by Tommy Wells
Ryan Smith and Hayden Lieb both sent more than a few chills through the field at the Halloween Monster Bash Duels on Saturday at South Anchorage High School. Both wrestled their way to six wins en route to helping Bethel finish ninth in the team standings at a meet loaded with Class 4A programs.
Smith placed third in the overal standings in the 285-pound division with a stellar 6-2 effort. His only losses during the two-day meet came in Bethel’s opening match with South Anchorage – a narrow 5-4 loss – and the team’s final outing against Kodiak.
BRHS wrestler in the 220 lb. division, Elijah Lindley, went 5-3. He defeated Sam Willard of Lathrop, Joshua Miguel of Kodiak, Amos Bartlett of Wasilla, and Tyler Cross of South Anchorage.
Like Smith, Lieb was outstanding in the 152-pound classification. He turned in a 6-1 record. His only loss was a slim 5-4 loss to Wyatt Story in the Warriors’ 60-10 loss to Lathrop in the fifth round. Lieb and Story, both state qualifiers a year ago, have faced each other twice already this season.
The Warriors dropped their opening match with South Anchorage by a 54-26 margin.
In addition to wins by Lieb and Lindley, BRHS also garnered wins from Sven Williams, Austin Fitka and Travis Chaney in the matchup with the Wolverines.
Eagle River escaped with a close 45-34 decision in Bethel’s next outing. Chaney, Jarius Allain, Hunter Secor, Ryan Smith, Mathew Ferguson, Lieb and Jamin Crow all recorded wins. Lieb highlighted BRHS’ showdown with Eagle River by grinding out a 17-1 decision over Michael Chaput in the 152-pound bout.
After a drawing a bye in the third round, Bethel suffered a pair of tough losses to Colony and Lathrop. Colony netted a 78-12 win despite wins by Lieb and Ryan Smith. Lathrop won all but two weight classes en route to a 60-10 victory.
Lindley and Smith were the lone BRHS wrestlers to claim wins against Lathrop.
In their final four bouts, Bethel dropped decisions to Wasilla (54-24), Homer (45-36), Palmer (51-27) and Kodiak (36-24).
Allain also had a strong outing for BRHS. He went 5-3 in the 106-pound division.