Two Grizzlies qualify for state meet

A pair of Ashland High juniors will head to Portland next week for the Class 5A state wrestling championships after qualifying during the District 4 meet Saturday at Churchill High School in Eugene.

Ashland's Mason Montgomery dominated the 195-pound weight class, pinning both wrestlers he faced to claim the title, while Cody Eisenberg qualified for state at 220. Usually, wrestlers must finish in the top four to qualify for state, but Eisenberg, who placed fifth, will head to Portland in place of another wrestler who was injured at districts.

Montgomery, who is 36-0, pinned his first opponent then advanced to the final when his semifinal opponent forfeited. In the final, Montgomery pinned Zach Andruss of Redmond in 3 minutes, 58 seconds.

"He's wrestling very well," Ashland wrestling coach Tony Champion said of Montgomery, who placed third at state last season. "He's really matured as a wrestler. He's being much more patient, he's staying in good position …and he's in excellent condition, physically."

Champion added that Montgomery, who has "at least 25 pins," has yet to be taken down this season.

"He's always on the offensive," Champion said, "but he doesn't waste his shots."

Eisenberg pinned Michael Hageman of Bend in 1:15 in the fifth-sixth place match at districts, capping an up-and-down performance.

Champion believes Eisenberg should compete for a top-six finish at state. "If Cody wrestles like he can wrestle," Champion said, "he can have a really good showing at state."

The state championships are set for Feb. 22-23 at Portland's Memorial Coliseum.

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