SEASIDE — Ilwaco’s Chris Wood and Ghannon Wheldon each took second place at the Pacific Rim Armed Forces Tournament, which drew hundreds of wrestlers from 16 teams. Keegan Kemmer contributed a third-place trophy to Ilwaco’s fifth-place team finish. Dylan Simonsen, Brandon Duke, Aiden Auttelet, Landon Frank and Trevor Hutson all placed in the top six.

Wood, in the 170-pound weight class, came closest to giving Ilwaco a first-place finisher. In finals he went against Gio Ramirez of Seaside. The two fought off each other’s headlocks throughout a stalemated first round.

Wood began the second round on top and held off Ramirez’s escape attempts, keeping a tight grip on his waist. Finally, Wood brought Ramirez down and nearly pinned him, going ahead 3-0, but Ramirez turned the tables and led 5-4 after two. Wood spent the whole third round fighting to get up. He broke free with a reversal with less than 10 seconds in the round, but Ramirez held on for the 7-6 win.

Wheldon, at 132, beat Jack Kelly in semifinals but was pinned by Zack Vorvick of Tigard in finals in 1:57.

Kemmer went against Vernonia’s Austin Sicard in the third-place match in the 132-pound weight class. Kemmer built a big lead, then finished it off in the third round. Starting on the bottom, he vaulted in the air for an acrobatic reversal, quickly turning it into a pin.

Duke took a 6-4 lead over Warrenton’s Giovani Ramirez in the third-place match at 152. Then Duke went for a leg shot, Ramirez evaded it, and both wrestlers ended up on the ground. Ramirez got his head into Duke’s side, turning the leverage into a pin, putting Duke in fourth place.

Simonsen (145) and Frank (182) also took fourth for Ilwaco, while Hutson (195) was fifth and Auttelet (195) was sixth.

Toledo Matches

Ilwaco boys wrestlers went 14-19 at a seven-team event in Toledo Tuesday, Jan. 8, while the girls went 2-6. Wheldon, Kemmer, Duke and Hutson all went 2-0. Jaymie Patana and Serena Kuhn each had wins for the girls’ team.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or

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