Warriors wrestle their way to 2nd at Invitational home meet

by Tommy Wells

Landon Smith, Jarvis Evans, Fiona Phelan and Rebecca Samuelson all wrestled their way to top honors in their weight classifications this past weekend and helped power the Bethel Regional High School wrestlers to second-place in the final team standings at the 2019 Bethel Invitational. The 12-team tournament was held Nov. 22-23 in the WarriorDome.

“Several teams couldn’t make it in due to weather, but we still managed to get a lot of wrestling in with those that made it in,” said Bethel Head Coach Darren Lieb.

As a team, Bethel picked up 10 medals en route to scoring 140 points. Lathrop won the team crown. Palmer, Unalaska and Chevak finished third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the standings.

Smith continued to dominate the varsity boys’ 112-pound bracket. The BRHS star posted a perfect 4-0 run through the tournament that included a victory over Lathrop’s Aaron Peterson in the championship match.

Like Smith, Evans breezed to a title. He emerged victorious in all three of his matches, including a thrilling 6-3 decision over Lathrop’s James Opp in the finals of the 152-pound bracket.

BRHS’ Hayden Morris also wrestled in the 152-pound division.

Nelson Evans almost handed Bethel a third gold in the boys’ division. He powered his way to second in the 135-pound bracket. After winning his first three bouts, he moved into the finals to face off Jacob Johnson of Lathrop. Johnson took the 135-pound crown by scratching out a tough 5-2 decision.

Mason Fitka also did well in the 135-pound classification, finishing fifth overall.

Alex Madson narrowly missed a gold medal, as well. He placed second in the boys’ 103-pound standings. Like Evans, he rolled into the championship bout by notching dominating performances in his first three matches. In the title round, he suffered a loss to Lathrop’s Andrew Killian-Dalrymple.

Also medaling for BRHS was Tyler Laraux, who took third in the 125-pound division.

Peter Bill and Kevin Valadez also did well. Bill was fourth in the 140-pound standings, while Valadez was fourth in the 189-pound ranks.

Jamin Crow also placed 4th in the 145 lb. boys bracket. Crow defeated Lathrop’s Cael Platt in the quarterfinals. Crow wrestled Platt again in the 3rd place match.

Lawrence Bayer was fifth in the 189-pound standings.

Also wrestling for BRHS were Cyrus Anaruk, Jordan Leinberger, Sam Beans-Polk, Jaymes Martins, and Charles Smith.

Phelan and Samuelson highlighted the Lady Warriors efforts on the mat. Phelan turned in a 3-0 mark overall and won the 125-pound bracket. She defeated Chevak’s Charity Boyscout in the title match.

Katherine Small finished third in the division.

Samuelson keyed a 1-2 finish by the BRHS girls in the 145-pound bracket with a win over teammate Lindsey Beans-Polk in round-robin action.

Jaron Mute and Kaeli Amik also did well for the Lady Warriors. Mute finished second in the 130-pound class, going 2-1 overall. Mute’s only loss came to Newhalen’s Aileen Lester.

Amik was third in the standings.

Also wrestling were Kayla Dela Cruz and Leah Sosa.

2019 Bethel Invitational

Held No. 22-23, 2019 at Bethel Regional High School.

Final team standings

1. Lathrop, 226.5; 2. Bethel, 140.0; 3. Palmer, 117.0; 4. Unalaska, 70.0; 5. Chevak, 53.0; 6. Newhalen, 41.0; 7. Galena, 39.0; 8. Stebbins, 27.0; 9. Emmonak, 14.0; 10. Napaskiak, 10.0; 11. Unalakleet, 8.0; 12. Hooper Bay, 4.0.