signed with Indiana, won by fall over No. 2 Jordahl in 2:44.

It was the second straight year Jordahl was runner-up.

“I was real proud of these guys fighting to get into the finals and helping us get into that fourth-place trophy spot,” said Haga. “They were just a bit overmatched at this point. It’s a building block for both those guys for next year.”

Crater, which has won nine state titles under Haga dating to 1993, improved on its fifth place of last season.

Reach sports editor Tim Trower at 541-776-4479 or ttrower@rosebudmedia.com.

Kabb Christensen in early round action.