Prospectors wrestle each other on way to team second-place finish

<I>Contributed photo/ Clayton Wise</I><BR>Grant Union's Don Speakman wrestles an opponent during the La Pine Tournament Saturday, Jan. 24.

LA PINE - Ethan Kowing and Jesse Wise keep crossing paths.

The two Grant Union wrestlers practice together daily as the team's two 189-pound wrestlers. However, that isn't the only place they seem to find each other.

They have met each other on the mat three times and each time with a place on the line. They met in the championship match at the Grant Union Tournament and the third-place match in the Jo-Hi Tournament. Kowing won both matches, but edged out an 8-6 decision in Joseph.

The two Prospector wrestlers continued their strong individual runs through the La Pine Tournament last week. Kowing pinned Lakeview's Dillon Pool and La Pine's Garrett Searcy to earn a shot in the championship match. Wise was placed on the opposite end of the bracket and pinned Nate Westlund of Mazama and Chris Olson of La Pine also to reach the championship.

Kowing and Wise pinned three of their four opponents in under two minutes on the way to the championship. Searcy was their only opponent to last longer than two minutes, three minutes and 14 seconds, and he took third place.

That wasn't the case when the two Pros met up. Although Kowing pinned Wise, the match went more than five minutes.

"Ethan and Jesse have been wrestling well and have ended up against each other," Grant Union coach Dave Naibert said. "It's a great match to watch."

Kowing and Wise helped the Pros to a second-place finish in the La Pine tournament. Grant Union ended the meet with 164 points, just 10 points behind first-place Douglas. There were five 4A schools, two 5A schools and one 2A school at the tournament. Grant Union competes at the 3A level.

The second-place finish is the second in two weeks for the Pros. They took second in the Maniac Invitational in Orofino, Idaho January 16-17.

"It feels good to have our kids doing well," Naibert said. "They did a good job. We were competing against mostly 4A schools."

Grant Union had nine wrestlers score, including four first-place finishes. Levi Gagnon earned his fifth first-place finish in a row in the 103-pound weight class. Isaac Whitman, at 135 pounds, and Clay Thomas, at 171 pounds, were the other top finishers.

Adam Berry wrestled at 140 pounds and finished in second place. He had been wrestling at 135-pounds. Joel Greschok, at 152 pounds, and Donny Speakman, at 285 pounds, finished in third place in La Pine. Seth Barrietua, at 125 pounds, took fourth place.

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