Smith, Lieb shine at USA Western States Championships

by Tommy Wells

Landon Smith and Isabel Lieb turned in prime time performances recently at the 2019 USA Western States Championships in Pocatello, Idaho. Facing some of the top wrestlers in the U.S., both wrestled their way to medals.

Smith and Lieb were among a handful of Bethel wrestlers competing in the freestyle, Greco and folkstyle tournaments.

Smith garnered Bethel’s lone gold medal by turning in a stellar effort in the Greco tournament. Competing in the 116-pound division in the 16-and-Under classification, he powered his way to a perfect 4-0 record, including a dominating 13-2 victory over Nevada’s Otto Cate-cribari in the championship match.

Smith kicked off his march to the Greco title by downing Idaho’s Simon Graeber by a 12-0 margin in the first round. From there, he rolled to a 10-0 win over California’s Isaiah Rubio in the quarterfinals. He earned a trip to the title round with a semifinal win over Joshua Arceo of Nevada.

Lieb was a three-time medal winner, taking third in the middle school division’s Greco 127-pound bracket. She went 2-2 in the tournament, including an impressive 11-0 win over Alanna Haney of Washington in the third-place contest.

Lieb also placed second in the folkstyle tournament with a 2-1 mark. She started the tournament with a 7-2 decision over Victoria Guinard of Colorado. After suffering a 4-1 setback to Idaho standout Alyssa Randles in the second round, she bounced back to clinch second with a 16-0 win over Haney.

She finished third in the freestyle tournament, defeating Alanna Haney 13-6.

Lieb also medaled in the Middle School Girls Duals meet a day earlier. Wrestling as a “free agent” with the Idaho team, Lieb helped her squad finish second in the Greco and Freestyle Duals where she defeated Crystin Dior Treu of Hawaii and Victoria Guinard of Colorado.

Smith also medaled in the folkstyle tournament, placing third in the 113-pound division. Overall, he went 3-1 in the bracket, including a 12-6 win over Cate-cribari in the third-place bout.

He was fifth overall in the freestyle tournament, going 3-2 where he defeated Jalen Vladic of Montana 10-0. He also won by decision over Devin Avedissian of California. For the 5th place match Smith downed Blake Foster of Alaska, 10-0.

Axel Madson finished sixth in the 106-pound classification in the Folkstyle tournament.

Ethan Wheeler also posted a win in the folkstyle tournament. Tyler Laraux went 2-2 in the 126-pound classification in the Greco tournament. Jordan Leinberger also notched a win in the Greco meet, while Sheldon Smith and Lauraux garnered wins in the freestyle meet.