By STONER BELL
For The Enterprise
CHS wrestlers gained tremendous experience in December and early January, participating in four tournaments. A large number of CHS wrestlers participated in each tournament, with several wrestlers posting wins and points for their team.
Both the Hood River Valley Elks Memorial Tournament and the Bill Geister Invitational Tournament consisted of primarily large Oregon high schools, giving the CHS wrestlers a chance to compete against top-quality athletes from the state of Oregon, both at the varsity and junior varsity level.
HRVHS Elks Tournament
On Jan. 6, CHS participated in Elks Wrestling Tournament hosted by Hood River Valley High School. Other schools participating were Hood River, Silverton, Reynolds, Madison, Beaverton, Centennial, and Lakeridge.
CHS entered eight varsity wrestlers in the eight-team tournament and placed seventh with 25 points.
CHS point-earners were Sam Mart (215 pounds) with one pin, one win by minor decision, and one loss by minor decision; Jensen Ladiges (152), one win by minor decision; Seth Bell (160), one win by minor decision; and Ethan Cranmer (119), one loss by minor decision.
Also wrestling varsity matches for CHS were Jim Price (171), Jesse Belvin (130), and Thor Lundh (112).
Columbia's top finishers were Ladiges, 4th; Mart, 5th; Bell, 6th; Belvin, 7th; Lundh, 7th; Cranmer, 8th; and Price, 8th.
In addition, CHS had 11 wrestlers enter the corresponding junior varsity tournament (name, weight class, record): Kevin Kreps, 130 (1-2); Jon Belvin, 125 (1-2); Miguel Reyes, 130 (0-3); Tate Peterson, 152 (1-2); Stephen Lundh, 152 (0-1); Ben Ward, 160 (0-3); Devin Bulick, 215 (0-2); Bo Ward, 171 (1-2); and Kyle VanLaar, 189 (1-2).
Bill Geister Invitational
On Dec. 15-16, 10 CHS wrestlers traveled to Clackamas (Ore.) High School to compete in the Bill Geister Invitational Tournament against wrestlers from 17 Oregon high schools.
Wrestlers posting winning matches were Austin Krentz (140), with a pin, and Seth Bell (160), with a pin.
In addition, CHS had seven wrestlers participate in the junior varsity four-man bracket tournament.
JV wrestlers winning matches were Jon Belvin (125), by pin; Ben Ward (160), with a pin; and Alex Herschbach (171) with a pin and a win by minor decision.
On Dec. 22, 15 CHS wrestlers traveled to Goldendale to participate in a round-robin dual meet with The Dalles Wahtonka junior varsity team, the Goldendale varsity team, and the Toppenish varsity team.
CHS wrestlers posting wins were Ethan Cranmer (119) with a win by minor decision; Finn Anderson (119) with a pin; Rees Stevenson (130) with a pin; Austin Krentz (140) with a pin; Denman Curry (152) with a pin; and Seth Bell (160) with a pin.
Onalaska Holiday Classic
On Dec. 30, CHS participated in the 12-team Onalaska Holiday Classic Tournament, finishing 11th with 27 points.
CHS point-earners were Kevin Kreps (125) with a pin and a win by technical fall; Jesse Belvin (130) with a pin and a win by minor decision; Jensen Ladiges (152) with a pin and a win by minor decision; Seth Bell (160) with a pin and a win by minor decision; Ethan Cranmer (119) with a win by minor decision; Ben Ward (171) with a pin; and Jim Price (171) with three pins.
(Stoner Bell is head coach of Columbia High's wrestling program.)