By Jeremy McDonald
BEND, Ore.– South Salem’s Julian Ortiz has seen the development of this program from his freshman year with 14 guys to now his senior year.
Coming off of his 285-pound title last year, Ortiz worked his way back to the district finals with back-to-back pins to defend his District Title against Mountain View’s Rory Eck.
Ortiz led 4-2 after a fast-paced first period that slowed into the second. Both traded points, and even during the third period was slow until the waning moments where Ortiz picked up crucial near-fall points to seal his second-straight District Title 9-3.
“It’s tremendous. I do it for my team,” said Ortiz. “We went from being a really low-down team with like 14 guys going to Districts my freshman year. Three made it to State and being able to represent my team as their captain, as a friend and everything else…it feels great doing it for them.”
The mental game will be the crucial for Ortiz entering State here in two weeks in Portland. Worry less about the external factors and worry more about the controllable that he can control and worry about.
“It’s going to be very important. I have a really bad habit getting distracted with things I can’t control. Family member can’t make it. Worry about my teammates making weight, things like that. This year I need to focus on me going to State,” said Ortiz.
Rene Cruz (126), Joseph Wozniak (195), Samiu Letisi (285) each finished third, qualifying for the State Meet. Jace Bolante (126, fifth), Steven Gonzales (138, sixth), Anton Chacon (152, fifth) placed at the District Meet at Mountain View High School.