Skyview High School's Michaela Hutchisons hand is raised in victory Saturday night as she becomes the first girl to win a state championship wrestling competition in the United States during the State 4A Wrestling Championships at Chugiak High School.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Michaela Hutchison, Skyview, 1. Aaron Boss, Colony, 0.
With Boss clinging to her, Hutchison used every ounce of strength she could muster to rise to her feet in the final 15 seconds of her championship match at 103 pounds, and with the single point she scored for her escape, became the first female wrestler in the country to win a state individual title at the State 4A Wrestling Championships Saturday at Chugiak High School.
And while the standing-room only crowd, estimated at 1,800, might have disagreed, Hutchison said hers wasn’t even the greatest accomplishment of the night that belonged to older brother Eli, who finished his career undefeated in Alaska by winning his match at 135 pounds to claim his fourth state title.
Michael Hutchison cheers his daughter during her championship match Saturday night.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
How do you follow that act? Skyview’s Clark Buffington managed to, winning in double-overtime to claim his first state title, scoring an escape for a 2-1 win at 145 pounds.
And not to be overlooked, Homer’s Simeon Daigle won his championship match at 125 pounds to claim a state title for the Mariners.
Michaela Hutchison and Boss were scoreless after two periods of wrestling, and the third period started the way the other two went, with neither wrestler able to claim the advantage.
Skyview High School's Michaela Hutchison wrestles Colony's Aaron Boss in the 103-pound bracket.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Hutchison managed to get her feet under her with about 30 seconds left in the match, and slowly worked herself to a standing position, finally breaking free of Boss with about 15 seconds to go much to the delight of the crowd, which responded with a thunderous standing applause.
“I’m excited to get a title this season. I’ve been waiting for this for a while,” Hutchison said.
Hutchison said she still thinks of herself as just another wrestler, even with a state title.
Skyview High Schools Eli Hutchison pressures South Anchorage's Matt Blakeslee in the 135-pound bracket for the Alaska state championship title at Chugiak High School Saturday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
“I think (her accomplishment) will hit her, but she always just comes to the (mat) room, just like another one of the guys,” said Skyview coach Neldon Gardner, adding that older sister Melina laid the groundwork for being a successful female wrestler at Skyview. “She’s a wrestler.”
Eli Hutchison, who added his second title at 135 pounds to go with state titles at 112 and 119 pounds, scored 10 points in the third period for a 14-4 major decision over South Anchorage’s Matt Blakeslee.
Skyview High School's Eli Hutchison, center, receives a congratulatory hug from his brother Zeb after winning the title in the 135-pound bracket at Chugiak High School. Hutchison wrestled his entire high school career undefeated in Alaska.
Photos by M. Scott Moon
Hutchison became the fourth Alaskan to win four state titles, joining Chugiak’s Gary Steeby, West Valley’s Matt Mattson and Wasilla’s Jed Wade. West Valley’s David Wiese became the fifth four-time winner later in the evening with his victory at 152 pounds. Hutchison is the only one of that group never to lose in Alaska, however.
“There’s so many ups and downs, and sickness, and no matter who you are, there’s going to be owies here and there, sore backs and sore necks,” Gardner said. “To never lose a match in a high school career is pretty spectacular.”
Eli said he was nervous before the match, but no more so than any other match.
“I’m nervous before all my matches. You can’t underestimate anybody,” he said.
Hutchison said he was thrilled to win a championship and glad the season was over, though he said he’d miss being with the team and his coaches.
Sandwiched between the Hutchisons was Homer’s Daigle, who beat Kodiak’s Steven Gauna 7-4 at 125 pounds.
“I’m exhausted, but it’s a good exhaustion,” Daigle said.
Daigle said he was proud to be bringing a medal back to Homer, and said he’s already got a spot picked out for it on his bedroom wall.
“It’s been a dream growing up my dad (Pat Daigle) was the wrestling coach at Homer for years,” Daigle said.
Buffington was tied at 1 with Wasilla’s Trevor Pempek heading into overtime as each scored an escape point in regulation. With wrestlers starting in the neutral position for the first overtime, neither was able to gain an advantage, but Buffington felt confident heading into the second overtime period, choosing to start in the down position.
“No one’s held me down, and since it was my choice, I knew I was going to get away,” Buffington said.
Indeed, Buffington immediately spun away from Pempek to secure the win. The Skyview senior said it was very satisfying to finish his career with a state crown.
“It’s the first time I’ve taken state. It’s always evaded me in the past,” Buffington said.
In the consolation finals, Kenai’s Mitchell Canavan wrestled to a fifth-place finish at 275 pounds, pinning West Valley’s Gavin Lorens in 1:03 into the second period.
For Skyview, Eddie Buffington forfeited his fifth-place match at 160 pounds after dropping a grueling, double-overtime match in the consolation semifinals. Teammate Josh Carlon finished sixth at 189 pounds as his rally in the final minute against Chugiak’s Rory McBryde fell just short. McBride took a 6-5 decision.
“I didn’t want to settle for sixth. I was going for fifth. It’s awesome,” Kenai’s Canavan said.
Canavan said the tournament was a great experience, and he got a good of idea of what it takes to be successful at state for next season.
“You’ve got to stay in good position and go for shots whenever you can,” Canavan said. “That’s pretty much it.”
Carlon led 2-1 early in his match but surrendered five points in the third period on a reversal and near-fall. He came back with an escape and takedown, but Carlon was not able to get McBryde on his back for any more points in the closing seconds.
“There were a lot of tough kids,” a drained Carlon said following the match. “I feel like I could’ve done better, but I placed in the top six at state.”
Alaska School Activities Association/First National Bank Alaska State 4A Wrestling Championships
Friday and Saturday at Chugiak High School
Team standings 1. Wasilla, 241.5; 2. South Anchorage, 177.5; 3. Chugiak, 116.5; 4. West Valley, 91.5; 5. Skyview, 90.5; Kodiak, 90.5; 7. Colony, 89; 8. Sitka, 87.5; 9. Latrhop, 77.5; 10. West, 75.5; 11. Juneau, 57; 12. North Pole, 38; 13. Bartlett, 32; 14. Homer, 26.5; 15. East, 23; 16. Service, 22; 17. Palmer, 19; 18. Kenai, 15; 19. Eagle River, 10; 20. Dimond, 8.5; 21. Ketchikan, 1; Soldotna, 1.
103 Michaela Hutchison, Sky, d. Aaron Boss, Col, 1-0
112 Alan Bartelli, Was, d. Jimmy Eggemeyer, Kod, 3-2
119 Sam Miller, Was, d. Dante Santos, JD, 5-0
125 Simeon Daigle, Hom, d. Steven Gauna, Kod, 7-4
130 Hollan Gravely, Col, m.d. Ted Nelvis, Wes, 15-5
135 Eli Hutchison, Sky, m.d. Matt Blakeslee, SA, 14-4
140 Max Rosefigura, Wes, d. Duane Carpenter, Was, 15-8
145 Clark Buffington, Sky, d. Trevor Pempek, Was, 2-1, 2OT
152 Davis Wiese, WV, m.d. Mike Trudeau, Was, 14-5
160 Jeremy Fulk, WV, d. Dylan Bergman, Sit, 6-3
171 Cayle Byers, Chu, d. Dustin Baxter, WV, 7-4
189 Scott Lucas, SA, f. Jake Wade, Was, 4:21
215 Mike Petrovich, SA, d. Jess Hessock, Bar, 2-1, 2OT
275 Steven McDonald, Wes, d. Tyler Holmlund, Sit, 7-5, OT
103 Kyle Foote, JD, d. Michael Abt, Sit, 5-3
112 Buddy Howard, JD, d. Joshua West, Col, 6-5
119 Bobby Hicks, Lat, d. Wesley Mills, Pal, 5-3
125 Lucas Fried, Kod, d. Danny Lyles, Was, 4-3
130 Ceasar Barrera, Was, d. Nicholas Perkins, Was, 4-2
135 Patrick Cooley, Was, f. Dan Tol, Chu, 4:34
140 Sam Carlson, Chu, d. Brian Hunsicker, SA, 3-1
145 Quincy Voris, Chu, m.d. Chad Custer, Col, 9-0
152 Mike Hunsicker, SA, d. Nolan McBryde, Chu, 7-6
160 Brad Jorgensen, Chu, d. Chuck Carpenter, Was, 5-2
171 Karl Coulombe, SA, d. Chris Pannone, Chu, 2-1
189 Andrew Wilson, Eas, d. Jake LaDuke, Sit, 3-0
215 Max Collins, NP, d. Nathan Graetz, Lat, 4-3
275 Jaryd Anderson, SA, d. Donald Morris, WV, 8-3
103 Ross Edelen, SA, d. Kyle Wilson, Col, 9-5
112 Anthony Ricketts, Ser, m.d. Ryan Hogan, Was, 13-1
119 Zachary Beauchamp, Col, d. Chris Brewster, SA, 9-6
125 Michael Chafin, Was, d. Luke Roberts, WV, 3-2
130 Kyle Demientieff, LAT, f. Steve Jutlia, NP, 2:58
135 Eric Motoya, NP, d. Lucas Chambers, Sit, 7-6
140 Trever Ferrin, Eas, d. Marlon Branson, Kod, 4-3
145 Levi Fox, Was, d. Ty Wagner, Sit, 3-2
152 Randy Houck, Bar, d. Jared Sundberg, Kod, 2-1
160 Jessy Amos, SA, by forfeit, Eddie Buffington, Sky
171 Kent Osborn, Lat, f. Jeris Lewis, Lat, 2:05
189 Rory McBryde, Chu, d. Josh Carlon, Sky, 6-5
215 Ben Watkins, Kod, by forfeit, Justin Zellweger, Wes
275 Mitchell Canavan, Ken, f. Gavin Lorens, WV, 1:59.
Sportsmanship award Juneau-Douglas
GPA Award Kenai Central
Most Outstanding Wrestler Scott Lucas, South Anchorage
Coach of the Year Shawn Hayes
Assistant Coach of the Year Nick Dougherty
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