Upward of 300 wrestlers representing 60 high schools from all over the state of Alaska will begin competition for the Alaska School Activities Association Fall Wrestling Championships today at Kenai Central High School.
The schools of the Kenai Peninsula will be well-represented at the event. The Area 4 champion Skyview Panthers have 20 wrestlers qualified for the event while the Nikiski Bulldogs, coming off their Area 3 title, will have 19 wrestlers competing for state titles.
The Soldotna Stars, runners-up in Area 3, will have 17 wrestlers at the state meet, while the Homer Mariners have 13 athletes qualified for the event. Nine wrestlers from Ninilchik qualified for the state meet, as did two athletes from Seldovia.
The host Kardinals qualified eight wrestlers for the state meet from the Area 4 meet, and the Seward Seahawks will have 11 athletes hitting the mats today at Kenai.
Round 1 begins today at 10 a.m., and wrestlers will be in action on three different mats at Kenai Central. There will be two mats in the main gym, and the third mat will be set up in the upper gym -- complete with a closed-circuit camera to keep spectators in the main gym up to date with the events upstairs.
The first round is scheduled to conclude by 2:30 p.m., and Rounds 2 and 3 will start with matches on all three mats after an hour intermission. Thursday's competition is scheduled to wrap up around 9:30 p.m.
Friday's competition begins at 9 a.m. with Round 4, and matches scheduled for all three mats. Rounds 5, 6 and 7 will utilize all three mats Friday, and should conclude by 6 p.m.
Rounds 8 and 9 -- the championship semifinals and the consolation quarterfinals -- are slated for Friday at 7 p.m. on two mats in the main gym.
Saturday's competition starts at 10 a.m. with the consolation semifinals and continues at 1 p.m. with the fifth-place matches. Both rounds are scheduled to use two mats in the main gym.
The competition will be focused on one mat for the final two rounds of competition, starting at 5 p.m. Saturday. The third-place matches will start at 5 p.m., followed by the championship round at 7 p.m.
An awards ceremony will follow the championship round.
Peninsula state qualifiers
103 -- Devion Hagen, Homer; Josh Huhndorf, Nikiski; Vincent Kruzick, Ninilchik; Tab Key, Nikiski; Luke Ciufo, Soldotna; Cody Phipps, Skyview; Elliot Hampton, Kenai.
112 -- Billy Greenstreet, Homer; Joey Wicker, Nikiski; Jacob Birkholtz, Nikiski; Gideon Scott, Homer; Melina Hutchison, Skyview; Jacob Madrid, Kenai; Sean Chase, Seward.
119 -- Rex Savely, Ninilchik; Monte Garroutte, Homer; Tela O'Donnell, Nikiski; Wayne Aitken, Nikiski; Shane Tachnick, Soldotna; David Leach, Skyview; Solomon Snyder, Seward; Katherine Mooter, Seward.
125 -- Chris McCaughey, Nikiski; Steven Miller, Ninilchik; Beau Hanke, Soldotna; Tommy James, Homer; Neil Strausbaugh, Skyview; Jacob LaShot, Kenai; Brandon Cleveland, Skyview.
130 -- Tony Aitken, Nikiski; Norman Orr, Soldotna; Leroy Shangin, Soldotna; Ryan Childers, Skyview; Cameron Gardner, Skyview.
135 -- Neil Fucci, Nikiski; Bryan Chartier, Seldovia; Colten Goracke, Soldotna; Zach Rohr, Ninilchik; Ian Leach, Skyview; Ben Nabinger, Skyview.
140 -- Anthony Lorenzo, Nikiski; Josh Smith, Ninilchik; Ty Schweigert, Soldotna; Aaron Allen, Nikiski; Darian Draper, Seward; James Sadler, Skyview; Tom Wagenaar, Skyview; Kenny Butler, Kenai; Devan Kothe, Seward.
145 -- Steven Calderwood, Nikiski; John Howarth, Soldotna; John Scovell, Homer; Ryan Wicker, Nikiski; Salty Bock, Ninilchik; Ron Winger, Skyview; Zach Rininger, Seward; Nate Morse, Skyview; Justin McCahon, Seward.
152 -- Joshua Meeks, Nikiski; Jared Carlson, Soldotna; John Matson, Nikiski; Chris Rice, Skyview; Justin Rainwater, Skyview; Ian Demello, Kenai; Scott Kornfield, Kenai.
160 -- Chris Roofe, Nikiski; Chris Fraker, Homer; Kyle Karsten, Soldotna; Ron Plate, Skyview; Brendan Martin, Skyview; Ben Clock, Seward.
171 -- Justin Whitmore, Soldotna; Justice Cousins, Homer; Kyle Alexander, Nikiski; Adam Hediger, Homer; Levi Russell, Ninilchik; Charlie Wiles, Kenai; Carey Johnson, Skyview; Joe Legner, Skyview; Thomas Buchanan, Seward.
189 -- Shawn Weigle, Soldotna; Rick Corazza, Homer; Gordon Stanley, Nikiski; Nick Evans, Soldotna; Tom Bowden, Seldovia; Vance Gaddis, Skyview; Devin Loomis, Seward; Robert Merchant, Kenai.
215 -- Adam Crum, Homer; Seth Letzring, Soldotna; Buck Kvasnikoff, Ninilchik; Travis Bass, Soldotna; Michael Hibpsan, Homer; Jimmy Mika, Nikiski; Corbin Stirling, Seward; Chad Sager, Seward.
275 -- Angelo Luna, Nikiski; Josh Urinko, Soldotna; Josh Brantley, Soldotna; Jared Weaver, Homer.
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