The Nikiski Bulldogs claimed its fourth consecutive team championship on Saturday at the Kachemak Conference Tournament at Grace Christian in Anchorage, accumulating 150 total points to edge runner-up Skyview by eight.
“As a group, they wrestled at their potential, they wrestled well, and they had to,” Nikiski coach Adam Anders said. “We had 13 wrestlers out there that had to wrestle at their best, and they did.
“The wrestlers are very proud and they should be. Our seniors have been on the team for four years, and have won it every single year.”
Nikiski qualified 10 wrestlers to the state tournament, and will have the privilege of hosting the competition at home next week.
Skyview finished with 142 points, which had head coach Neldon Gardner sweating it out, as he was keeping track of the points throughout the day.
“I kind of knew what our region had because we’ve wrestled them enough,” Gardner said. “There were no real surprises, because of the low numbers we weren’t able to get some kids through, but we were able to get the wrestlers through to the state tournament which is obviously going to have all the teams there, so it’s tougher.”
Skyview had 12 wrestlers qualify for the state tournament, which met their goal, but missed out on the team title because Nikiski had more athletes competing in the championship rounds.
“We knew for the whole tournament we were going to have to wrestle well every round or Skyview or Seward would overtake us in points,” Anders said. “We were certainly watching the team scores.”
Anders commended the performance of Nick Olson in the 182-pound weight class, scoring valuable points for the team.
“I just want to give a big thanks to our supporters and wrestling community and hope we have a great showing at state next week,” Anders said.
Winning titles for the Bulldogs were Mike Olsen at 138, Josh Brown at 152, Morgan Sauve at 170 and Lincoln Johnson at 195.
Taking titles for the Panthers were Seth Hutchison at 98, Austin Craig at 113 and Sam Janorschke at 132.
Seward pulled off third place, with Howie Hubbard taking a title at heavyweight.
Homer finished fourth, and received titles from Calvin Johnson at 106 and Mark McGregor at 160.
Friday, Saturday at Grace Christian
Team scores: 1. Nikiski 150; 2. Skyview 142; 3. Seward 122.5; 4. Homer 107.5; 5. Houston 89.5; 6. Anchorage Christian 78; 7. Cordova 65.5; 8. Grace Christian 64; 9. Voznesenka 9; 10. Seldovia 0.
State qualifiers (top 4 go to state)
98 pounds — S. Hutchison, Sky, won by fft over J. Kingsland, Sew; 106 — C. Johnson, Hom, m.d. T. Cox, Nik, 12-0; 113 — A. Craig, Sky, d. T. Annogiyuk, Sew, 10-8, OT; 120 — W. Gilroy, ACS, d. G. Valiquette, Sky, 2-0; 126 — A. Walsh, Grace, d. C. Davilla, Hou, 9-4; 132 — S. Janorschke, Sky, p. T. Handley, Nik, 2:29; 138 — M. Olsen, Nik, p. M. O’Leary, Sew, 2:47; 145 — R. Radmer, Hou, d. M. Stangel, Nik, 9-3; 152 — J. Brown, Nik, p. C. Trumblee, Cord, 3:58; 160 — M. McGregor, Hom, p. J. Hamburger, Cor, 1:33; 170 — M. Sauve, Nik, p. S. Rininger, Sew, 3:38; 182 — C. Howard, Cor, p. J. Rankin, Cor, 0:31; 195 — Li. Johnson, Nik, won by fft Lu. Johnson, Nik; 220 — L. Wagner, Hou, p. D. Perez, Hom, 2:53; 285 — H. Hubbard, Sew, won by fft T. Scott, ACS;
98 pounds — E. Kinney, Hou, p. N. Radmer, Hou, 5:04; 106 — A. Drake, Hou, p. R. Winter, Sky, 3:09; 113 — G. Kalugin, Voz, p. C. Wheeles, Gra; 120 — N. Carstens, Nik, d. A. McGregor, Hom, 8-6, OT; C. Gilroy, ACS, t.f. J. Brost, Cor, 17-2; 132 — T. Zimmerman, Nik, p. D. Nickell, Sew, 1:30; 138 — R. Martin, Gra, p. S. Fackler, Sew, 3:24; 145 — B. Blumentrit, Sky, won by fft H. Wells, Hom; 152 — P. Ochoa, Hom, m.d. K. Zimmerman, Sky, 14-2; 160 — T. Anderson, Sew, p. F. Navarro, Sky, 1:47; 170 — A. Mahan, Sky, p. J. Hebert, ACS, 0:56; 182 — B. Wilson, ACS, m.d. J. Reynolds, Hom, 15-4; 195 — M. Kimber, Cor, p. K. Paul, Hou, 0:14; 220 — J. Gallagher, Sky, p. T. Macrae, Sky, 5:35; 285 — L. Simmers, Gra, p. J. Uei, Sky, 1:17.