Vale’s Tyler Richardson defeated Elbereth Ragsdale of Glencoe High School to win the championship at 140 pounds at the Class 3A state wrestling championships in Portland Saturday. (For the Enterprise/Ronald Bond, La Grande Observer)
PORTLAND – Tyler Richardson wasn’t expecting to be down five points within 30 seconds of her championship wrestling match Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
But her opponent, Elbereth Ragsdale of Glencoe High School, surprised Richardson.
“She came right off the whistle and I was starting slow like I usually do. I got rolled and she got her take down and near-fall points,” said Richardson.
Richardson said she was in danger of being pinned.
“Right off it was 5-0 and I was like this can’t be happening,” said Richardson.
Richardson quickly recovered and moments later pinned Ragsdale to clinch the 140-pound girls 3A championship title.
“It feels pretty good,” said Richardson about her prep success.
The Saturday victory marks Richardson’s second state title. She claimed gold in 2019 at 145 pounds.
Richardson said experience paid off at the 2020 state tourney.
“Last year I was a freshman obviously and I was a little bit more nervous. Before my finals match last year, I was pacing back and forth in the warm-up room. This year I was just more laid back,” said Richardson.
Three Nyssa wrestlers also claimed top honors Saturday. Senior Elijah Cleaver of Nyssa won his third state title. His opponent in the championship match, Riley Ellis of Taft, had to forfeit because of injury. Cleaver, wrestling at 152, finished the season 40-4.
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Senior Adam Simpson of Nyssa won the state title at 182, defeating Korbin Howell of Rainier. Simpson, who won a state title his sophomore year, finished the season 43-1.
Bulldog Junior Bryan Flores won the state title at 200, defeating Leithan Briggs of Harrisburg. Flores finished the season 36-12.
Nyssa’s Raul Ruiz claimed second at 132 pounds, dropping the title match to Justin Winn of Burns. Ruiz finished 31-13 on the season.
Bulldog junior Marlin Miles claimed third place at 258, defeating Averi Winn of Brookings-Harbor. Miles finished the season with a 35-8 mark.
The Nyssa boys wrestling team finished third with 112 points. Burns claimed team championship honors with 180 while Dayton was second with 144. 5 points.
“We expected to be in the top three. We are all pretty tough,” said Nyssa wrestling coach Luke Cleaver.
Vale’s Nathan Kimball clinched third in the 126-pound weight classification, beating Logan Chapman of Rainier. Kimball closed out the season with a 34-12 record and the Viking boys placed 16th in team standings at the tournament.
In girls competition, senior Noelle Acosta of Nyssa placed third at 155 pounds with a win over Mariah Cook of Thurston. Acosta finished the winter wrestling season at 29-5. Bulldog junior Vanessa Ruiz finished fourth at 120 pounds, losing to Ayana Medina of Hillsboro. She ended the year 24-16.
The Nyssa girls finished 20th with 20 team points. Thurston won the girls team title with 72 points. Vale girls finished ninth with 24 points.
For Ontario, Kyle Wulf finished fifth at 132 pounds.
The Tiger boys finished 16th with 38.5 points.
Ontario’s Abigail Osei finished the tournament with second place at 190 pounds.
Vale’s Nathan Kimball defeated Rainier’s Logan Chapman to claim third place in the 126-pound weight class at the Class 3A state wrestling tournament Saturday in Portland. (For the Enterprise/Ronald Bond/La Grande Observer)
Reporter Joe Siess contributed to this report.
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