VANCOUVER — The Union Titans once again flexed their muscles at the Clark County Wrestling Tournament this weekend, easily outdistancing Battle Ground for their eighth straight boys team title at the annual event.
Union High School opened in 2007 and coach John Godinho’s wrestlers didn’t take long to put a stranglehold on the Clark County Tournament, now in its 46th year. The Titans had nine wrestlers advance to the finals of their respective weight divisions with five claiming Clark County title. Union had 263 points, followed by Battle Ground with 159. Third-place Prairie had 152.5.
The 46th annual Clark County Wrestling Tournament was held Friday and Saturday at Hudson’s Bay High School. Union’s boys and Washougal’s girls claimed the team titles. ClarkCountyToday.com’s videographer/photographer Mike Schultz shot this video during Saturday’s semifinals. Video by Mike Schultz
Union’s Ethan Rotondo earned his third Clark County title. The returning state champion pinned Ridgefield’s Dylan Draper in just 42 seconds in the final match in the 113-pound division. Teammate Vitaliy Manolov followed with the individual title at 120 pounds, pinning Evergreen’s Ryan Logan in 3:09 of the final match. Manolov now has consecutive Clark County titles.
Other Union champions included Danny Snediker, who earned a 19-7 decision over Washougal’s Tanner Lees in the finals of the 145-pound division. Teammate J.J. Talavera claimed the individual title at 152 pounds with a 9-4 decision over La Center’s Jeff Mayolo, who was the No. 1 seed in the weight class.
Tommy Strassenberg was Union’s fifth individual champion. Strassenberg, a senior who has placed at the state tournament three consecutive years, pinned Evergreen’s Dylan Goodpaster (1:46) in the 170-pound finals.
Washougal’s girls were as equally dominant in the tournament as the Union boys. The Panthers had five individual champions en route to earning 220 team points, easily outdistancing second-place Skyview (116.5) and third-place Union (102.5).
Senior Morgan Ratcliff became a three-time Clark County champion when she decisioned Union’s Krista Warren 6-4 in a competitive finals match in the 145-pound division. Teammate Jeanna Beaver claimed the 115-pound title with a pin (1:01) over La Center’s Shelby Kysar.
Other Washougal champions included Jaden Robb, who pinned (1:05) Skyview’s Abby Palandrani in the 125-pound finals, 140-pounder Mialisa Oster pinned (1:08) Union’s Marissa Montano in the finals and Abby Lees earned the 235-pound championship by pinning (1:43) Fort Vancouver’s Abigail Mandiola in the finals.
Battle Ground’s Sierra Joner became a four-time Clark County Tournament champion when she pinned Fort Vancouver’s Marina Sivaya in just 34 seconds in the finals at 120 pounds. Joner is undefeated this season.
Sierra was one of three Joner’s to enjoy success at this year’s Clark County Tournament. Her brother Chris Joner finished second at 138 pounds, losing by an 11-4 decision in the finals to Hudson’s Bay’s Jon McMillan. Chris Joner, also a senior, had won two previous Clark County individual titles.
Battle Ground freshman Brett Joner, Chris and Sierra’s nephew, claimed the individual title at 106 pounds, pinning Union’s Brandon Esperto in the finals in 3:23.
Other highlights of this year’s tournament included a pair of Ridgefield individual champions in the boys competition. Senior Trevor Newburn returned as a Clark County champion with a 7-0 decision over Union’s Quintin Krogstad in the 126-pound finals and teammate Wyatt Gaspar, also a senior, upset top-seeded Noah Talavera (Union) with a 9-6 decision in the 132-pound finals.
Skyview’s Jackson McKinney remained undefeated for the season with an individual championship at 182 pounds. McKinney, who claimed an individual title at the Pacific Coast Championships earlier this season, had an 11-1 decision over Mountain View’s Alton Culver in the finals.
Mike Garrison earned the first individual title for King’s Way Christian with a 5-2 decision over Evergreen’s Kevin Williams in the finals at 195 pounds. Garrison entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed in the 195-pound division, making him the lowest-seeded wrestler to claim a boys individual title.