O’Brien, Charlie lead Bethel girls to 6th

Agatha Andrews of Akiak is this year's state champion for the girls in the 182 lbs. division. It is her third state title. She wrestles for the Mt. Edgecumbe Braves. photo by Greg Lincoln

by Tommy Wells

Kelly O’Brien and Dellarae Charlie both turned in solid performances this past weekend and helped power the Bethel Regional High School Lady Warriors to a sixth-place finish at the 2017 ASAA/First National Bank Girls State Wrestling Championships. Bethel’s six state qualifiers rolled up 41 points en route to being the highest-finishing team from Western Alaska.

O’Brien, one of the state’s best female wrestlers, worked her way to a fourth-place finish in the 145-pound weight classifications.

After opening the tournament with a win over North Pole’s Mira Fontana, she powered her way into the semifinals with a win over Anya Pingayak of Mt. Edgecumbe. In the semifinals, O’Brien suffered a tough loss to South Anchorage’s Madison Ellis.

O’Brien, who finished the season at 23-4, rebounded from her loss to Ellis in fine fashion. She upended Eielson’s Nailah Bealer in the consolation semifinals and advanced to the third-place match against Soldotna’s Amanda Wylie.

Wylie claimed a tough win over O’Brien in the third-place contest.

Charlie, who finished the year with a 15-6 record, placed fifth in the girls’ 106-pound classification. She capped her outing with a win over Houston’s Megan German in the fifth-place contest.

Lindsey Beans-Polk, Jaron Mute and Kelsi Madson also collected wins at the tournament, which was held at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Lindsey Beans-Polk completed her season with a 17-10 mark with a strong outing in the 132-pound division. Mute also did well, going 2-2 in the 120-pound bracket. Madson posted a win while competing in the same division at Charlie.

Rae Charlie also competed in the state tournament for the BRHS girls.

2017 ASAA/First National Bank Girls State Wrestling Championships Team scores

1. Mt. Edgecumbe 193; 2. North Pole 78; 3. South 68; 4. Homer 57; 5. West 52; 6. Bethel 41; 7. Eielson 34.5; 8. tie, Nome and Soldotna 33; 10. tie, East and Kotzebue 29.