Skyview wrestling takes down Soldotna

The Skyview wrestling team defeated host Soldotna 45-30 in dual competition Tuesday.

The Panthers received pins from Grant Valiquette in the 120-pound weight class, as well as Sam Janorschke (132), Bailey Blumentritt (138), Khelbie Miller (145) and John Alexander (heavyweight).

Also earning a victory for Skyview was Alex Rodriguez at 182. Austin Craig (106) and Hannah Hutchison (113) won by forfeit for the Panthers, who will host exhibition duals with SoHi, Seward and Nikiski at 5 p.m. Friday.

Those teams join Kenai Central, Homer, Voznesenka and Cordova for the Luke Spruill Memorial Tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday at Kenai Central.

For the Stars on Tuesday, Auston Tennis won by technical fall at 152 pounds, while Kade Foust earned a pin at 160. 

Coach Scooter Hackett said he was particularly impressed with freshman Brent Nichols, who wrestled at 171 even though he usually competes at 152. Nichols weighed in at 154 before the meet, so he jumped two weight classes and earned a pin in the third round.

Nichols’ effort was indicative of where the team at this point of the season.

“We’re a really young team and just getting our season rolling,” Hackett said. “The guys did really good. They did better than I expected, so we’re really happy.”

SoHi received a forfeit at 220, and also picked up points at 126, 171 and 195. 

The Panthers, meanwhile, were short-handed because of a flu bug nagging the team. 

Skyview coach Neldon Gardner said he will send about six athletes to a tournament in Palmer this weekend, while the others will compete at the Luke Spruill tournament.

Gardner said it was a strong all-around performance for Skyview on Tuesday.

“SoHi is a pretty young team and we have a little more experience this year,” Gardner said. “It was a good team effort.”

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