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Oregon (OSAA) 2A/1A wrestling state championships preview: Can anyone catch Culver? Host Bulldogs will have a meet-high 15 wrestlers

The 2A/1A Oregon high school wrestling state championships take place Saturday in Culver. Here's a look at what to expect.

The 2A/1A Oregon high school wrestling state championships take place Saturday in Culver. Here's a look at what to expect.

Top seeds (returning champions in italics)

106 Michael Miller, So., Illinois Valley

113 Micah Martinho, Fr., Illinois Valley

120 Brandon DePue, Sr., Vernonia

126 Garrett Burns, Sr., Imbler

132 Aaron Solomon, Sr., Reedsport

138 Chase Butner, Sr., Pine Eagle

145 Kellin Abbas, Jr., Culver

152 Wyatt Patzke, Sr., Lakeview

160 Isaiah Toomey, Sr., Culver

170 Kaleb Oliver, Sr., Oakland

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182 Morgan Ludwig, Sr., Lakeview

195 Ash Blomstrom, So., Toledo

220 Tommy Vigue, So., Coquille

285 Wylie Johnson, Jr., Culver

Most state qualifiers

1, Culver 15. 2, Illinois Valley 11. 3, (tie) Jefferson and Vernonia 7. 5, (tie) Central Linn and Toledo 6. 7, (tie) Elgin, Glide, Lakeview, Lowell and Regis 5.

What to watch

Business as usual for Culver

The Bulldogs returned to the top of the heap at the OWA state championships in June. Now, they’re ready to add another OSAA blue trophy to their case — their 14th in the 16 seasons since the state went from three to five state meets in 2007. 

Once all the wild cards were divvied out, they added four wrestlers to the 11 who qualified automatically at the district meet. Besides their three top seeds, they have No. 2 seeds at 113 (junior Debren Sanabria) and 120 (senior Noel Navarro). The rest of the field will have its work cut out to stay within hailing distance of the host team. 

3 contenders hope to end long trophy droughts

Could some long-suffering programs break up the usual suspects that make the podium teams? Three of the four teams that qualified the most wrestlers have not taken home a team trophy in more than a decade. 

Illinois Valley, which won its first district title since 2014, advanced the second-most qualifiers with 11 as it bids for its first trophy since placing fourth in Class 4A in 2009. Jefferson last took home a trophy in 2000 (second), while Vernonia’s drought is even longer — it’s been 30 years since the Loggers finished fourth.

Oakland’s Oliver goes for 3-peat, hopes to finish Oakers career unbeaten

When Oliver moved to Oakland in the summer of 2019, he was coming off a freshman season in which he missed qualifying for the Colorado 5A state tournament by one place.

He dominated the 132-pound ranks as a sophomore, then bulked up to 160 for the spring season, again finishing an undefeated season with a state title. He enters his final state meet once again unbeaten, improving his record in an Oakers singlet to 86-0 with his district title last week.