by Tommy Wells
The Bethel Regional High School wrestling team flexed plenty of muscle – and talent – this past weekend at their season-opening Bethel Scramble meet. The BRHS grapplers powered their way to wins in eight weight classifications and dominated a meet which featured 143 high school wrestlers from throughout western Alaska.
Teams from Akiachak, Alakanuk, Aniak, Bethel, Bristol Bay, Chevak, Dillingham, Emmonak, Hooper Bay, Kotlik, Mountain Village, Napaskiak, New Stuyahok, Newhalen, Nome, Nunam Iqua, Nunapitchuk, Quinhagak, Scammon Bay and St. Marys were at the event.
Landon Smith kicked off his 2018 season with a stellar performance in the 103-pound ranks. The BRHS standout worked his way to a perfect 5-0 record, including an 11-3 decision over Napaskiak’s Seth Jacobs in the finals.
Smith was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for 103-140 lbs.
Joseph Smith and Hayden Lieb also turned in outstanding efforts. Joseph went 6-0 and won the boys’ 112-pound division. He defeated Dillingham’s Demetry Hoseth by a 15-3 clip in the championship match.
Lieb, who was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Wrestler (145-285 lbs.), breezed through his opener. He posted a 4-0 record en route to winning the 171-pound championship. After winning his first three matches, he pinned Nome’s Nate Cushman at the 3:33 mark of the finals to claim the gold medal.
Nicholai Chase added a seventh-place finish in the 171-pound division.
Simon Snow and Ryan Smith also collected first-place finishes in their first outing. Snow wrestled his way to a 4-0 mark in the 189-pound classification. Smith capped his outing with a victory over Nathaniel Bagonon of Emmonak in the finals of the 285-pound ranks.
Shawn Peter was third in the 189-pound standings.
Nelson Evans almost added another gold medal to the BRHS count with a stellar showing in the 130-pound classification. He won his first five matches and earned a berth in the championship match against Caleb Evatt of Nome. In the finals, Evatt escaped with a 12-4 victory.
Cyrus Anaruk and Jaymes Martins finished eighth and 12th, respectively, in the 130-pound division.
Bradley Oulton, Joshua Pavil and Max Black nearly medaled in their respective divisions. Oulton placed fourth in the 119-pound standings following a loss to Alakanuk’s Robert Stanislav in the third-place contest. Pavil was fourth in the 135-pound ranks after a loss to Chevak’s Edward Atcherian.
Black highlighted a bevy of BRHS grapplers doing well in the 145-pound division. Black went 3-3 overall and placed fourth in the standings. Teammate Jamin Crow was fifth, while Kaliyu Tsosie and Sinka Williams battled their way to a tie for 12th.
Daniel Chakuchin and Charles Smith were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the 135-pound standings.
Kyle Valadez also netted a fourth-place finish in the 215-pound class.
Jarvis Evans, Lawrence Bayer and Jordan Leinberger all did well in the 152-pound division for the Warriors. Evans posted a 4-1 mark and placed fifth. Bayer and Leinberger were sixth and 11th, respectively.
Eddy Jimmy was sixth in the 112-pound standings.
Dellarae Charlie, Lindsey Beans-Polk and Jaron Mute all wrestled their way to first-place marks in the girls’ division. Charlie, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Female Wrestler, breezed to a perfect 7-0 mark in the 112-pound classification. She defeated Dillingham’s Thresa Savo in the championship match.
Kelsi Madson and Mary Brown also did well in the 112-pound weight class. Madson advanced to the third-place match before dropping a decision to Dillingham senior Jean Krause.
Brown was 12th.
Beans-Polk posted a perfect 5-0 mark en route to winning the 145-pound classification. She edged out teammate Rebecca Samuelson in the championship match.
Marissa Black and Brienna Henry added to the Lady Warriors’ efforts in the 145-pound division. Black was sixth overall, while Henry was eighth.
Mute won the 130-pound title with a victory over Chevak’s Charity Boyscout. Beth Hensley and Jacqueline Ferguson finished fourth and seventh, respectively.
Bethel also collected a pair of medals from Shanna Mendenhall and Alexis Kinegak. Mendenhall was third in the 160-pound division, while Kinegak was third in their 235-pound ranks.
Bethel’s next home meet will be on Nov. 1-3.