Lister pins down tournament title

By Alli Hand - Staff Reporter

Highline wrestler Austin Lister won the Mike Clock Open in Forest Grove, Ore. this past weekend. 

Lister won the 133-pound weight class by winning three straight matches, including two pins.  He defeated Blake McNall of Eastern Oregon 6-3 for the title. 

Lister wasn't the only one to reach success during the first week of Highline's wrestling season. 

197-pound Emmanuel Daigbe began the tournament with two byes and then faced Bryce House  of Western Washington in his first match. Daigbe pinned House in just 15 seconds. 

However, Daigbe lost his next match, 9-5 to Tanner Fischer of Southern Oregon, placing him fourth overall in the tournament.

"Emmanuel is probably the best athlete that has ever come through the program, but he is learning to wrestle in college.  He will be a big factor at the end of the year if he stays healthy," said Highline Assistant Coach Brad Luvaas. 

Highline's wrestling season began Nov. 9 against North Idaho, which is ranked second in the nation. The meet kicked off with 124-pound Jacob Mendoza who had a great battle against North Idaho's Esco Walker. Unfortunately, Mendoza lost the match 4-3.

 "It was a very entertaining match with a lot of scrambles. I'm positive that Jacob will beat him when it's most important, which is the national title," said Luvaas.

Lister faced the top-ranked wrestler in the region, Diego Nunez. Impressively, Lister took down Nunez 11-1.

Liam Corbett, wrestling in the 157-pound weight class, was pinned and unfortunately suffered a leg injury in the process. This threw the team for a swing as Corbett was expected to win this match. 

Daigbe has met his high expectations as he has yet to be defeated by a junior college wrestler this year. Daigbe took out three-time Idaho state champion Trager Abatti at 197 pounds. 

The team will next compete next Nov. 18 against North Idaho College and Nov. 19 in the Spokane Open. 

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