Pioneers wrestle to third-place finish at districts

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ONTARIO - Mac-Hi finished third here in the 8-team district wrestling tournament. More importantly, the Pioneers got nine wrestlers through to the state tournament.

Crook County claimed the district title and Ontario was second.

Four wrestlers in each weight class advance and the Pioneers brought home three individual crowns.

Ryan Bullock, at 135 pounds, pinned all three of his opponents to win the 135 title and Mac-Hi coach Beau Chester expects Bullock to be a No. 2 or 3 seed at state. Bullock finished his district run with a second round pin of Ontario's R.J. Gonzalez in the 135 title match.

Josh Rutherford, at 152, also pinned his way to the title. Rutherford pinned Crook County's Chuckar Wilson in the first round in the title match.

At 160 pounds, Francisco Saldana completed the championship threesome for Mac-Hi.

Saldana also went 3-0 and decisioned Jake Zeigler of Crook County in his championship match.

Mac-Hi will send three second-place finishers to state to join the three district champions.

Tavis Hodgen was decisioned by La Grande's Piper McCallum in the 119 title match, but earns a second-place and a ticket to state.

Jesse Sargent suffered a loss by decision to Ontario's Cade Hartley in the 130 championship, but finished in second place.

Lawrence Timmons earned a second-place spot as Timmons suffered a pin by Crook County's Bryson Martin in the 189 final.

At 145, Mac-Hi's Brayden Moller earned third and a ticket to state.

Shelby West at 135 and Taylor Hodgen at 152 finished fourth and will round out Mac-Hi's nine man contingent to state.

"Overall the team wrestled really, really, well," Chester said. "It was a good two days for us. I'm happy for the nine kids that are going to state."

The nine Pioneers will open their bid for state hardware Friday at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

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