The host team placed third out of 22 schools at Ilwaco High School’s annual “Beach Brawl” wrestling tournament, held Saturday.
While Ilwaco took third in a field of mostly Washington schools, Warrenton was one of the few Oregon schools taking part. The Warriors wrestled in their final nonleague tournament before opening postseason action Feb. 15, when Warrenton hosts the district meet.
For host Ilwaco, Keegan Kemmer, Ghannon Whelden and Serena Kuhn all took first place for the Fishermen in their respective weight classes.
At 138 pounds, Kemmer had a 24-second pin in the quarterfinals to set up a semifinals match against Lincoln’s Garret Van Doren. Kemmer trailed in the final minute before tying the match with an escape. Then, with both wrestlers on their feet, Kemmer managed a takedown in the final 30 seconds and kept Van Doren down the rest of the match to close out the win.
In the title bout, Kemmer scored an 11-1 decision over DeMichael McGill of R.A. Long.
Whelden won close matches in his final two rounds at 132, defeating Warrenton’s Nic Pior 4-2 and Ocosta’s Daniel Quinby, 7-5.
In addition to singing the National Anthem before the tournament, Kuhn dominated her bracket, going 3-0, including a 38-second pin in the finals.
For Warrenton, “It’s a fun tournament every year, and our last chance to settle scores against local, non-league competition,” said Warrenton coach Corey Conant. “This year we finished on the low side of the top 10, but were really pleased with the way our our team wrestled.
“We’ve been working on some basics and getting some small things figured out before the district tournament, and we made a lot of progress today,” he said. “Almost every wrestler picked up wins and was able to apply our work in the (practice) room, to their work on the mat.”
The Warriors had two wrestlers place third individually.
At 132 pounds, Pior “won a fantastic overtime match by staying calm and having great conditioning,” Conant said. “He is really strong at this weight.”
Sophomore Triston Scott took third at 285, as Conant says, “Triston has continued his run of beating quality opponents, and is getting smarter in every match.”
Elsewhere, fifth-place finishes went to freshman Austin Atwood (120), Armin Rodriguez (126), Giovanni Martinez (145) and Sam Irwin (195).
For the Warrenton girls, sophomore Marlie Annat took second at 145 pounds. Noel O’Bryan and Libby Renhert tied for second at 190, and sophomore Ella Gibbs placed second at 130 by injury default. Senior Sahanna Rodriguez was third at 100.