By Jeremy McDonald
HILLSBORO, Ore.– It was a long-time coming for McKay’s Tess Barnett and Sara Sargent when their goal of wrestling each other in a wrestling final came to fruition Saturday at Hillsboro High School.
It wasn’t the Rick Herrin Classic sure, but the Battle at the ‘Boro was a good substitute on this January day in the middle of wrestling season.
“It’s going to be so cool because all day we were like, ‘oh I hope we’re on opposite sides of the bracket so when we get to finals we could wrestle’,” said Barnett. “We wanted to do that at our tournament together, the Herrin…we were on the same side (of the bracket) and she end up not winning a match she was suppose to win for us to end up wrestling.”
The second chance to the dream idea came about when they combined the 110 and 115 pound brackets due to lack of participants to keep the brackets separate create a complete bracket for the tournament.
Barnett and Sargent pinned their first opponents, Barnett by the 2:49 mark of the match against Evergreen’s Brooke Sagendorf and Sargent a minute into hers against Hillsboro Ana Tasej.
But in the bracket semi-finals there were some hiccups in the way of the eventual match-up between the two teammates.
Sargent, who faced Century’s Samantha Loera in the semi’s, saw her gas tank of match endurance on ‘empty’ as she found herself down 6-3 after the first round of the match.
“It was tough,” said Sargent of the match. “Even though I was tired I didn’t want to give up. I just kept working.”
The match was fast-paced and quick in the first round, and it didn’t let up into the second as they started from the ground.
Sargent eventually got a reversal that was met by Loera’s reversal before being answered one last time by Sargent for one last reversal that she turned into a pin for the match win. It was 8-7 Loera leading into Sargent’s pin that sent Sargent into the finals.
For sure the win is nice, but it was a good learning experience for Sargent nonetheless on moving the match to her pace instead of her opponents.
“Just taking it slow and trying to figure out what they’re going to pull,” said Sargent.
In Barnett’s match, it was a matter of slowing it down as well as she had an situation in which she moved too fast through a move and had Banks Serenity Moody land on her funny, knocking the wind out of her.
Using the injury time, Barnett gathered herself and turned a pin to make sure her and Sargent had their match to close out the tournament.
“I would rush all the moves and (Moody) would start getting up so I had to take her down again so I wasn’t taking it slow,” said Barnett. “So I took it slow and dragged her down to the mat to take her down, got the bar and slowly ran it. Then I got the pin when I slowed it down.”
Barnett, in the match with her teammate in Sargent, would take first-place with a 20-7 decision at the 115-pound bracket. Being two of six Scots to place in the tournament.
Lesly Fierro was second at 130 pounts, Raquel Martinez was third at 120 pounds, Marlene Ramirez was fourth at 145 pounds, Jaleata Rodriguez was fifth at 125 pounds, and Brenda Ceja was sixth at 140 pounds.
Ceja herself to get to the placement round, had turned a 7-0 deficit entering the second round into a second round pin to advance in the consolation round Saturday.
“I was scared honestly because I have a lot of self-doubt, it’s kind of difficult for me so I’m actually pretty proud of myself of that performance,” said Ceja. “I have to find what I’m going to be doing from the beginning. If I’m on the bottom I already know what I’m going to do, I’m going to stand up and fend it off.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald