Photo by Joey Klecka Nikiski senior Luke Johnson looks for his next move against Barrow's Tua Mila in the 285-pound championship at the Class 1-2-3A state wrestling tournament at Bartlett High. The win was Johnson's third state crown.

Photo by Joey Klecka Nikiski senior Luke Johnson looks for his next move against Barrow's Tua Mila in the 285-pound championship at the Class 1-2-3A state wrestling tournament at Bartlett High. The win was Johnson's third state crown.

Hutchison takes 4th state title; Homer boys capture team title

With one mighty attack, Soldotna senior Seth Hutchison entered the record books at the Class 4A state wrestling championships Saturday night at Bartlett High in Anchorage, winning a fourth state crown that puts his name in rarefied air.

Hutchison pinned Lathrop sophomore Westley Bockert with 24 seconds left in the first round of the 126-pound final, giving him his fourth state championship and becoming the ninth wrestler in state history to accomplish the feat.

Included on that list is Seth’s older brother, Eli, who won his fourth state title in 2006, on the same night sister Michaela became the first girl in the United States to win a prep wrestling title against boys, although one thing Eli has over his now four-time champion brother is his undefeated record. Eli is still the only wrestler in Alaska to never lose a high school match.

“It’s cool to join my older brother Eli,” Hutchison said after the match. “I mean, more than cool, it’s exciting.”

Hutchison ended his final year of prep wrestling with a 43-2 record. The SoHi senior controlled the match from the start, holding Bockert down and staying on top for the majority of the action.

“I hooked my leg and when he was bending over I grabbed his leg,” Hutchison said. “It’s kind of sad that it’s over but it feels awesome that I’ve come this far since freshman year.”

The victory was the 11th state title for the Hutchison family, who have seen their share of success over the years, beginning with Zeb (two state titles) and continuing with Eli (four), Michaela (one) and Seth (four).

The last of the Hutchison siblings, SoHi freshman Gideon, finished third Saturday with a 10-6 decision over Ketchikan’s Brayden Linne in the 106-pound class.

In the moments following the win, the well-deserved celebration culminated in a photo with Seth, Eli, Hutchison family patriarch Mike and coach Gardner, along with a few other Soldotna students.

“What a way to go out,” Gardner said. “He was on fire out there, and to pin your way to the win, that’s the way to do it.”

Seth, who was just 8 years old when Eli won his fourth title, said he remembers that night well, although mostly for what he saw on the television coverage.

“Everyone was giving hugs and I was just in the mix,” Seth recalls. “He’s in the hall of fame and I won’t ever be able to do what he did (going undefeated in high school).”

Hutchison was not the only wrestler Saturday to go out with a state title their senior year. Heavyweight contender Dalton Best also picked up a state championships — his first — in the 285-pound final, beating Dimond junior Brandon Pili in a 7-3 decision.

“I went into that with nothing to lose,” Best said. “I was just focused on not staying tied up with him.”

For Best, it is his second state trophy he has collected his senior year, joining the one he earned with the SoHi football team in October. Best was an All-State lineman for the Stars.

South won the team title with 254 points, beating runner-up Colony’s 224.5 points and third-place Lathrop’s 223.5. Soldotna finished eighth in the team standings with 93 points, while Kenai Central was 16th with 42 points.


In the Class 1-2-3A state tournament, contested side-by-side with the larger schools, the Homer Mariners celebrated a momentous occasion.

The Mariners won their first state wrestling title since 1986, piling up 212 points to capture the team championship. Perennial contender Bethel finished second with 168 points, while defending champions Kotzebue were third with 138.5 points.

Homer coach Chris Perk, a former Homer wrestler himself from 1989 to 1993, said the time invested to develop Homer’s grapplers before high school has finally paid off.

“It’s unbelievable,” Perk said proudly. “This was one of those years where the kids took on every challenge we gave them, and they performed it.”

The Mariners got individual championships from junior Timmy Woo and Levi King. Woo dominated the 152-pound final to win with an 11-7 decision over Wyatt Patten of Craig, while King locked up his title by forfeit. Homer freshman Wayne Newman made the 98-pound final but narrowly lost to Thomas Dyment of Bethel by a scant 10-9 decision, and junior Jared Brant finished second in the 132-pound final, losing by a 4-2 sudden death finish to Aaron Olsen of Bethel.

Woo had beaten Patten by a single point at the ACS Invite earlier in the season, so Saturday’s win felt even better.

“I knew I just had to score,” Woo said about falling behind 2-0 early in the match. “I gave him two points on a takedown, so I just had to win.”

Additionally, Homer placed three female wrestlers in finals in the girls tournament. Ultimately, freshman McKenzie Cook took home the championship in the 145-pound class, beating Bethel’s Haley O’Brien by a 7-2 decision.

Homer senior Jadzia Martin and junior Heather Harrington also made it into their respective finals, but both lost. Martin lost a 5-1 decision in the 106-pound final, and Harrington was pinned in the 220-pound final.

Nikiski took fourth with 108.5 points, led by individual crowns by seniors TJ Cox and Luke Johnson.

For Johnson, it was his third state championship, but the crown was made extra special with his family in attendance, including older brother Lincoln, who beat Luke in the 195-pound finale at the 2012 Class 1-2-3A state tournament. Luke was just a freshman then, but that loss remains the most recent loss of his career and the only time he failed to win a state crown. Since that victory over his younger brother in his senior season, Lincoln had never been back in Alaska to see Luke win a state title. Saturday was the first he witnessed that accomplishment in person.

“It’s huge to have him here,” Luke said about his brother. “It kind of serves as extra motivation.”

Luke won Saturday with a dominating 12-5 decision over Barrow’s Tua Mila, a match that exhausted Johnson to the point of collapse after the match. After regaining his breath and mopping up the abundant sweat on his brow, Johnson said that was the first time he failed to pin an opponent this year, after doing so the previous 19 times.

“I’m pretty tired, plus I had a shoulder injury from football season,” Johnson said. “That was my first six-minute match this year, so it was pretty intense.”

Cox won his first state title of his high school career in a big way, handing Kotzebue senior Gavin Maslen his first loss of the year with a tight 6-5 victory in the 120-pound final, and leaving Maslen with a 28-1 season record and his first loss in over two years.

The victory proved to be popular for Cox, as he was mobbed with friends, family and coaches after the win.

“I could feel him wearing out, and he was getting tired,” Cox said. “This just feels amazing.”


State wrestling tournaments

Friday, Saturday

at Chugiak, Bartlett

Class 4A

Team scores: 1. South, 254; 2. Colony, 224.5; 3. Lathrop, 223.5; 4. Wasilla, 141.5; 5. North Pole, 102; 6 (tie). Ketchikan, Palmer 97.5; 8. Soldotna, 93; 9. Chugiak, 86; 10. East, 75.5; 11. Service, 68; 12. West Valley, 64; 13. Eagle River, 53; 14. Dimond, 46; 15. Kodiak, 45; 16. Kenai, 42; 17. Bartlett, 34.5; 18. Thunder Mountain, 30.5; 19. Juneau, 24; 20. West, 23.

Championship matches

98 — Ee, Lat, dec. Mcalpin, Sou, 9-2; 106 — Spencer, Lat, dec. Martin, Sou, 5-4; 113 — Mathis, Was, m.d. Jones, Lat, 14-3; 120 — Hopkins, Col, TB-1 Harris, Sou, 8-4; 126 — Hutchison, Sol, p. Bockert, Lat, 1:37; 132 — Shack, Sou, dec. Sturgeon, Was, 10-9; 138 — Wolff, Was, dec. Hopkins, Col, 4-2; 145 — Rogers, NP, dec. Ottum, Sou, 7-3; 152 — Amico, ER, m.d. Schumaker, NP, 16-8; 160 — Pellumbi, Sou, won by injury default over Budke, Chu; 170 — Haan, Col, dec. Lowe, Chu, 3-1; 182 — Nash, Col, p. Bonar, WV, 5:18; 195 — Fousel, Ket, dec. Weldon, Jun, 15-6; 220 — Miller, Lat, dec. Johnston, Chu, 11-6; 285 — Best, Sol, dec. Pili, Dim, 7-3.

Third-place matches

98 — Fannon, Col, p. Andersen, Pal, 2:03; 106 — G. Hutchison, Sol, dec. Linne, Ket, 10-6; 113 — Ott, Lat, dec. Lincoln, Sou, 8-5; 120 — Shack, Sou, dec. Todd, Eas, 4-1; 126 — Elvsaas, Was, dec. Walton, Kod, 5-1; 132 — Powell, Eas, dec. Steiner, Was, 5-1; 138 — Martin, Sou, won by forfeit over McGann, Pal; 145 — Booth, Col, m.d. Farris, Pal, 12-3; 152 — Boyer, TM, m.d. Todd, Eas, 16-2; 160 — Tolver, Lat, dec. Pace, Bar, 5-4; 170 — Nero, Col, TB-1 Antesberger, NP, 2-1; 182 — Dickinson, Lat, dec. Herrera, Ser, 3-2; 195 — Correa-Medina, Sou, SV-1 Gold, Eas, 3-1; 220 — Phelps, Ser, p. Christy, Col, 4:12; 285 — Koziczkowski, Ken, p. Foshee, WV, 1:55.

Fifth-place matches

98 — Stewart, Ket, dec. Norman, TM, 5-0; 106 — Gonzalez, Kod, dec. Briones, Wes, 3-1; 113 — Torres, Col, dec. Tenebro, Ket, 9-6; 120 — Tavares, Ket, m.d. Faulkner, Ser, 8-0; 126 — Divelbiss, Dim, dec. Simpson, Was, 7-3; 132 — Christy, Col, m.d. Music, NP, 10-1; 138 — Larionoff, Kod, m.d. Mueller, Lat, 8-0; 145 — Metcalf, Sol, dec. Story, Lat, 3-1; 152 — Mcenerny, Ken, won by injury default over Glynn, Pal; 160 — Ditzler, Chu, dec. Kurka, Pal, 6-4; 170 — Antesberger, NP, dec. Fricilone, WV, 6-2; 182 — King, Eas, won by forfeit over Wilson, Was; 195 — Farris, Pal, dec. Caldarera, Ser, 8-6; 220 — Wright, Sou, won by DQ over Minnick, Was; 285 — Jeong, Lat, m.d. Speziale, Bar, 16-3.


Grand champ matches

106 — Fowlkes, NP, dec. Martin, Hom, 5-1; 113 — Christopher, NS, won by injury default over Fabricante, Kod; 120 — Sheldon, Kot, dec. Eakin, Kot, 15-8; 132 — O’Brien, Bet, dec. Nicholai, Hou, 8-2; 145 — Cook, Hom, dec. O’Brien, Bet, 7-2; 160 — Kimber, ME, m.d. Suemai, Nom, 12-1; 182 — Andrews, ME, m.d. Hingsbergen, Sel, 16-6; 220 — Magnuson, ME, p. Harrington, Hom, 3:45.

Grand qualifying matches

106 — Fowlkes, NP, p. Warner, Was, 1:46; 113 — Christopher, NS, p. Castillo, ME, 1:31; 120 — Eakin, Kot, p. Sampson, 1:49; 132 — Nicholai, Hou, won by injury default over Akerelrea, ME; 145 — Cook, Hom, p. Peacock, Kot, 5:39; 160 — Suemai, Nom, p. Rio, Hom, 0:41; 182 — Andrews, ME, dec. Wuya, Bet, 6-4; 220 — Harrington, Hom, p. Foxglove, Buck, 1:48.

Third-place matches (to determine who makes top-three Grand wrestle-off)

106 — Warner, Was, dec. Chavez, Ken, 5-0; 113 — Castillo, ME, m.d. Moseley, Hom, 12-4; 120 — Sampson, WLK, p. Newtun, Yak, 2:06; 132 — Akerelrea, ME, dec. Knott, NP, 13-7; 145 — Cook, Hom, p. Hanshaw, Ser, 4:54; 160 — Rios, Hom, p. Ramoth, WLK, 2:15; 182 — Andrews, ME, p. Moore, SK, 3:17; 220 — Harrington, Hom, dec. Pleasant, Bet, 1-0.

Class 1-2-3A

Team scores: 1. Homer, 212; 2. Bethel, 168; 3. Kotzebue, 138.5; 4. Nikiski, 108.5; 5. Glennallen, 95; 6. Houston, 87; 7. Sitka, 80.5; 8. Nome, 70.5; 9. Grace, 66.5; 10. Wrangell, 64.5; 11. Barrow, 61; 12. Craig, 60; 13. Mt. Edgecumbe, 57; 14. Dillingham, 56; 15. Eielson, 55; 16. Metlakatla, 50; 17. New Stuyahok, 44.5; 18. Unalaska, 34; 19. Seward, Galena 29; 21. Aniak, 28; 22. Petersburg, 27; 23. ACS, Valdez, 24; 25. Hutchison, 21; 26. Haines, Holy Rosary, Su-Valley, 20; 29. Thorne Bay, 16; 30. Bristol Bay, 15; 31. Voznesenka, 14; 32. Hydaburg, 13; 32. Quinhagak, 13; 34. Hoonah, 12; 35. Shaktoolik, 10; 36. Cordova, Kuskokwim, Monroe Catholic, 7; 39. Redington Sr., 4; 40. Scammon Bay, 3.

Championship matches

98 — Dymet, Bet, dec. Newman, Hom, 10-9; 106 — Bartlett, Sit, dec. Blunka Jr., NS, 6-4; 113 — Evan, Bet, p. Gagner, Sit, 2:32; 120 — Cox, Nik, dec. Maslen, Kot, 6-5; 126 — Hoffman, Bet, dec. LeMay, ACS, 6-4; 132 — Olsen, Bet, SV-1 Brant, Hom, 4-2; 138 — Bockman, Gra, dec. Greene, Val, 5-2; 145 — Erikson, Nom, dec. Lucas, HR, 9-3; 152 — Woo, Hom, dec. Patten, Cra, 11-7; 160 — Horner, Nom, dec. Eakin, Kot, 4-1; 170 — Woods, Kot, dec. Carstens, Nik, 5-2; 182 — White, Gle, dec. Armstrong, Wra, 11-6; 195 — King, Hom, won by forfeit over Leisholmn, Met; 220 — Lincecum, Hou, dec. Rhodes, Gle, 10-9; 285 ­— Johnson, Nik, dec. Mila, Bar, 12-5.

Third-place matches

98 — Barratt, WR, p. Phelps, BB, 2:36; 106 — Gust, NS, p. Hoffman, Bet, 1:58; 113 — St. Andre, Eie, dec. Savo, Dill, 6-3; 120 — Fasulo, Hom, dec. Virgin, Gle, 6-2; 126 — Stone, Eie, dec. House, Hou, 6-1; 132 — Dunlap, Eie, dec. Sleh, Kot, 4-2; 138 — Miller-Hickerson, Kot, p. Roberts, ME, 1:31; 145 — Kinney, Hou, m.d. Sumauang, Sit, 12-1; 152 — Gerlach, Gle, dec. Durr, Hai, 7-0; 160 — Croft, Hom, p. Tripple, TB, 4:00; 170 — Cook, Hom, dec. Henning, Una, 7-0; 182 — Wells, Hom, dec. Pekar, Bet, 6-4; 195 — Goeden, Sit, p. Tui’fua, Bar, 4-2; 220 — Atos, Bar, p. Lliaban, ME, 4:51; 285 — Pinard, SuV, p. Blandov, Met, 2:47.

Fifth-place matches

98 — Kusnetsov, Voz, p. Evatt, NB, 3:00; 106 — Allain, Bet, t.f. Turner, Hutc, 5:00; 113 — DeBilt, Quin, p. Smith, Bet, 0:27; 120 — Stelmach, PE, dec. Paniptchuk, SK, 7-6; 126 — Bucaneg, Unak, s.v. Pearche, Huth, 5-3; 132 — Budke, HN, dec. Marker, CR, 7-1; 138 — Gardiner, Dill, dec. Martin, Gra, 10-7; 145 — Rios, Hom, dec. Eakin, Kot, 6-5; 152 — Ward, Aniak, dec. Dunaway, Dill, 3-1; 160 — Young, Gra, dec. Martin, Gra, 5-1; 170 — Peele, Hyd, won by injury default over Freitas, ME; 182 — Ritter, Hou, dec. Edenshaw, Kot, 4-2; 195 — Barrett, Hou, dec. Clark, Mon, 8-3; 220 — Wilson, Aniak, p. Mann, Hom, 1:00; 285 — Sam, Gal, p. Schutter, Sew, 2:18.

Photo by Joey Klecka Homer junior Timmy Woo (right) attacks Wyatt Patten of Craig en route to winning the 152-pound championship at the Class 1-2-3A state wrestling tournament at Bartlett High. Woo helped lead the Homer Mariners to their first wrestling state title since 1986.

Photo by Joey Klecka Homer junior Timmy Woo (right) attacks Wyatt Patten of Craig en route to winning the 152-pound championship at the Class 1-2-3A state wrestling tournament at Bartlett High. Woo helped lead the Homer Mariners to their first wrestling state title since 1986.

Soldotna senior Seth Hutchison works over Lathrop sophomore Westley Bockert in the 126-pound final at the Class 4A state wrestling championships at Bartlett High. Hutchison pinned Bockert to become just the ninth wrestler in Alaska history to win four straight state titles.

Soldotna senior Seth Hutchison works over Lathrop sophomore Westley Bockert in the 126-pound final at the Class 4A state wrestling championships at Bartlett High. Hutchison pinned Bockert to become just the ninth wrestler in Alaska history to win four straight state titles.

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