Recognize Oregon

Updated: November 20, 2008, 4:38 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

Wrestling - Crater



Over the past six years, Crater and Hermiston have dominated the Class 4A and recently formed Class 5A wrestling scene. The Comets held a four-year run on the Class 4A title from 2003-06 before Hermiston captured the Class 5A crown the last two winters. Led by senior Brock Gutches, who won the state title in the 145-pound weight class last year, the Comets are hoping to return to title form this year. Gutches has advanced to the state finals the past three seasons and is a two-time participant at the Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D. "He's very competitive and very smart,"says head coach Greg Haga. "It doesn't take long (for him) to figure out his opponents." Senior Kenny Fahndrich finished third at state at 160, while classmates Darrio Mobley and Brandon Hesse nabbed fourth at 189 and the heavyweight division, respectively. Skyler Prislac will move up from 103 to compete at 112 in his final year. "We return 12 seniors,"Haga says. "A couple of the other guys were a match away. Those guys will be back and should be placers." Last season Crater recorded 18 wins and secured its fifth straight Southern Sky League championship, but the Comets are aiming even higher this time around. "It's been a couple years since we had a state title and that's our goal," Haga says. "From 152 up, we will be pretty solid. That will be important for us to go to state."



Girls' Basketball - Santiam


Only a tough Portland Christian team stood in the way of Santiam and perfection last year. Portland Christian handed the Wolverines their only loss of the season before Santiam bounced back to defeat Kennedy and finish third in Class 2A. The lone blemish could motivate the squad, which returns a pair of senior scorers in Heidi Halemeier, who earned Class 2A first team All-State honors, and Ashley Walczak, who poured in 17 in the third-place consolation game.



Boys' Basketball - Tualatin


Any team that features players like Brandon Troxel and Anthony Freeman  both ESPN RISE All-Area picks  on its roster is guaranteed to generate some excitement. The senior duo helped the Timberwolves to a 21-6 mark last season and continued to develop over the summer while playing with the Oregon Lords AAU team. Tualatin had its season end in a disappointing quarterfinal loss to state champ Grant last year. With the key members back for both clubs, a finals rematch could be in the cards.



Girls' Swimming - Lakeridge


Powered by a third-place finish from its 200 medley relay team, Lakeridge grabbed fifth overall at the Class 6A championships last year. While the foursome will be without graduated star Lydia Burris, sophomore Amy Wiley, junior Julia Dahl and senior Brittany Anderson, who combined to set a team record of 1:50.83 last season, return for Lakeridge. The Pacers recorded a 6-1 mark and won the district championship last winter but have their sights set on finishing with a state crown this time around.



BREAK OUT TEAMS



WRESTLING  REDMOND
Senior Taylor Johnson finished second at the Class 6A tournament at 189 pounds.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL  MARIST
Junior post Allie Rogers helped the Spartans to a 22-10 mark last season.

BOYS' SWIMMING  SUMMIT
The defending Class 5A champs return a bevy of talent, led by junior 200 freestyle champ Nic Morrell.

GIRLS' SWIMMING  CLEVELAND
Lily Donohue will contend for the 100 butterfly crown after finishing second in Class 5A as a junior.