Spencer Adams may have stunned Ellery Steffensen early, but after an early Adams takedown Steffensen used a dominant performance to complete a perfect day for the Steffensen family.
Steffensen, a defending state and region champion for the Kenai Kardinals, scored a 12-4 major decision over Adams, a Colony junior, in the 145-pound final of the Northern Lights Conference Championships at Colony High School on Saturday afternoon. Steffensen stayed undefeated with the win, improving to 9-0.
Younger brother Paul, a Kenai freshman, also stayed undefeated to win his first region title. Paul Steffensen, now 32-0, beat Kodiak’s Jay-Ar Small 8-1 in the 126-pound final. Paul Steffensen was named the NLC’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, and Stan Steffensen was named the NLC Coach of the Year.
“What an honor to have your kids wrestle well and to get coach of the year honors on the same day,” Steffensen said.
What made the day even better was that Paul stood at the top of the podium celebrating his 15th birthday. A chorus of Kenai supporters sung him his birthday song.
“I got a reversal in the second period and went up 2-0, and then I got a bar arm for two more points,” Paul said about his championship match. “He got an escape for one point, but then I got a takedown.”
Stan mentioned that Ellery enjoyed taking his third consecutive conference championship in part because it broke a tie between him and his older sister, Hope, who has two conference titles.
“She had two, so hey, he got to one-up her,” coach Steffensen said with a laugh.
Overall, the Kardinals qualified 10 wrestlers to the state tournament next week.
In the 182-pound division, Kenai’s Kyle Hunter made it to the championship round but lost a close 3-2 decision to Riley Fredrickson of Colony.
Kenai’s Matt Vandermartin — a former Colony wrestler himself — made it to the semifinal round of the 132-pound division but lost to former teammate Dawson Nash. Vandermartin ended up taking the third-place match with a pin of Wasilla’s Troy Newland after 31 seconds.
In the 220-pound 3rd-place match, Zach Koziczkowski pinned Colony’s Ian MacKenzie after 3:43. Koziczkowski made it to the semifinal round before losing out.
Soldotna qualified three of its four wrestlers that traveled to compete, as Atom Skiba (113 pounds) and Hunter Bourgeois (152) both took fourth place in their division, and Dalton Best (heavyweight) finished fifth after pinning Palmer’s Garret Williams with nine seconds left in the second period.
Colony’s young guns helped the Knights take down the defending champions in the team standings. Three underclassmen were among Colony’s four individual champions who helped lead the Knights to the team title on their home mat.
Colony freshman Robert Haan and sophomores Bryce Adams and Chace Booth found themselves at the top of the podium, alongside senior Riley Fredrickson. The four champs helped CHS finish with 321.5 total points in the standings, 17.5 more than runner-up Wasilla, the 2013 champions.
Northern Lights Conference Championships
Friday-Saturday, Colony High School
1. Colony 321.5; 2. Wasilla 304; 3. Kodiak 214; 4. Palmer 213.5; 5. Kenai 167.5; 6. Soldotna 34.
98 pounds — B. Adams, Col p. D. Simpson, Was 5:58; 106 — B. Abbott, Was p. B. Sturgeon, Was 0:56; 113 — C. Booth, Col d. J. Valdez, Kod 12-10; 120 — A. Caballa, Kod won by fft K. Jonson, Kod; 126 — P. Steffensen, Ken d. J. Small, Kod 8-1; 132 — M. Cochran, Pal d. D. Nash, Col 11-7; 138 — R. Haan, Col p. W. Wall, Was 1:38; 145 — E. Steffensen, Ken m.d. S. Adams, Col 12-4; 152 — N. McKimson, Was p. K. Lucas, Col 1:48; 160 — H. Molesky, Pal d. K. Nash, Col 9-3; 170 — C. Boatman, Was d. L. Conway, Col 5-2; 182 — R. Fredrickson, Col d. K. Hunter, Ken 3-2; 195 — C. Deemer, Pal d. K. Powers, Kod 7-3 3OT; 220 — Q. Wright, Was d. B. Button, Pal 3-1 OT; 285 — B. Thompson, Pal won by inj fft L. Sega, Kod.
98 — B. Hill, Was m.d. O. Andersen, Pal 14-3; 106 — S. Simpson, Col p. M. Kageyama, Kod 4:34; 113 — R. Delacruz, Kod d. A. Skiba, Sol 15-11; 120 — B. McKimson, Was p. M. Bracker, Col 4:03; 126 — A. Molesky, Pal d. J. Gentz, Was 8-4; 132 — M. Vandermartin, Ken p. T. Newland, Was 0:31; 138 — D. McKibbon, Pal p. I. Kolendo, Col 2:21; 145 — W. McGann, Pal d. T. Loutzenhiser, Col 10-3; 152 — W. Booth, Col p. H. Bourgeois, Col 2:26; 160 — D. Morrow, Was p. D. Carter, Ken 4:18; 170 — C. Ray, Col d. J. Yavorsky, Kod 6-5; 182 — L. Owens, Kod won by inj for Z. Doan, Col; 195 — B. Schultz, Was d. T. Brown, Ken 7-3; 220 — Z. Koziczkowski, Ken p. I. MacKenzie, Col 3:43; 285 — M. Daigle, Col p. N. Wandersee, Kod 4:01.
98 — B. Gonzales, Kod p. D. Richards, Pal 3:56; 106 — Y. Ohki rec. bye; 113 — A. Torres, Was rec bye; 120 — L. Albrecht, Was rec bye; 126 — S. Wolff, Was d. J. Sanders, Pal 8-3; 132 — A. Rohr, Kod d. S. Burdick, Ken 5-0; 138 — D. Everitt, Ken p. C. George, Was 3:36; 145 — K. Berg, Pal d. G. Hannasch, Was 12-6; 152 — M. Olsen, Ken p. W. Nelson, Was 4:01; 160 — B. Marks, Was p. J. Ruffing, Col 2:55; 170 — G. Powell, Pal won by inj def A. Welborn, Ken; 182 — B. Brown, Ken rec bye; 195 — B. Ingersoll, Was rec bye; 220 — Z. Rockstad, Was p. H. McKee, Kod 2:55; 285 — D. Best, Sol p. G. Williams, Pal 3:51