Murray pins his way to Louk title
Blake Murray wasted very little time in his gold medal performance this past weekend at the Cody Louk Invitational wrestling tournament in Winnemucca.
The Douglas High senior never had to go past the first round as he defeated four straight opponents to earn the 182-pound weight class championship during the 25-team tournament held at the Winnemucca Events Center.
Murray (12-1 season record) only needed 1:15 to pin Carson’s Jesse Case in the semifinals and then dispatched South Tahoe’s Jose Leon in 1:19 of the gold medal match. Murray placed third as a 170-pounder at the 4A state tournament last season and Leon placed second in the state 3A 170-pound bracket.
Mason Melhus and Chris Merritt also placed third and sixth respectively in the 152-pound division to help Douglas finish 14th in the team standings with 81 points.
Melhus won four of his five matches to secure third-place, including an 8-5 decision over Merritt in the consolation semifinals. Melhus went on to pin Carlos Barela of Wooster in the third-place match. Melhus absorbed his only loss in the second round at the hands of Spanish Springs sophomore Patrick Nelson.
Andrew Williams and Chad Singer also posted 2-2 records in their respective 132- and 170-pound divisions. Williams won his first two matches by fall, in 15 and 39 seconds. Singer also won twice by fall, in 33 seconds and 2:15, and sustained his first loss against Anthony Peterson of Lowry, the eventual third-place finisher.
Williams fell to his first defeat against Elko’s Kevin Villegas, the eventual runner-up finisher and 3A state champion in 2016.
Gabe Wetzel went 1-2 at 160 pounds, the two losses coming in the first round 6-5 against Shawn Gleason of Fernley and 6-2 against Ryan Barns of Yerington.
Elisha Romero picked up a win at 195 pounds and was knocked out of the consolation bracket with an 11-10 loss against Lovelock’s Ben Plimpton (a standout linebacker for the Mustangs’ 2A state championship football team).
Spanish Springs captured the team championship by a 288.5-170 margin over Lowry. From a Sierra League viewpoint, Carson was seventh with 105 points, while Damonte Ranch (93.5) and Douglas finished 13th and 14th.