Smith wrestles way to gold at Ultimate Challenge tournament

Photo courtesy of Marty Smith, 2016 west regionals in Pocatello ID.

by Tommy Wells

Landon Smith wrestled his way to a pair of medals this past weekend at the Arctic Warriors Ultimate Challenge tournament in Wasilla. The Bethel Wrestling Club standout took first in the Folkstyle division and wrestled his way to second in the Greco format.
Overall, Smith was among four Bethel wrestlers participating in the tournament, which was held at Wasilla Middle School. Joining Smith in the field were teammates Elliott Gill, Sheldon Smith and Ethan Wheeler.
Smith dominated the Folksytle event on Saturday by grinding out an impressive 5-0 record in the Schoolboy 96-102-pound classification. After opening the tournament with quick pins of Arctic Warriors’ standout Daniel Wallace and Anchorage’s Blake Foster in the first two rounds, Smith outscored Soldotna’s Ezekiel Miller by a 4-1 margin in the quarterfinals. From there, he defeated Cooper River’s Keegan Delaquinto to earn a spot in the championship match against Miller, who had battled his way through the loser’s brackets. In the finals, Smith completed his outing by avenging a loss to Miller earlier in the tournament in the finals of the Greco format.
In the Greco division, Miller netted a 4-2 victory in the finals of the Schoolboy 101-103-pound classification.
Wheeler gave Bethel a second silver medal performance, taking second in the Freestyle tournament’s Intermediate 81-86-pound bracket.
In the meet Wheeler won three of his first five outings before downing Kenai’s Schyler Johnson in the second-place matchup by a 10-0 margin.
Wheeler also wrestled in the Greco and Folkstyle divisions. He was 1-2 in Greco action and 2-2 in the Folkstyle.
Sheldon Smith and Gill also wrestled in the Greco and Folkstyle tournaments, going 0-2 in both.
Bethel will return to action this weekend by competing in the Alaska Battle Cats Freestyle Tournament, which will be held at Service High School in Anchorage.