Bethel grapplers shine at Arctic Warriors meet

by Tommy Wells

Maya Iverson, First Place.

Hannah Howell, Briana Henry, Isabel Lieb, Maya Iverson, Ethan Wheeler, Hayden Lieb, and Hans Holkesvik all wrestled their way to first-place finishes this past weekend and helped spur the Bethel Wrestling Club to a stellar showing at the 2019 Arctic Warriors Ultimate Challenge Wrestling Tournament in Wasilla. At the meet, 14 Bethel wrestlers managed to finish in the top three in their respective weight classifications.

Also winning a gold medal was Landon Smith in the Ultimate Challenge Greco Wrestling tournament.

Howell was among the tournament’s most dominant grapplers on its final day. She went 4-0 in the Folkstyle/Freestyle event and breezed to the 108-115-pound title in the 14-Under Schoolgirl division. She finished off her title run with an 11-9 victory over Saleen Wallace of North Pole in her final outing.

Henry won the 117-120 title by downing Anchorage’s Skyler Farrow, while Isabel Lieb posted a perfect 2-0 mark in her weight classification where she defeated Jodyanna Fairchild of Juneau and Daisy Lyn Hannevold of Soldotna.

Ethan Wheeler and Maya Iverson also starred for Bethel in Folkstyle/Freestyle events. Wheeler wrestled his way to an unblemished 5-0 mark and took top honors in the Novice 94-98-pound division.

Iverson won the 46-48-pound title in the Intermediate girls’ classification. Overall, she posted a 5-0 record, including a win over Avalanche Wrestling standout Julia Dunlap.

Bethel also picked up a pair of first-place finishes in the older age divisions. Hayden Lieb went 2-0 and won the USA Junior’s 155-170-pound title defeating Jackson Acree of Mat-Su and James Salter of the Rogue Wrestling Club. Hans Holkesvik took the Open 157-176 title with a 7-2 win over Anchorage’s Dillon Simpson.

Landon Smith, who claimed a gold medal in the Greco tournament the day before, wrestled his way to a 4-2 record and a second-place mark in the Cadet 103-113-pound standings.

Saige Wheeler and Cole Iverson also medaled in the Folkstyle/Freestyle meet. Wheeler was third in the Intermediate girls’ 60-64-pound standings. Iverson was third in the boys’ Intermediate 58-60 ranks.

In addition to a win by Smith on Friday, Bethel garnered second-place finishes in the Greco meet from Paul Dyment and Peyton Glore. Dyment went 3-2 in the 105-112-pound ranks. Glore took second in the 173-182-pound division by defeating Kodiak’s Malachi Fields.

Jackson Iverson took third in the 67-74 classification.

Other Bethel wrestlers competing in the tournament were Nathan McCabe Jr., Julian Sebastian, Sheldon Smith, Matthew Chagluak and Jordan Leinberger.