Salem — The 2021 Battle For The Capital meet at McKay High School was slated to feature some super star power ahead of the bigger Perry Burlison Tournament on Saturday in Turner. While the big names did show up, some new faces got to break through and make an early statement this season, most notably from the host Royal Scots.
In the 100 class, McKay’s Sarahi Chavez defeated Oregon City’s Shelby Martin in 1:01 to capture the individual title. Fellow Royal Scot Sharlyn Gonzalez took home third with a defeat of Ashley Hernandez Moreno from Century. In the 105 and 110 classes, Sharnel Gonzalez and Angelina Paniagua both took home individual titles for McKay, solidifying three winners to kick off the season. In addition, Lizeth Chavez and Madylin Xiong wrestled for third place in the 110 class and buffing up the McKay points total. Nationally top-ranked Destiny Rodriguez of West Linn rolled in the title match for the 170, taking out Aubrey Murphy of West Albany in a mere 37 seconds to secure the top mark in the class.
As expected, the Hillsboro Spartans showed well in Salem, securing 191.5 points carried by Ayana Medina (140 champion), Alice Rickett (135 champion), Rebecca McGee (135 2nd), Gracianna Strickland (130 2nd), Namulondo O`Donnell (130 3rd), and Natalie De Leon (115 2nd). Taft had a strong showing on the afternoon, securing titles with Kadence James in the 130 and Ryan Sou in the 120. Julia Towers and Yaneli Hermosillo-Carrasco also finished in the Top 3 of their respective classes for Taft in the meet. All in all, host McKay took home the opening meet with 277 points, Hillsboro had a 2nd place showing with their 191.5, and Century took third with 179. Standouts Ariana Martinez, Ella Taplin, Jasmine Hopkins, and Bella Amaro took home titles for Forest Grove, West Albany, and Oregon City on Friday, kicking off strong starts to their 2021 campaign.
What We Learned
Yes, it’s the very first meet of the year. However, McKay dominates the discussion with an impressive showing of their depth. Their all-around consistency, toppled along with their convincing control of the lower classes, puts them as a hot pick to make some noise in the state tournament. Although they didn’t win a division, Century looked solid with three runners-up and solid performance in most weight classes, so keep an eye on them as the season goes. Outside the Royal Scots, Taft is definitely the biggest winner here, coming out of nowhere to take two individual titles, a runner-up spot, and a third-place finish among others. Taking fourth in a loaded tournament field is very impressive and look for them to continue to improve, possibly sneaking their way into a much deeper discussion.