Sweet Home clinched its ninth 4A wrestling state team title and first since 2017 on Friday. (Jim Beseda photo)
Sweet Home clinched its ninth 4A wrestling state team title and first since 2017 on Friday. (Jim Beseda photo)

Before this week, the family record for consecutive individual state wrestling championships in the Sieminski household stood at three and was shared by Clint, Jacob and Kyle.

On Friday, the three-way tie was broken.

Sweet Home’s Kyle Sieminski won the Class 4A 120-pound weight class to become the school’s first four-time individual champion while also leading the Huskies to the team title during the finals of the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union wrestling championships at Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Sieminski won by third-round fall over third-seeded Jak Hopkes of Tillamook in the final — one of three individual titles claimed by Sweet Home wrestlers on the night.

Freshman Jess Landtroop won the 106-pound title and junior Ashton Swanson placed first at 175 as the Huskies outscored Crook County 285-230.5 to clinch their ninth team title and first since 2017.

The night’s spotlight, though, belonged to Sieminski, who now owns the family bragging rights over his dad, Clint, and his older brother, Jacob.

Clint placed second as a Sweet Home freshman before winning three straight individual titles from 1997-99, while Jacob placed fourth as a freshman and then reeled off three titles in a row for the Huskies from 2021-23.

“I know how good my brother and my dad were,” Kyle Sieminski said. “I’m the first four-time champ, so that feels pretty good. Now, I get to bully them a little bit about it, yeah.

“Deep down, I knew I was going to come out on top. I worked so hard. I pushed myself a lot. So, deep down, I knew that I would get it. I just couldn’t wait.”

Sieminski plowed through this year’s 120-pound bracket, going 4-0 with four pins, winning his first match in 59 seconds, his second match in 49 seconds, and his third match in 61 seconds.

The final wasn’t much of a match, either.

Hopkes, who lost by an 11-0 decision to Sieminski earlier in the season, didn’t put up much of a fight Friday after surrendering the initial takedown and then drew a warning for stalling midway through the first round. He trailed 9-0 in the third round when he scored a reversal with 35 seconds left. Sieminski responded with a reversal and then caught Hopkes in a cradle, pinning the Tillamook junior’s shoulders to the mat with one second remaining.

“It felt pretty good to get the fall, just because I wanted to pin my through the tournament. I was a little frustrated at first when I couldn’t get to my arm bar and my wrist-and-half, but I guess the cradle worked out.”

Sweet Home coach Steve Thorpe had nothing but high praise for his newly minted four-time state champ.

“Kyle is on a pretty short list with a pretty incredible fraternity of wrestlers to win four state titles. Not many people can say they’ve done that. I’ve never coached one.

“You can say whatever you want about our situations and stuff that we’re in here, but Kyle Sieminsksi won his first state title in June on a 110-degree day during the Covid pandemic. He won his next state title in a one-day tournament at Cascade High School. And then last year, after a snowstorm, he won again in a one-day tournament. He has never done it easy.

“People can say, ‘Well, there are six classifications” … No, he has never done it easy. This is the first regular state tournament in his life. So, you know what? Hats off to him.”

Clint Sieminski also marveled at everything his son has accomplished over the past four years. And if that means he might take some ribbing from Kyle beginning Saturday morning, he’s okay with that, too.

“Kyle’s pretty awesome,” he said. “He's definitely talented and he's a great kid. I was tough, but he’s definitely better than I ever was, and I tell him that all the time. I wouldn’t have wanted to wrestle him. He’s just more talented than I was. 

“I mean, we were tough back then, but I feel like wrestling has changed a lot and I think there’s more depth now than there was then, for sure. And he’s just really talented. A great kid and a great wrestler.

“I always wanted my boys to be better than I ever was and they are. Both of them are. And I’ve got my youngest, Cody, coming up. I’m sure he will be, too.”

The other Sweet Home wrestlers who made their way to the awards podium on Friday included junior Jacob Landtroop (second at 150), sophomore Luke Rosa (second at 165), senior Jayce Willmer (third at 126), sophomore Titus Hardy (fourth at 113), and senior David Steagall (sixth at 190).

Top-seeded Kai Carson of La Grande won by a 2-1 decision over Crook County’s Alberto Flores to capture the 132-pound title and become a three-time state champion, while Henley’s Dylan Clark (126), Crook County’s Gavin Sandoval (190), and Astoria’s Matthew Evans (285) each earned a second consecutive state title.


Harrisburg junior Luke Cheek was thrilled after he clinched the 120-pound title to become a three-time individual state champion on Friday night.

He was even more excited when two of his teammates — freshman Andrei Donayri at 106 and Brody Buzzard at 165 — also won individual titles and 12 others reached the podium, helping the Eagles to run away with their first 3A state team championship.

Talk about a team effort.

The Eagles started with 17 qualifiers and ended up with three first-place finishers, three seconds, three thirds, four fourths, and two fifths, giving them 285 points to runner-up Burns’ 155.

Banks placed third with 143.5, and three-time defending champion La Pine finished fourth with 140.5

“Our goal was to win the state title as a team, and we got there,” Cheek said. “Right after football and cross country season ended, we got into the room and started working.

“The first thing that came to mind after we finished third last year was, ‘We’re winning this thing this year.’ Some of our guys didn’t want to come back — or maybe thought about not coming back — but everybody put the time and the effort in and we got it done.”

Any big surprises?

“I’m not surprised,” said Cheek, who pinned his way to the 120 title. “I know the guys we have. They have big hearts, they wrestled through everything no matter what, and we were all there for one another.

“Yeah, we could have done better in some scenarios. There were some bumps to the path we were on, and there's always going to be some people who fall short. But it’s what happens if you fall short. You have to wrestle back if you lose and that’s where a team does great.

“Six guys in the final. Fifteen state placers. That’s amazing. You’ve got to love it.”

Donayri, the 106-pound freshman, helped set the tone Friday when he used a last-second takedown to win by a 5-4 decision over second-seeded Andres Mendoza of Jefferson.

“Originally, I was just looking for a shot, maybe grab an ankle,” Donayri said of the final takedown. “I ended up with an over-hook and I decided to wait for the perfect time to throw it. I’ve actually dreamed about this since the beginning of the season.”

In the 120 final, Cheek and Yamhill-Carlton’s Cayden Hill battled to an early 4-4 tie before Cheeks scored a takedown and put Hill on his back with 23 seconds remaining in the first round — his third first-round fall of the tournament.

At 165, Buzzard rode a pair of takedowns to a 4-0 decision over Rainier’s Derek Katon to win his second consecutive state title.

There were four other three-time champions crowned Friday: Burns junior Kale Connell at 126, La Pine junior Landyn Philpott at 138, La Pine junior Devon Kerr at 144, and Burns junior Easton Kemper at 175.

Joining Buzzard among the two-time champions were Banks senior Mishael Mauck at 190 and Elmira senior Brett Highburger at 285.


Toledo used the strength of four state champions — seniors Logan Gerding at 132, Christian Retherford at 144, Ash Blomstrom at 190, and Cody Vance at 215 — to clinch the school’s first state wrestling team title.

Senior Sterling Buckley (150) and junior Kolby Coxen (285) added third-place finishes to help lift the Boomers to a 138-121.5 victory over Willamina in the team race.

Camas Valley finished third with 101 points, and Illinois Valley fourth with 100.

“We’ve been working toward that for a very long time,” Retherford said. Every year, we’re getting closer and closer. All my buddies, we’ve been wrestling since we were 3 years old and this year in the room just felt different. I think we really pushed it in the room to seal the deal on a state team title.

“It was our goal all year. That’s what we were looking for. A lot of us, that was our main goal, getting a state team title.”

After Thursday’s opening round, the team scores had Willamina in first place with 65.5 points, Illinois Valley second with 42, and Toledo third with 40. It looked as if Willamina was in the driver’s seat with nine wrestlers in the semifinals, while Illinois Valley had four and Toledo six.

Then on Friday, Willamina stumbled. Only one of the Bulldogs’ nine semifinalists reached the finals, leaving the door open for either Illinois Valley or Toledo to crash through.

By the time the third-place matches wrapped up, Toledo had trimmed Willamina's lead to 101.5-101.

And after Gerding won by a 4-2 decision over top-seeded Zak Chatelain of Nestucca in the 132-pound final, the Boomers were in front to stay.

“A team title would mean everything to me," Gerdin said immediately after his match. I’m just so proud of the rest of my team. They've all wrestled with me since I was a little kid. I love the way I ended my senior season with them and I want to see them do just as good as me, if not better.

“This is the best sport in the world and I’ve just got to say, don’t take it for granted, because it goes by really fast. I want to thank my coaches because they helped me through every second of it, and I want to thank my dad because he put me in this sport.”

When Retherford won his final by a second-round fall, Blomstrom won by a first-round fall, and Vance won by a 3-1 decision in overtime, it was all icing on the cake.

“As far as the final score goes, I don’t know if I ever knew we had a shot until we did it,” Toledo coach Tony Blomstrom said. “I really didn’t. Willamina is a powerhouse with an awesome program. 

“I feel like to put together a good team is one thing. To put together an awesome program is a whole other thing, which is what you see with Willamina and Culver and Sweet Home and Harrisburg. They have these ‘programs.’ And that’s our ultimate goal. This was a good year, but we have a lot more work to do.”

The hope is that winning a state title will attract some new talent to replace the departing seniors.

“These guys mean way more to me than just being wrestlers. When you’ve been when some of them since they were 3, 4, and 5 years old … it’s all about the men that they’ve become because of this and I’m glad they got to see the fruit of that.”

Illinois Valley senior Mike Miller used a third-round pin over La Pine’s Hunter Buck to clinch the 113-pound title and win his fourth consecutive individual state championship.

Tied at 7-7 in the third round, Miller took the lead with a takedown and then put Buck on his back a few moments later.

“All the glory to God. Thank you for every blessing I’ve received,” Miller said. “That was the toughest one so far, but I pulled through. Yeah, there was pressure, but pressure is good. That’s what keeps me alive out there. So, I’m thankful for pressure.”

4A/3A/2A/1A girls

La Grande junior Lyndie Isaacson was on top of her game at just the right time Friday, knocking off second-seeded Taylor Echeverria of Crook to win the 115-pound weight class and help lift the Tigers to the team title.

Maleigha Azure added a second-place finish at 125, and Paige Allen (135) and Maddy Armstrong (170) each placed third as the Tigers finished with 102 points to runner-up Harrisburg’s 80.

Crook County finished third with 75 points, and Grant Union and Oakridge tied for fourth with 64.

Isaacson said the experience she gained after placing third at 105 pounds at last year’s state tournament worked in her favor Friday, starting with her 7-1 decision over top-seeded Emmalee Brissette of Oakridge in the semifinals.

“I just came ready to wrestle,” Isaacson said.

The Isaacson-Echeverria final was a rematch of the district final, which Echeverria won by a 6-5 decision — one more source of motivation for Isaacson on Friday.

“When I was warming up, I just thought about what my first takedown would be,” Isaacson said. “I’d wrestled her before at district, so I was preparing for what she was good at and playing out different moves in my mind.”

Isaacson not only scored the initial takedown, but she also took Echeverria down to her back and pinned her with 29 seconds remaining in the first round.

“I had a collar-tie on her and then I had her in a front headlock,” Isaacson said. “I held her there for a second, then I got my hand free and then put her in a standing cradle and took her to her back. I think that was probably the best possible outcome that there could have been.

“It’s been my goal for this whole year. I’ve been working at it a lot, I feel like this was a great opportunity for me, and I’m excited for next year as well.”

In the 235 final, Grant Union junior Mallory Lusco pinned top-seeded Breanna Meek of North Valley with 11 seconds remaining in the third round to clinch her third consecutive individual state title.

“I decided to take things into my own hands this match,” said Lusco, who trailed 1-0 before a reversal with 38 seconds left put her in position for the pin. “It feels amazing. I lost my grandma before the season and I promised myself that I had to do it for her. So, that was a driving factor.”

Other returning champions who found their way back to the top of the podium Friday included Oakridge’s Vanessa Keller (105), Crook County’s MaKenna Duran (120), Sweet Home’s Bailey Chafin (125), and Vale’s Ava Collins (140).