Bethel grapplers wrestle their way to 3rd at BRHS Invitational

Thomas Dyment of the Bethel Warriors wins the gold medal in the 113 lb. varsity division during last weekend's Invitational Wrestling tournament featuring squads from all over Alaska. Photo by Greg Lincoln

by Tommy Wells

Thomas Dyment, Dellarae Charlie, Lindsey Beans-Polk and Kelly O’Brien all wrestled their way to gold medals at the 2017 Bethel Invitational and helped carry the Bethel Regional High School Warriors to third in the overall team standings on Saturday. Joining the host team Warriors were nineteen other teams from across the state competing in the tournament.

Class 4A powers Lathrop and South Anchorage managed to claim first and second, respectively. Lathrop rolled up a meet high 284 points. South Anchorage tallied 259, while Bethel accrued 178.

Dyment continued his impressive season with a dominating performance in the 113-pound weight classification. He turned in a sterling 3-0 record, including an 18-5 decision over Lathrop’s Jacob Spencer in the finals.

Charlie went 2-0 and won the girls’ 106-pound division. After taking a win over Sheldon’s Point’s Florencia Ignatius in her opener, she finished off her gold-medal effort with a quick win over Scammon Bay’s Leah Amukon in the championship match.

Bethel’s Kelsi Madson was third in the 106-pound standings.

Lindsey Beans-Polk starred for the BRHS girls in the 132-pound classification. She won all three of her matches en route to claiming the second of the Lady Warriors’ three gold medals. She picked up the win by taking a win over Hayley Akerelrea of Scammon Bay, who placed second in the division.

Beans-Polk advanced to the finals via wins over Alakanuk’s Christine Strongheart and teammate Deja Jackson.

Bethel’s Melissa Steven also wrestled in the 132-pound ranks.

O’Brien rounded out the Lady Warriors’ medal run with an impressive outing in the girls’ 145-pound division. After downing Akiachak’s Kiani Alexie in her first-round bout, O’Brien claimed the top spot in her weight classification with a win over Scammon Bay’s Sabrina Rivers.

Gold wasn’t the only medal the Warriors managed to capture during the tournament. Bethel had five wrestlers earn second-place marks and six more nab bronze medals with third-place finishes.

Jarius Allain and Avery Hoffman were the runners-up in their weight classes. Allain finished second to South Anchorage’s Aedyn Concepcion in the 106-pound standings. Hoffman, who went 3-1 overall, took a 8-3 loss to South Anchorage’s Niko Mayo in the 120-pound championship match.

Ryan Smith added a third runner-up spot for the BRHS boys. He wrestled his way to a 2-1 mark in the 285-pound classification. His lone setback came in a 3-2 decision to South Anchorage’s Henry Saafi in the finals.

Rae Charlie and Jaron Mute both collected second-place marks in girls’ action. Charlie finished second to Akiachak’s Michaela Charles in the 113-pound division. Mute turned in a 3-1 record in the girls’ 120-pound ranks and finished second to Napaskiak’s Kelly Paul.

Seth Smith, Mian Alexie-Leonard, Mathew Ferguson, Sven Williams and Elijah Lindley joined Madson as third-place finishers.

Bethel also had three wrestlers post fourth-place marks in their divisions, including Mathew Hunter, Nuq Alexie-Leonard and Austin Fitka. Other BRHS wrestlers participating in the meet included Kieran Samuelson, Adrian Smith, Daniel Chakuchin, Kevin Valadez, Kyle Chung, Shawn Peter and Kyle Valadez.

Aniak’s Justin Ward and Tia Wilson also emerged from the tournament as big winners. Ward won the boys’ 170-pound championship with a 3-0 record. He edged out Lathrop’s Josiah Opp by a 4-2 mark in the championship bout.

Wilson won the girls’ 220-pound crown by defeating Kuskokwim Leaning Academy’s Julia Joekay in the title match.

Andrew Wilson also starred for the Halfbreeds, finishing second in the boys’ 220-pound class. His only loss in the meet came in the finals to Lathrop’s Jason Edwards.

Napaskiak’s Kelly Paul and Scammon Bay’s Anecia Rivers added to the region’s list of first-place finishers. Paul went 3-0, including a win over Bethel’s Jaron Mute in championship match. Rivers won the girls’ 160-pound classification with a 3-0 record. She edged out KLA’s Roberta Hunter in the finals.

The tournament Outstanding Wrestlers were:

Female: Kelly O’Brien (BRHS)

98-138 lbs.: Thomas Dyment (BRHS)

145-285 lbs.: Justin Ward (Aniak)

2017 Bethel Invitational Final team standings

1. Lathrop 284; 2. South Anchorage 259; 3. Bethel 178; 4. Scammon Bay 98.5; 5. Napaskiak 92; 6. Akiachak 74; 7. Aniak 55; 8. Chevak 49; 9. Nunapitchuk 37; 10. Quinhagak 31; 11. Kuskokwim Learning Academy 0; 12. Alakanuk 27; 13. Emmonak 22; 14. Newhalen 17; 15. Kalskag 11; 16. Kwethluk 8; 17. Sheldons Point 4; 18. Chefornak 2; 19. Akiak 0; 20. Atmautluak 0; 21. Bethel Jr. High 0; 22. Gladys Jung 0; 23. Hooper Bay 0; 25. Kotlik 0.0; 26. Marshall 0; 27. Pilot Station 0; 28. Tuntutuliak 0.