Lieb powers Warriors to 6th at Lancer Smith Memorial

2017 State Champion wrestler Hayden Lieb of Bethel took first place honors at the 2017 US Open Wrestling tournament in Las Vegas in the 137-144 Cadet division. Photo by Greg Lincoln

by Tommy Wells

After sitting out part of the Bethel Regional High School Warriors duals with South Anchorage and Lathrop last weekend, Hayden Lieb left little doubt as to any questions about his ability on the mat on Saturday.

The BRHS standout wrestled his way to first-place in the boys’ 145-pound pound weight classification and, with combined effort from his teammates, helped carry Bethel to a sixth-place finish in the team standings at one of the state’s largest prep wrestling tournaments. Backed by gold-medal performances from Lieb and Dyment and a second-place mark from Allain, the Warriors rolled up 117 points – the second-highest total by a 1A-2A-3A program at the two-day meet which sported more than 40 teams and 845 grapplers from across the state.

Colony, the top-ranked team in the Class 4A ranks, endged out Lathrop and South Anchorage for the team crown. Homer, the 2016 Class 3A state runner-up, finished fourth, while Wasilla checked in at No. 5.

One of the top wrestlers at the tournament, Lieb finished his outing with a perfect 4-0 record, including a convincing 8-4 decision over South Anchorage’s Spencer Martin in the finals of the 145-pound division.

Now 26-3 for the season, Lieb opened the tournament with an easy 8-1 victory over Wasilla’s Gregory Dean. Following a win over Brandon Deyarmon of South Anchorage in the quarterfinals, he endured his toughest match. In the semifinals, he wrestled his way to a 1-0 tie-breaker victory in double-overtime over Lathrop’s Westley Bockert.

Bockert entered the tournament as the defending Class 4A state runner-up in the 145-pound division.

Dyment, like Lieb was a one-man wrecking crew during the tournament. He posted a perfect 4-0 record en route to owning the 113-pound division.

After opening with a pin of Redington’s Jonathan Kirby, Dyment worked his way to an impressive 9-6 win over Unalaska’s Curtis Jeppeson and then a victory over Thunder Mountain’s Jahrease Mays. In the finals, he became the first three-time winner in Lancer Smith Memorial history by claiming a 7-2 decision over Lathrop’s Jacob Spencer.

“We have plenty to be thankful for this week,” said Bethel head coach Darren Lieb.

Allain finished second in the 106-pound ranks with a 4-1 record. His lone setback came in the finals to South Anchorage’s Aedyn Concepcion.

Nuq Alexie-Leonard also did well for BRHS, which had just 13 wrestlers compete in the meet. Alexie-Leonard turned in a 3-3 record and finished sixth in the 138-pound standings.

Jamin Crow and Mian Alexie-Leonard also posted three wins during the meet. Crow went 3-2 overall in his weight class, while Alexie-Leonard churned out a 3-2 mark in the 152-pound ranks.

Mathew Ferguson and Sven Williams and Ryan Smith also collected multiple wins. Ferguson went 2-2 in the 160-pound bracket, while Williams was 2-2 in the 170 class. Smith, now 22-7 overall, was 2-3 in the heavyweight division.

Elijah Lindley, Avery Hoffman, Seth Smith and Mathew Hunter also wrestled for BRHS. Lindley competed in the 220-pound division, while Hoffman wrestled in the 120 ranks. Smith and Hunter composed 1-2 marks while competing in the 120- and 126-pound classifications.

2017 Lancer Smith Memorial Wrestling Tournaments Final team standings

1. Colony, 227.0; 2. Lathrop, 211.0; 3. South Anchorage, 178.0; 4. Homer, 160.5; 5. Wasilla, 146.5; 6. Bethel, 117.0; 7. Palmer, 114.0; 8. North Pole, 90.5; 9. Ketchikan, 82.0; 10. Soldotna, 64.5; 11. Service, 55.5; 12. Barrow, 53.0; 13. Houston, 43.0; 14. Dimond, 41.5; 14. Eagle River, 41.5; 16. Thunder Mountain, 39.5; 17. Grace Christian, 37.0; 18. West Anchorage, 33.0; 19. Chugiak, 32.0; 20. Anchorage Christian, 31.5; 21. Kodiak, 30.0; 21. Kotzebue, 30.0; 21. Voznesenka, 30.0; 24. Holy Rosary Academy, 27.0; 24. Unalaska, 27.0; 26. Monroe Catholic, 23.0; 27. New Stuyahok, 21.0; 28. Bartlett, 20.0; 29. Eielson, 19.0; 30. Kenai Central, 18.0; 31. Dillingham, 17.0; 32. Delta, 16.0; 33. Glennallen, 14.0; 34. West Valley, 12.0; 35. East Anchorage, 11.0; 36. Nome, 10.0; 37. Nikiski, 9.0; 38. Redington, 8.0; 39. Susitna Valley, 7.0; 40. Bristol Bay, 6.0; 41. Seward, 3.0; 42. Aniak, 0.0; 42. Cordova, 0.0; 42. Galena, 0.0; 42. Kiana, 0.0; 42. Kuskokwim Learning Academy, 0.0; 42. Nenana, 0.0; 42. Shungnak, 0.0; 42. Valdez, 0.0.