NAMPA, Idaho — Baker’s varsity wrestling team finished 24th out of 79 teams at the Rollie Lane Invitational Friday and Saturday, and coach Brandon Young was impressed by the Bulldogs’ performance.
Based on Baker’s results at the Nampa tournament, Young thinks this year’s team can surpass the 2019 squad’s school-best 4th place finish at the state tournament.
“It’s exciting to see the level we’re competing at,” Young said.
MaHonri Rushton, wrestling at 182 pounds, finished 5th at Rollie Lane to pace the Bulldogs.
In the championship quarterfinals Rushton was tied at 1 with Remington Winmill of Wendell, Idaho, the eventual champion in the weight class.
Winmill secured a takedown in the final 10 seconds to win 3-1.
After winning two consolation matches, in the consolation semifinal Rushton lost another close match, 5-3, to Kyle Knudtson of Crook County, the defending Class 5A state champion.
Young said Rushton will have a chance to avenge that loss at the Resers Tournament of Champions in late January.
Johnny Niehaus advanced to the heartbreak round at 126 pounds but lost to Ryeker Andersen of Century one match short of the consolation semifinals.
Young said Niehaus has “shown a ton of growth since last season and is looking to be one of the top contenders in 4A for the state of Oregon.”
Young said several other Baker wrestlers improved on their 2019 performance at Rollie Lane, one of the larger tournaments in the region, including Gavin Stone, Jake Eskew, Seth Rushton and Ian Feldmeier.
Baker’s new girls team finished 14th out of 52 teams, led by Bailey Cole, who finished 2nd at 170 pounds.
“Every week she gets better and better,” Young said of Cole. “She has a growth mindset and it is really going to pay off.”
Kaci Anderson advanced to the semifinals at 130 pounds before settling for 6th place.
Baker’s boys, ranked 4th in the state, will travel to La Grande Wednesday for a dual against the 2nd-ranked Tigers starting at 5 p.m.
Baker results from Nampa:
Caleb Shaw, 113 pounds, 0-3 record; Gavin Stone, 120, 4-2; Isael Duran, 120, 1-3; Johnny Niehaus, 126, 5-2; Hector Dominguez, 138, 0-3; Jake Eskew, 145, 4-2; Casey Vaughan, 145, 2-2; Ian Feldmeier, 152, 3-3; Seth Rushton, 152, 1-2; Gauge Bloomer, 160, 3-2; MaHonri Rushton, 182, 6-2; Alex Ritter, 195, 1-2; Colt Cobb, 195, 0-3; Jaden Martin, 285, 4-2
McKay Anderson, 116, 1-2; Kayla Springer, 116, 0-2; Kaci Anderson, 130, 2-3; Cassie Pettit, 130, 1-2; Rebecca Daniels, 143, 0-2; Julianna Sandberg, 155, 0-2; Shayna Ruby, 155, 0-2; Bailey Cole, 170, 2-1