McCleary top local finisher at Jo-Hi Cosgrove

Enterprise 119 pound wrestler Jake McCleary puts the squeeze on Culver's Adam Kinley midway through the third round of their championship match. McCleary won the title match by a decision of 7-4. Photo by Kim Lamb

The Elma Eagles from Elma, Washington flexed their collective wrestling muscle over the weekend to win the 16 team Jo-Hi Cosgrove Invitational in Joseph. Elma grabbed the overall team title compiling 236 points with 16 wrestlers finishing in the top six places during the two day event.

Culver finished second only seven points behind Elma with 229 points, with 12 grapplers finishing in the top six spots. The Culver Bulldogs finished higher in first and second place finishes with five and three respectively, as opposed to Elma with four and one, but the Eagles controlled the third through sixth place finishes with nine verses four.

Enterprise claimed the number three spot in team scoring with 134.5 points, with Joseph taking seventh with 81. Wallowa finished the tournament in 14th place with 25 points.

EHS 119 pounder Jake McCleary picked up the only first place finish of all of the Wallowa County wrestlers, winning all three of his matches. McCleary defeated Kyle Clough from Joseph and Kenny Slusser of Elma in the opening rounds to advance to the championship round on Saturday evening against Adam Kinley from Culver. McCleary had his work cut out for him in the match but eventually won by a decision of 7-4. "This is the toughest match that I have had all year without a doubt," McCleary said. " I've been wrestling kind of crappy up until now," he added. He attributed his win to a harder work ethic and working with teammate Austin Himes.

Himes finished second in the tournament after heading into the championship round with wins over Kevin Gutshall from Potlatch, a 15 second pin on Calvin Hodge from Umatilla and a 16-0 technical fall over Pat Lynn of Joseph.

Himes's nemesis at 130 pounds in the championship match was Aaron Samples from Elma. Samples completely dominated the match on his way to a 26-11 technical fall.

Collin Cunningham landed a second place finish for the Red and Black after defeating Monte McGuire from Condon and Eric McGreal of Potlatch in the opening rounds, both by pins. Cunningham faced Grant Union's Nick Steiner in the championship round only to lose by a 15-0 margin.

Undefeated 189 pounder Jimmy Van Belle's 16-0 win streak came to an end at the hands of Culver's Anthony Alley in the championship round with Alley taking a 10-6 decision. Neither wrestler was able to gain an advantage until late in the third round with Alley gaining back points to win the match.

Earlier in the tournament Van Belle pinned Sam Pack from Umatilla, Nathan Beal of Grant Union and David Bednar from Condon to advance to the championship match.

Joseph grappler Randall Eschler knocked off Elma's Richie Jordan and Owen Bickford in the 140 pound division to face Brian Stills of Culver for the Gold. Stills was victorious, posting an 8-3 decision over Eschler in a hard fought match.

Wallowa wrestler Brandon Frei pinned Sean Lynch from Pine Eagle and Grant Union's Justin Cernazanu on his way to a second place finish before being pinned by Kody Balderstrom of Elma in the third period of the championship match.

Joseph coach Dave Yost said that it was a great tournament that brought together a lot of quality wrestlers. Yost also commended the volunteers and staff that made the Jo-Hi Cosgrove Tournament a huge success.

Jo-Hi Cosgrove Invitational

Team Scores: 1. Elma 236.0; 2. Culver 229.0; 3. Enterprise 134.5; 4. Pine Eagle 130.0; 5. Grant Union 103.5; 6. Lowell 85.0; 7. Joseph 81.0; 8. Potlach 63.0; 9. Umatilla 62.0; 10. Elgin 59.0; 11. Imbler 46.5; 12. Condon 32.5; 13. Crane 28.5; 14. Wallowa 25.0; 15. Union 9.0; 16. Stanfield 3.0.

Individual results from Wallowa County wrestlers:

Enterprise: 103 Justin Moncrief, 3rd , 16 points (3-1); 112 Andy Wallace, 4th , 14 points (2-2); 119 Jake McCleary, 1st , 26 points (3-0); 125 Chad Sams, 6th, 9 points (2-3); 130 Austin Himes, 2nd, 23.5 points (3-1);145 Marcus Bridges 0 (0-2); 145 Collin Cunningham, 2nd, 22 points (2-1); 189 Jimmy Van Belle, 2nd, 24 points (3-1) = 134.5

Joseph: 112 Kyle Schoeningh (1-2 non-scorer); 119 Kyle Clough (1-2 non-scorer); 119 Thane Shetler, 4 points (1-2); 130 Pat Lynn, 3rd, 20 points (3-1); 135 Dylan Lewis (0-2 non scorer); 140 Randall Eschler, 2nd, 21 points (2-1); 140 Ryan Barstad, 5th (3-2 non scorer); 152 Aaron White, 4th, 14 points (2-2); 160 Mike Gamboa, 5th, 9 points (2-2); 171 Jason Harding, 4 points (1-2); 189 Clayton Lowe, 6th, 9 points (2-3); 215 Jessie Sanchez, 0 (0-2) = 81.0

Wallowa: 160 Brandon Frei, 2nd, 22 points (2-1); 171 Patrick Silveira, 3 points (1-2) = 25.0.

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