Competition in the 1-2-3A state high school wrestling championships gets under way today at Anchorage Christian Schools in Anchorage.
The Kenai Peninsula will send an impressive contingent of wrestlers to the meet, including 10 Nikiski Bulldogs, led by returning state champions Lance Penhale at 103 pounds and Anthony Lorenzo at 152. Both won area meet titles for the Bulldogs, as did Justin Tumbaga at 135.
"We'd like to place in the top three," Nikiski coach Abe Porter said following last weekend's area meet of his team's goals for the state championship. "We're going to just have to go up there and take care of business."
The host Lions may be the squad to beat in the team competition, though many wrestlers from the peninsula will be making some noise as they move through the brackets.
Seward has a trio of area meet champions in Eric Amberg at 140, Jake Wilder at 145 and Coty Beck at 160. Seldovia is led by area champions Jevon Chartier at 171 and Chance Collier at 189, Ninilchik will be represented by area runner-up Vincent Kruzick at 135 and Voznesenka, in its first season of wrestling, sends two athletes to the meet -- Kornely Polushkin at 103 and Sava White at 112.
Competition begins at 9 a.m. today, with a parade of athletes at 7 p.m., followed by the championship semifinals.
Wrestling starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, with the consolation finals to determine third, fourth, fifth and sixth places at 5 p.m. The championship finals are slated to follow a 7 p.m. introduction of the competitors and faceoff.
2003 ASAA State 1-2-3A Wrestling Championships
Nikiski: 103 -- Lance Penhale; 119 -- Jordan McCaughey; 125 -- Tab Key; 130 -- Jared Mazurek, Josh Huhndorf; 135 -- Justin Tumbaga; 145 -- Travis McCaughey; 152 -- Anthony Lorenzo; 215 -- Reece Parrish, Nik; 275 -- David Rorrison.
Ninilchik: 135 -- Vincent Kruzick.
Seldovia: 140 -- Bill Payton; 152 -- Jimmy Payton; 171 -- Jevon Chartier; 189 -- Chance Collier.
Seward: 119 -- Matt Adams; 125 -- Zach Coots; 135 -- Charlie Rininger; 140 -- Eric Amberg; 145 -- Jake Wilder; 160 -- Coty Beck; 189 -- Hans Alderman; 215 -- James Aase; 275 -- Gus Linville.
Voznesenka: 103 -- Kornely Polushkin; 112 -- Sava White.
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