CULVER — Joseph’s Jett Peterson carried the banner for Wallowa County at the 2A/1A state wrestling tournament in Culver Saturday, Feb. 26, winning two matches to finish one match shy of placing at 113 pounds.
Peterson, the lone representative for the Eagles at state, shook off an early loss to eventual state-champion Micah Martinho of Illinois Valley to put himself in position to place at the tournament.
After the first-round loss by fall to Martinho, Peterson pinned Gabby Delapena of Enterprise, then took just 40 seconds to pin Aiden Guest of Culver to stay alive in the consolation bracket. But he was eliminated following a loss by fall to Hunter Mersch of Jefferson in the consolation semifinals, wrapping up his tournament at 2-2.
Joseph head coach Tim Kiesecker said Peterson wrestled well, and noted that “he won a match against a kid (Guest) that he lost to the week before at district. What I am most excited about (is) how the kids can’t wait for next season.”
Peterson’s effort netted Joseph seven team points to tie for 33rd.
Peterson ended up being the only Wallowa County wrestler to win a match at state. Delapena, after a first-round bye, was pinned by Adam Reyes of Kennedy before the matchup against Peterson, which saw her fall in 2:04.
Tegan Evans suffered a loss by fall to Shade Starr of Colton with just 19 seconds to go in their first-round match, then ran into district rival Reece McConnell of Elgin, who pinned him in 3:52.
Will Ogden was handed a first-round loss by fall to top-seed Ash Blomstrom of Toledo, then faced Clancy Rutledge of Culver, who eliminated Ogden with a 12-4 major decision.
And freshman Gunnar McDowell dropped a first-round match to Tommy Vigue of Coquille with less than 90 seconds to go, then was eliminated after a 10-0 major decision loss to Cameron Diacetis of Regis.
“Even though we didn’t have the tournament we really would (have) liked we’re still super proud of the accomplishments of the kids,” Enterprise head coach Court Fent said.
Culver ran away with the team title with 182 points, more than 80 ahead of runner-up Illinois Valley. It’s the 13th OSAA wrestling title won by the program.