PORTLAND — Sawyer Myres had Kyle Beal right where he wanted him.
Trailing 4-3 entering the third period, Myres had survived an early push from the top-seeded David Douglas High wrestler and was in position to steal the 138-pound title at the OSAA 6A state championships. But Beal unleashed a magnificent final-round performance Saturday night to claim a 12-5 decision over the West Albany senior at Memorial Coliseum.
“Sawyer wrestled really well all tournament and he just got after it,” Bulldogs coach Casey Horn said. “We were right where we wanted to be going into that third period, and we had the legs multiple times. Beal reached into his bag of tricks and he pulled some stuff out that he hadn’t shown all year. We executed everything we wanted to do, he was just better than us tonight.”
Beal had a quick takedown and two-point near fall to grab a 4-0 lead in the opening period.
The second-seeded Myres escaped in the second round and got within 4-3 on a takedown.
“I was feeling good,” Myres said when he closed to within a point. “I was just feeling like as long as I keep going, keep the motor going, it was going to be OK.”
Earlier this year, Beal defeated Myres 15-5 at the Northwest Duals in Albany. Beal was the 113 state champion as a freshman in 2015 and placed second at 138 as a junior.
Myres, the Greater Valley Conference district champion, placed sixth at state last year. He has signed to wrestle for Umpqua Community College next winter.
“I have to give all the thanks to my coaches and God,” Myres said. “I’m really grateful for it.”
The Bulldogs placed 10th in the team points race with a score of 71.5. It was their top finish in four years at the 6A classification.
“Just a phenomenal effort by our kids,” Horn said. “We are a top-10 program in 6A. That’s pretty cool.”
Roseburg won the team title at 252 while Newberg (223.5), Sprague (192), David Douglas (161) and Aloha (137.5) rounded out the top five.
West senior Mitchell Sorte placed sixth at 160. A season ago, Sorte was the GVC champion at the same weight and went on to take third at state.
Teammate Caleb Hart, a freshman, finished sixth at 113.
All four of Sweet Home’s semifinal entries were unable to advance to the finals.
Senior Bryce Coulter wound up placing third at 195 while teammates Jackson Royer (126), Travis Thorpe (138) and Ricky Yunke (145) all took fourth.
The Huskies, who were the defending state champions, finished third in the team points race with a score of 146. Crook County, last year’s runner-up, collected 138.5 points to run away with the team title.
In the girls tournament, Sweet Home’s Lexi Schilling and Marissa Kurtz faced off in the 105 finals. Kurtz won by a 6-0 decision.