The Northern Lights Conference wrestling tournament featured some unexpected and some expected triumphs for area wrestlers Saturday at Palmer High School.
While Skyview led the peninsula with three individual champions and a fourth-place finish in the tournament, the shocker of the night belonged to Kenai’s Mike Dormady at 189 pounds.
Dormady waited until the final second before throwing two-time defending state champion Jake Wade of Wasilla on his back to take a 3-2 victory.
Wasilla still ended up taking the region crown in dominant fashion with 437 points, while Kodiak was second with 256.5, Colony was third with 237.5, Skyview was fourth with 224, Kenai was fifth with 107, Homer was seventh with 60 and Soldotna was eighth with 56.5.
Skyview’s three individual championships came from Michaela Hutchison at 103 pounds, Eli Hutchison at 135 pounds and Clark Buffington at 145 pounds.
Michaela Hutchison needed a reversal in the final four seconds to edge Colony sophomore Aaron Boss 4-2, becoming the first girl to win a Northern Lights Conference title. She shared most outstanding wrestler honors with Cody Dishon.
Eli Hutchison was as dominant as ever, scoring a 15-0 technical fall over Justin Martel of Colony in the finals at 135 pounds.
The win makes Hutchison 189-5 in his high school career, and he has never been beaten in the state of Alaska. His chances to become the first four-time, unbeaten state champion in Alaska next week increased when his main rival, West’s Max Rosefigura, moved up to wrestle at 140 pounds at the Cook Inlet Conference tournament.
At 145 pounds, Buffington scored a takedown and a near fall in the final 10 seconds to break a 1-1 tie and defeat Wasilla’s Trevor Pempek 6-1.
The other champion from the peninsula was Kenai’s Mitchell Canavan at 275 pounds. Canavan scored a second-period pin on Soldotna’s Matthew Strieby.
Shane Strausbaugh, Eddie Buffington and Nick Hann all lost in the finals.
At 140 pounds, Wasilla’s Duane Carpenter defeated Strausbaugh 7-1.
At 160 pounds, Wasilla’s Chuck Carpenter defeated Buffington 7-0.
At 215 pounds, Kodiak’s Ben Watkins downed Hann 12-4.
Kenai’s David Boyle was named the coach of the year in the conference.
Complete results were not available as the Clarion went to press. They will be printed in Monday’s paper.
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