Skyview's Tyler Wehrli, top, tries to take down Wasilla's Bryant Sullivan in a 171-pound consolation match in the state wrestling championships in Chugiak, Alaska, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005.
AP Photo/Al Grillo
Skyview High School's Eli Hutchison won his third individual championship Saturday, winning by fall at the state 4A wrestling championships at Chugiak High School.
"It's another tough one," said Hutchison following his match. "They have gotten tougher, but I've also gotten better, and it's a different style of wrestling, too."
Hutchison was the lone state champion from the Kenai Peninsula while his sister, Michaela, finished as the runner-up at 103 pounds and Soldotna's Brandy Goracke lost a heartbreaker in the championship round to finish second at 140.
Wasilla defended its team championship, beating South Anchorage by 30 points in the final standings. Skyview was fourth in the team standings.
Eli Hutchison was able to defeat Max Rosefigura of West in the championship round, turning a reversal into a quick pin 58 seconds into the third period.
Hutchison said the pin came as a little bit of a surprise as Rosefigura was able to stay just out of Hutchison's grasp for much of the match.
"I was hoping for a pin, but after the first period, I didn't think I would get it," Hutchison said.
Hutchison, a junior, said he'd take a couple of days to enjoy his victory before starting to think about next year and a fourth state title.
"I'll take a couple days off before I start lifting again, and freestyle starts soon," Hutchison said.
Michaela Hutchison also had a banner tournament, though it didn't result in a title.
"I was kind of nervous but excited too," she said.
After a moment of silence in memory of Luke Spruill of Kenai, a former state champion who died in a commercial fishing accident last summer, Hutchison who endeared herself to the crowd with her performance in Friday's semifinals got the Chugiak High School gym cranked up for her match at 103 pounds as she drew a rousing cheer during the championship faceoffs.
Hutchison was outmuscled in her match with Wasilla's Alan Bartelli, who got an early takedown and was able to maneuver his way into a pin with two seconds left in the first period.
Hutchison said she thinks of herself as just another wrestler on the mat and downplayed her status as the first girl in Alaska to wrestle in a championship match.
"I'm just another wrestler. I don't really think about that," she said.
Still, older brother Eli said he was proud.
"She wrestled awesome, she's an awesome sister," said Eli Hutchison. "She makes me work really hard, too. I'm glad she got into the finals."
Goracke led by a point, 8-7, with 10 seconds left in his match, but Bartlett's Shane Manuel was awarded two points for a takedown at the final whistle to win the title at 140.
"I'm disappointed," Goracke said. "(Second place is) the best I've done through high school, but it's my last year wrestling and I wanted to get first."
Goracke's teammate, Sean Whitmore, earned a fifth-place finish with a win by forfeit in the fifth-place match.
Skyview's Clark Buffington won his consolation bracket final, defeating Wasilla's Mike Trudeau with a pin 26 seconds into the third period to take third place at 145 pounds.
Buffington said he had plenty of motivation for his match as he was wrestling a higher-seeded competitor to whom he lost at the Northern Lights Conference championships, but added that he was disappointed in his third-place finish.
"I should've been at least in the finals," Buffington said. "But I've got one more year. I plan to train pretty hard and come back next year and take it."
The tournament bracket proved to be brutal in several weight classes as seeded wrestlers were knocked off by their unranked opponents.
"A lot happened in this tournament," said Skyview senior Tyler Wehrli, who dropped his third-place match at 171 pounds 6-5 to Steve O'Brien of Kodiak.
"It's frustrating. It's just that I made mistakes. You can't expect to win when you make mistakes, especially when it's state," Wehrli said.
Wehrli and every other wrestler at the competition started the tournament with high hopes and lofty goals. While he said fourth was a good finish, he also was hoping to be standing a little higher on the awards podium.
"I was hoping it was going to be me and my teammate in first and second, but I made mistakes in my quarterfinal match and in my last match," Wehrli said.
"I'm happy to take fourth, but when I look back on it, I'll always remember that I wanted better."
Skyview's Eddie Buffington also placed fourth, dropping his 152-pound consolation finals match 8-6 in overtime to Dylan Bergman of Sitka.
"I felt like I should have done better," Buffington said. "He outwrestled me. He's in better shape than me. It was just little things I needed to do to win but I've got three more years."
Homer's Simeon Daigle came up just short in his third-place match at 112, losing to Juneau's Gerry Carrillo, a state champion last year, 3-1, in overtime. Daigle was down 1-0 late in the third period, but tied the match when Carrillo was penalized a point for stalling.
Daigle went for a takedown in the overtime period, but Carrillo was able to defend Daigle's attempt to score the takedown.
"I should've been able to take him down, but his defense, he has really good defense," Daigle said.
Daigle, a sophomore, settled for fourth place this year after placing third last season, but said he was motivated to come back stronger next season.
"I felt more comfortable (at the state meet) this year. I'm going to come after it hard next year," Daigle said.
At 135 pounds, Daigle's teammate Camron Hagen lost an exciting match 12-9 to Wasilla's Ceasar Barrera.
"It's the funnest match I've had all my life," said Hagen.
Both wrestlers used a variety of athletic and acrobatic moves throughout the bout. Hagen found himself trailing in the third period and was able to tie the match at nine with an escape and a takedown, but Barrera got the last move in to get the win.
Despite the loss, Hagen said the match was a great way to end his junior season.
"I'm happy with anything. Fourth place is good for me it's not about the medals, it's about the sport," Hagen said.
ASAA/First National Bank Alaska State 4a Wrestling Championships
Friday and Saturday at Chugiak High School
Team standings 1. Wasilla, 179; 2. South Anchorage, 149; 3. West Valley, 113.5; 4. Skyview, 107.5; 5. Juneau, 104; 6. Chugiak, 100; 7. Colony, 96; 8. Lathrop, 77; 9. West, 74.5; 10. Kodiak, 73.5; 11. Sitka, 73; 12. Bartlett, 68; 13. Ketchikan, 52; 14. Soldotna, 43; 15. Homer, 36.5; 16. North Pole, 24; 17. Dimond, 15; 18. Palmer, 11; 19. East, 8; 20. Service, 1.
103 Alan Bartelli, Was, p. Michaela Hutchison, Sky, 1:58
112 Sungie Mussara, Jun, dec. Theron Apodaca, Bar, 6-2
119 Dusty Killian, Col, dec. Clayton Schmidling, Was, 7-5
125 Hollan Gravely, Col, dec. Matt Blakeslee, Sou, 6-3
130 Ira Carson, Wes, maj. dec. Duane Carpenter, Was, 12-3
135 Eli Hutchison, Sky, p. Max Rosefigura, Wes, 4:58
140 Shane Manuel, Bar, dec. Brandy Goracke, Sol, 9-8
145 Kaylen Baxter, WV, maj. dec. Jordan Dubuisson, Sou, 15-4
152 Dustin Baxter, WV, dec. Trevor Pempek, Was, 5-2
160 David Wiese, WV, tech. fall Wade Wilson, Sou, 28-13
171 Jake Wade, Was, dec. Marcus Lopez, Sou, 7-2
189 Stevev Wilburn, Chu, p. Scott Lucas, Sou, 3:24
215 Bobby Dunbar, Bar, maj. dec. Jake Ritter, Jun, 14-3
275 Jon Hamilton, Ket, dec. Mike Petrovich, Sou, 4-3
103 Dante Santos, Jun, dec. Jimmy Eggemeyer, Kod, 5-2
112 Gerry Carrillo, Jun, dec. Simeon Daigle, Hom, 3-1
119 Jordan Saceda, Jun, dec. Jim Jurczak, Sit, 4-2
125 Ted Nelvis, Wes, dec. Sam Carlson, Chu, 3-1
130 Clifton Ivanoff, kod, dec. George Wathen, Sit, 4-2
135 Ceasar Barrera, Was, dec. Camron Hagen, Hom, 12-9
140 Brandon Stoner, Lat, dec. Cayle Byers, Chu, 3-2
145 Clark Buffington, Sky, p. Mike Trudeau, Was, 3"26
152 Dylan Bergman, Sit, dec. Eddie Buffington, Sky, 8-6
160 Iain Brown, Ket, dec. James Geffe, Chu, 9-3
171 Steve O'Brien, Kod, dec. Tyler Wehrli, Sky, 6-5
189 Dan Neetz, WV, dec. Jake LaDuke, Sit, 7-2
215 Josiah Bush, NP, dec. Dominic Bellotte, Col, 3-1
275 Tyler Holmlund, Sit, dec. Jaryd Anderson, Sou, 7-1.
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