SPRINGFIELD — Douglas High School sophomore Zoey Smalley and Elkton junior Tayla Swearingen both wrestled their way to second-place finishes Saturday at the Oregon School Activities Association’s Girls South Region championships at Thurston High School.

By placing in the top four, both Smalley and Swearingen, along with Reedsport’s Yesenia Velazquez (third place) qualified for the OSAA’s girls state wrestling championships, to be held Feb. 28-29 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Smalley scored three consecutive pins to reach the championship match at 170 pounds, where she met up with three-time girls’ state champion Bailey Dennis of Madras, who won the title by fall.

Smalley will take a 17-1 record into the state tournament.

Swearingen had a similar path in the 235-pound bracket, pinning her way into the finals before falling to defending state champion Raina Herzog of Cottage Grove by fall.

North Douglas’ Cyndi Dill placed eighth at 140 pounds, while Sutherlin’s Aysiah Candelaria fell just short of a top-eight finish at 125 pounds.

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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