PHILOMATH — A substandard performance at the Reno Tournament of Champions is already in Chance Lamer’s rearview mirror.
The Crescent Valley High wrestler bounced back from a 1-2 finish last week to claim the 113-pound title at Wednesday’s five-team Benton County Championships, hosted by Philomath. Lamer scored a first-round pin of Corvallis’ Aziz Alshuwaiey to secure the first of five gold medals for the Raiders, who topped the team points race at 199.
CHS placed second with a score of 182, followed by Philomath (162), Santiam Christian (148) and Monroe (117).
“It’s kind of cool knowing I’m the best in the county,” said Lamer. The freshman standout previously won 106 titles at this month’s Perry Burlison Classic and North Bend Coast Classic.
CV teammates Hunter Eveland (120), Legend Lamer (138), Brock Love (182) and Leif Linvog (195) all topped the podium. Legend Lamer, a junior and two-time 5A state champion, is Chance’s older brother.
Monroe had three individual champions: Louden Ballard (132), Cody Sherman (220) and Henry Koch (285). The Spartans (Jaden Dart, 106; Serrano Patrick, 145), Warriors (Anthony Rath, 126; James Howell, 160) and Eagles (Jason Manzi, 152; Daniel Hudson, 170) all had two winners apiece.
Chance Lamer, who weighs a few pounds under 106, was happy to move on from Reno.
“I definitely wasn’t wrestling to my full potential down there,” he said. “But I think I learned from that and I should be a in a pretty good spot for state.”
The Lamer family already owns three Oregon state titles.
Legend was the 106 champion as a freshman before claiming the 120 title last season. Brawley Lamer topped the 132 state bracket as a senior in February.
“They are the ones that have made me love the sport of wrestling so much,” Chance Lamer said. “It’s just inspiring to watch them win. It makes me want to win, too.”
Patrick, a senior, pinned CHS teammate Baily Epperson in the first round to win the 145 title. Earlier in the day, Epperson upset top-seeded Luke Janssen of Santiam Christian in the semifinals.
It was the first Benton County Championships gold medal for Patrick, who placed second at 132 as a sophomore. He was the 145 champion at the Tim Patrick Invitational earlier this month.
Patrick began wrestling as a freshman and quickly took to the sport.
“I didn’t really want to wrestle, but I tried it out and kind of fell in love with it,” he said. “I just like slamming people.”
A season ago, Patrick received a tough draw at the Mid-Willamette Conference championships and failed to qualify for state. His goal for 2018 is simple.
“I just want to make it to state,” Patrick said.