by Tommy Wells
Kelly O’Brien and Dellarae Charlie both turned in solid performances this past weekend and helped power the Bethel Regional High School Lady Warriors to a sixth-place finish at the 2017 ASAA/First National Bank Girls State Wrestling Championships. Bethel’s six state qualifiers rolled up 41 points en route to being the highest-finishing team from Western Alaska.
O’Brien, one of the state’s best female wrestlers, worked her way to a fourth-place finish in the 145-pound weight classifications.
After opening the tournament with a win over North Pole’s Mira Fontana, she powered her way into the semifinals with a win over Anya Pingayak of Mt. Edgecumbe. In the semifinals, O’Brien suffered a tough loss to South Anchorage’s Madison Ellis.
O’Brien, who finished the season at 23-4, rebounded from her loss to Ellis in fine fashion. She upended Eielson’s Nailah Bealer in the consolation semifinals and advanced to the third-place match against Soldotna’s Amanda Wylie.
Wylie claimed a tough win over O’Brien in the third-place contest.
Charlie, who finished the year with a 15-6 record, placed fifth in the girls’ 106-pound classification. She capped her outing with a win over Houston’s Megan German in the fifth-place contest.
Lindsey Beans-Polk, Jaron Mute and Kelsi Madson also collected wins at the tournament, which was held at the Alaska Airlines Center.
Lindsey Beans-Polk completed her season with a 17-10 mark with a strong outing in the 132-pound division. Mute also did well, going 2-2 in the 120-pound bracket. Madson posted a win while competing in the same division at Charlie.
Rae Charlie also competed in the state tournament for the BRHS girls.
2017 ASAA/First National Bank Girls State Wrestling Championships Team scores
1. Mt. Edgecumbe 193; 2. North Pole 78; 3. South 68; 4. Homer 57; 5. West 52; 6. Bethel 41; 7. Eielson 34.5; 8. tie, Nome and Soldotna 33; 10. tie, East and Kotzebue 29.