Wrestling - Crater
Over the past six years, Crater and Hermiston have
dominated the Class 4A and recently formed Class 5A
wrestling scene. The Comets held a four-year run on
the Class 4A title from 2003-06 before Hermiston captured
the Class 5A crown the last two winters. Led by
senior Brock Gutches, who won the state title in the
145-pound weight class last year, the Comets are hoping
to return to title form this year. Gutches has
advanced to the state finals the past three seasons and
is a two-time participant at the Junior Nationals in
Fargo, N.D. "He's very competitive and very smart,"says
head coach Greg Haga. "It doesn't take long (for him) to
figure out his opponents." Senior Kenny Fahndrich finished
third at state at 160, while classmates Darrio
Mobley and Brandon Hesse nabbed fourth at 189 and
the heavyweight division, respectively. Skyler Prislac
will move up from 103 to compete at 112 in his final
year. "We return 12 seniors,"Haga says. "A couple of the
other guys were a match away. Those guys will be back
and should be placers." Last season Crater recorded 18
wins and secured its fifth straight Southern Sky League
championship, but the Comets are aiming even higher
this time around. "It's been a couple years since we had
a state title and that's our goal," Haga says. "From 152
up, we will be pretty solid. That will be important for us
to go to state."
Girls' Basketball - Santiam
Only a tough Portland Christian team stood in the way of Santiam and perfection last year. Portland
Christian handed the Wolverines their only loss of the season before Santiam bounced back to defeat
Kennedy and finish third in Class 2A. The lone blemish could motivate the squad, which returns a pair of
senior scorers in Heidi Halemeier, who earned Class 2A first team All-State honors, and Ashley Walczak,
who poured in 17 in the third-place consolation game.
Boys' Basketball - Tualatin
Any team that features players like Brandon Troxel and Anthony Freeman — both ESPN RISE All-Area
picks — on its roster is guaranteed to generate some excitement. The senior duo helped the Timberwolves
to a 21-6 mark last season and continued to develop over the summer while playing with the Oregon
Lords AAU team. Tualatin had its season end in a disappointing quarterfinal loss to state champ Grant
last year. With the key members back for both clubs, a finals rematch could be in the cards.
Girls' Swimming - Lakeridge
Powered by a third-place finish from its 200 medley relay team, Lakeridge grabbed fifth overall at the
Class 6A championships last year. While the foursome will be without graduated star Lydia Burris, sophomore
Amy Wiley, junior Julia Dahl and senior Brittany Anderson, who combined to set a team record of
1:50.83 last season, return for Lakeridge. The Pacers recorded a 6-1 mark and won the district championship
last winter but have their sights set on finishing with a state crown this time around.
BREAK OUT TEAMS
WRESTLING – REDMOND
Senior Taylor Johnson finished second at the Class 6A tournament at 189 pounds.
GIRLS' BASKETBALL – MARIST
Junior post Allie Rogers helped the Spartans to a 22-10 mark last season.
BOYS' SWIMMING – SUMMIT
The defending Class 5A champs return a bevy of talent, led by junior 200 freestyle champ Nic Morrell.
GIRLS' SWIMMING – CLEVELAND
Lily Donohue will contend for the 100 butterfly crown after finishing second in Class 5A as a junior.