Hermiston needs big day to win 6th straight wrestling title

By the Tri-City Herald February 25, 2012 

PORTLAND -- The Hermiston Bulldogs had a solid first day at the Oregon Class 5A state wrestling tournament.

However, the five-time defending state champs will need a big finish today to make it six in a row.

Hermiston has five wrestlers in the semifinals and eight of 10 alive to place at Memorial Coliseum.

However, the Bulldogs are in fourth place in the team standings with 58 1/2 points, trailing first-place Dallas by 24 1/2 points and No. 2 Pendleton by 19 1/2.

Among Hermiston's semifinalists is senior Joey Delgado at 138, attempting to become the Bulldogs' first four-time state champion and the 20th in Oregon. Joining him is sophomore Tyler Berger (132), sophomore AJ Garcia (106), sophomore Isaac Aguilar (113) and senior Abraham Rodriguez (152).

Additionally, seniors CJ Dircksen (126) and Lupe Delgado (145) and junior Alec St. Hilaire (170) are a win away from placing. Lupe Delgado, a No. 1 seed, was upset 7-6 in the first round but bounced back with a 9-4 victory in the consolation round.

In the 3A ranks, Riverside has a trio of semifinalists, including unbeaten freshman Hans Rocwell (40-0) at 106, who had a bye and a second-period pin.

Seniors Trevor Graff (145) and Briton Hansen (182) are the Pirates' other semifinalists.

Hansen, who placed third last year, is chasing after his first title and hoping to join older brother Brigham Hanson, who won three in a row before graduation last year.

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