Bethel grapplers roll to Lime Solar championship

The Bethel Warriors are this year's ACS Wrestling Tournament Champions! The team had the most medals for gold during this meet. photo courtesty of Darren Lieb

by Tommy Wells

ANCHORAGE – The Bethel Regional High School Warriors picked up impressive outings from gold medal winners Kelly O’Brien, Jarius Allain, Thomas Dyment, and Hayden Lieb on Saturday and rolled to the top spot at the 2017 Lime Solar/Anchorage Christian School Wrestling Invitational. The Warriors rolled up 214.5 points in the meet and edged out Homer by 15.5 points.

Allain played a significant role in Bethel’s ability to pick up the team championship with his efforts in the 106-pound weight classification. One of the four BRHS grapplers to win an individual weight class, Allain survived a thrilling matchup with Voznesenka’s Maxim Kusentnov in the finals of the 106-pound classification.

Allain, who posted a 3-0 record, defeated Kusnetsov by a wild 11-10 margin in the title round. Prior to downing Kusnetsov in the finals, he had dispatched ACS’ Caleb O’Hara and Wrangell’s Jonathon Barratt in easy outings.

Like Allain, Thomas Dyment and Hayden Lieb also turned in gold-medal winning efforts. Dyment rolled to a 3-0 mark in the 113-pound division, including a quick victory over Kotzebue’s Michael Hatch in the finals. Dyment claimed the win at the 1:18 mark of the first period.

Lieb finished atop the 145-pound standings, going 4-0. Lieb, who had opened the tournament with three easy wins, defeated Klawock’s Jonas Heppe by a 9-5 score in the championship match.

Kelly O’Brien garnered Bethel’s other gold. She won the girls’ 145-pound division with a 4-0 mark. She defeated Homer’s McKenzie Cook, one of the nation’s top female wrestlers, by a 6-3 score. Cook had entered the season ranked in the top 20 in the national preseason polls.

Avery Hoffman and Mian Alexie-Leonard finished second in their respective weight divisions. Hoffman wrestled his way to a 3-1 mark in the 120-pound classification. He defeated Homer’s Seth Inama in OT. His only loss came in an 11-2 decision to New Stuyahok’s Blunka Blunka Jr. in the finals.

BRHS teammate Seth Smith finished third in the 120-pound ranks with a 4-1 mark.

Alexie-Leonard won his first three bouts in the 152-pound division and earned a spot in the finals against James Heppe of Klawock. Heppe won the title with a 9-5 victory.

Ryan Smith also garnered a medal for the Warriors. He finished third in the 285-pound division with a 3-1 mark. He edged out Barrow’s Oneahi Talaiasi in the third-place bout.

Elijah Lindley and Hunter Secor also turned in strong efforts. Lindley posted a 2-2 mark and took fifth in the 220-pound division. Secor placed sixth in the 98-pound classification with a 2-2 record.

Jamin Crow, Mathew Ferguson, Nuq Alexie-Leonard, Matthew Hunter and Adrian Smith also wrestled well. Crow recovered from an early loss to work his way to a 4-2 record. Ferguson, Alexie-Leonard, Hunter and Smith all went 2-2.

Other BRHS grapplers participating in the tournament included Josh Pavil, Austin Fitka and Kyle Valadez.

Rae Charlie joined O’Brien in turning in a solid outing in the girls’ wrestling tournament. She wrestled her way to a fourth-place finish in the 113-pound classification.

Dellarae Charlie, Jaron Mute and Lindsey Beans-Polk also notched wins for the BRHS girls who finished fourth in the girls’ team standings with 53 points.

Bethel will host Lathrop and South Anchorage in duals on Thursday, and then host the Bethel Invitational beginning on Friday.

Lime Solar/ACS Invitational Final Team standings


1. Bethel 214.5; 2. Homer 199.0; 3. Barrow 136.0; 4. Kotzebue 135.5; 5. Unalaska 129.5; 6. Grace Christian 118.5; 7. Glennallen 100.0; 8. Wrangell 94.0; 9. Redington 76.5; 10. Nome 71.0; 11. Hutchison 66.5; 12. Sitka 66.0; 13. Petersburg 61.5; 14. Craig 60.5; 15. Voznesenka 58.5; 16. Mt. Edgecumbe 58.0; 17. Eielson 53.0; 18. Klawock 53.0; 19. Monroe Catholic 53.0; 20. Houston 52.0; 21. Nikiski 52.0; 22. Anchorage Christian 48.5; 23. New Stuyahok 38.0; 24. Seward 35.0; 25. Holy Rosary 30.0; 26. Napaskiak 26.5; 27. Valdez 19.0; 28. Noatak 15.0; 29. Bristol Bay 13.0; 30. Noorvik 13.0; 31. Cordova 7.0; 32. Su Valley 7.0; 33. Selawik 0.0; GIRLS; 1. North Pole 82.5; 2. Homer 73.0; 3. Kotzebue 60.0; 4. Bethel 53.0; 5. Soldotna 48.0; 6. Bartlett 42.0; 7. Nome 37.0; 8. South Anchorage 36.0; 9. Hutchison 32.0; 10. Palmer 30.0; 11. Eielson 24.0; 12. Noatak 20.0; 13. Lathrop 16.0; 14. Napaskiak 16.0; 15. Nikiski 10.0; 16. Petersburg 9.0; 17. East Anchorage 8.0; 18. Selawik 8.0; 19. Barrow 7.0; 20. Seward 6.0; 21. Koliganek 2.0; 22. Bristol Bay 0.0; 23. Houston 0.0; 24. New Stuyahok 0.0; 25. Redington 0.0; 26. Unalaska 0.0; 27. Valdez 0.0.