SEASIDE — The host team always puts on a good “Pac Rim” — as they call the annual Pacific Rim Armed Forces wrestling tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Seaside High School.
One difference this year — the Gulls were able to enjoy a little more team success than usual.
The Seaside wrestlers finished sixth out of a very competitive field of 17 schools, and the Gulls had two individual champions.
A year ago, Seaside’s highlight of the meet was a third-place individual finish.
In Saturday’s tournament, the Gulls scored big points with individual championships for sophomore Aidan Tice and senior Gio Ramirez.
Tice won the title in the 145-pound division with a 9-2 win over Corbett freshman Glen Leith-Ross in the championship match, while Ramirez scored a thrilling 7-6 victory over Ilwaco’s Chris Wood for the championship at 170 pounds.
The individual titles helped Seaside score 108 team points, as the Gulls went from a bottom-six finish in 2018 to a top six showing in 2019.
Class 6A Tigard won its second Pac Rim team title in three years, scoring 216.5 points to finish ahead of Scappoose (184.5), followed by Estacada (177), Yamhill-Carlton (156), Ilwaco (154) and the Gulls. Warrenton finished 11th, Knappa was 13th and Astoria 16th.
Tice cruised through the first two rounds, pinning his opponents in 32 seconds and 47 seconds, respectively. In the semifinals, he won by fall at the 5:42 mark over Elijah McCourtney of Madras to clinch a spot in the championship.
In the title match, Tice held a slim 4-2 lead into the third round, then scored a takedown and a near-fall for his final points and the victory over Leith-Ross.
Ramirez did a lot of wrestling at 170, as all four of his matches went the distance.
He defeated Reece White of Madras 7-5 in the semifinals, then won by a point over Wood in the championship.
Adding points for Seaside were Lawson Talamantez (fifth at 182) and Luke Nelson (fifth at 220).
Elsewhere, Knappa’s Robert Piña pinned his first two opponents to advance to the championship semifinals at 120 pounds. He eventually placed fourth, while Warrenton’s Austin Atwood took sixth in the same division.
Warrenton senior Gio Martinez finished third at 152, winning by fall over Ilwaco’s Brandon Duke in the consolation final.
For Ilwaco, Ghannon Wheldon took second at 132, with a loss to Tigard’s Zack Vorvick in the championship bout. Teammate Keegan Kemmer placed third at 138.
Astoria freshman Emma King had the best finish for the Fishermen, placing fifth at 106, winning a consolation final by fall over teammate Jack Phillips.