By René Ferrán | Photos by Taylor Balkom
Three years. Three Class 6A state championships.
That’s Newberg junior Ayden Garver’s record following his 4-1 victory over Sprague’s Josh Camillo in Saturday’s 145-pound final at the Oregon Wrestling Association 6A State Championships at Newberg High School.
While Garver conceded that Saturday’s victory was “a very different environment” than Memorial Coliseum in Portland the past two years, that didn’t take anything away from the moment.
“I heard a lot of people weren’t really organizing things,” he said. “Obviously, a lot of people dropped out. They didn’t want to come in and do the work. But the best are always getting better, doing things for themselves.”
That certainly describes Garver, who next year could join the short list of four-time champions in state history.
If all goes according to plan, next February at Memorial Coliseum, Garver could be one of four wrestlers to join a club that now has 81 members (see below). Juniors Mauro Michel of Stayton and the Crescent Valley duo of Gabe Whisenhunt and James Rowley also won their third titles over the weekend.
The exclusive group of four-time state champions enshrined one more member this weekend when Crescent Valley senior Chance Lamer pinned Central sophomore Ethan Dunigan in 1:39 at the 5A meet in Cottage Grove. Lamer joined older brother Legend (now wrestling at Cal Poly) as one of 81 four-time champions in state history. Chance, a two-time national champion, has signed with Michigan. … The other three champions at this weight class were first-time titlists — Sweet Home junior Brayden Newport (4A), Burns junior Kevin Peasley (3A) and Reedsport senior Christian Solomon (2A/1A).