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Pairings for the Oregon School Activities Association wrestling championships were posted Sunday night as senior Brooks Stearns, sophomore Issiah Blackburn and freshman Blaise Pindell prepare for this week’s statewide event.

Stearns qualified as the district runner-up in the 182-pound division and he was pegged as the No. 5 seed for the state tournament. Stearns will go up against Baker freshman Alex Ritter in the opening round.

Blackburn wrestles at 170 and earned a No. 8 seed in his weight division. He opens in the first round with a bout against Madras freshman Reece White. If Blackburn is able to win, a likely opponent in the quarterfinals would be top-seeded Caleb Werner, a senior from Tillamook.

Pindell, who worked his way to state with a dramatic finish and fourth place at districts, will open in the 126 division against No. 3 seed Isaiah Franco, a junior from Klamath Union.

The tournament, which is staged at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland, begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday with the first round and quarterfinals as well as the early consolation rounds. On Saturday, the action is split up into two sessions with the first beginning at 8:30 a.m. with the semifinals, consolation rounds and the third- through fifth-place matches. The evening session starts at 7 p.m. and includes the championship finals in all classifications.

SKIING: Philomath High junior Luc Barnes has returned to the slopes of Mt. Bachelor this winter through his participation in competitive downhill skiing.

The Oregon School Ski Association season opened Jan. 5 with the Lava Bear Icebreaker. Barnes finishing second in the giant slalom on Mount Bachelor’s Cliffhanger course. Barnes turned in a combined time of 2:10.95 with runs of 1:03.27 and 1:07.88.

On Jan. 12 at the Summit Carnival event, Barnes and the rest of the skiers competed in the slalom on the mountain’s I-5 course. Barnes placed third with times of 38.56 and 37.93 seconds for a total of 1:16.49.

The skiers returned for the Eagle Peak Charge on Jan. 26 with the giant slalom on the Cliffhanger run. Barnes finished 14th with combined times of 2:19.19 (1:13.28 and 1:05.91).

For the Valley Invitational on Feb. 2 — the event that Philomath serves as host along with Corvallis, Crescent Valley and West Albany — the field competed again in the giant slalom on the Cliffhanger course. Barnes finished 46th with combined times of 2:46.62 (1:07.31 and 1:39.31).

In the Feb. 9 competition called the Bachelor Butte Blast, Barnes placed seventh in men’s slalom on the I-5 course with a combined time of 1:26.41 (45.24 and 41.17).

The series took a break this past weekend and resumes Saturday with the Mountain View Cougar Classic, which was postponed from Jan. 19. The OSSA championships follow March 1 with the giant slalom and March 2 with the slalom.

DANCE: The Philomath High dance team participated Saturday in Eugene at a competition hosted by Sheldon High School.

Coach Lori Haslam reported that Philomath’s performance was good for its highest score of the season with a 74.82. That score ranks as the fifth-highest in the 1A-4A division.

Senior Shayla Vick finished in the top five in the advanced drill-down event. Freshman Devn Vogler had a top-five performance in the novice drill down.

The Warriors will next compete March 2 at Thurston and then head to the OSAA state championships March 15 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

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