Kenai Peninsula grapplers shined over two days of Alaska USA State Wrestling championships, held May 2 and 3 at the Curtis Menard Sports Center in Wasilla.
The championship tournaments featured dozens of weight class champions over three styles of wrestling — freestyle, folkstyle and greco — as well as a women’s championship tournament.
In the state folkstyle tournament, the Soldotna Whalers wrestling club secured second place with 192 points, only behind the 222 of Anchorage Youth Wrestling Academy. The Kenai Kaveman claimed 22nd in the team race, while Nikiski Freestyle Wrestling Club was 26th.
The Soldotna Whalers earned nine individual championships in the folkstyle class. In the Under-12 Novice class, Hudson Morris won the 63-pound title with a pin, Samuel Strouse won the 67-pound title, including beating runner-up teammate Tracker Keller with a technical fall on a 15-0 score, and Michael Dickinson won the 82-pound class with a 6-1 decision over Jaxson Young of Nikiski Freestyle.
In the schoolboy/girl U14 class, Scott Michael won the 125-pound championship with a pin, and Hunter Richardson won the 136-pound title with a technical fall.
In the intermediate Under-10 class, Carson Cobb won the 63-pound championship with a 10-4 decision.
In the women’s schoolgirl U14 class, Daisy Lyn Hannevold won the 136-pound title with a pair of pins in round-robin play.
At the cadet U16 class, Dennis Taylor won the 152-pound championship with a pin.
In the women’s cadet U16 division, Trinity Donovan won the 138-pound championship with two pins.
In the intermediate Under-10 class, Natalee Strouse took sixth place at 59 pounds, Titus Watts took the bronze at 63 pounds, Zackary Kemp took the bronze at 71 pounds and Rowan Peck took fourth at 84 pounds.
In the U12 Novice class, Jacob Strausbaugh finished third at 74 pounds, Sam Henry took bronze at 58 pounds, and was joined by fourth-place finisher Jacob Ries and fifth-place finisher Draiden Mullican. Ryan Buchanan took fifth in the 82-pound class, Liam Peck took fourth in the 98-pound class, Jaykob Kemp was runner-up in the 117-pound category and teammate Dallas Walker took third.
Avery Powell finished fifth in the 135-pound class, while teammate Alyssa McDonald placed sixth. Powell won the place with a 6-4 decision over McDonald.
Also for the Soldotna Whalers in the schoolboy/girl U14 class, Tustin Keller took fifth place at 77 pounds, Simon Secor was fourth at 102 pounds, Owen Hart was third at 106 pounds, Collin Peck was fifth at 110 pounds and Cassius Miller took third at 136 pounds.
At the cadet U16 class, Hunter Secor took fifth place at 120 pounds and Sammy Baker took fifth at 152 pounds.
In the Junior class, Sean Babitt took third place at 170 pounds.
The Kenai Kaveman earned four placing wrestlers. At intermediate U10, Gunnar Stanley finished third at 84 pounds. In the novice U12 class, Keagan Stanley took fourth at 78 pounds, Daniel Steffensen took third at 92 pounds and Hunter Bras finished second at 108 pounds.
In the state women’s championship tournament, the Soldotna Whalers won the team title with 98 points, beating the 88 points of runner-up Interior Grappling Academy. Homer-based Popeye Wrestling Club was sixth with 60 points, and Nikiski Freestyle finished 17th with 20 points.
The Soldotna Whalers got seven women’s champions. In pre-bantam, Reegan LeClair won the 40-pound title with a pin and a tech fall and Adrena Curren won the 53-pound class with a pin. At intermediate U9, Natali Curren won the 60-pound championship on a pin. At novice U12, Madison Curren won the 70-pound title with a pin, Kaydence Jeffreys won the 75-pound title with a tech fall, and Avery Powell won the 127-pound belt with an 8-0 decision over teammate Alyssa McDonald. At cadet U16, Trinity Donovan won the 138-pound championship with a 9-2 decision and a pin in two round-robin matches.
Other placers for Soldotna included the intermediate U9 class, where McKinley Bock took second at 55 pounds.
At novice U12, Natalee Strouse placed second at 60 pounds, Nataleigh Shane took third at 90 pounds and Kelsi Curren took second at 110 pounds.
In the schoolgirl U14 class, Daisy Lyn Hannevold was second at 136 pounds.
The Popeye Wrestling Club out of Homer collected four women’s champions. In intermediate U9, Hayden Kumfer won the 55-pound title with a 12-10 decision and a pin and Flora Fitzpatrick won the 65-pound class with two pins.
Also placing for Homer were six others. In the intermediate U9 class, Storey Cook was third at 60 pounds.
At novice U12, Saoirse Cook took second at 90 pounds.
At schoolgirl U14, Cecilia Fitzpatrick was third at 110 pounds, and Roan Cook won by default at 185 pounds.
In the junior division, Mina Cavasos won by default at 127 pounds, and Mariah Grimes finished second at 164 pounds.
Nikiski Freestyle got a champion out of Braylynn Young, who won the intermediate U9 class at 75 pounds with two pins. Nikiski also got a third-place out of Addison Perkins in the novice U12 class at 70 pounds.
In the Greco state championships, the Soldotna Whalers finished third with 182 points. Anchorage Youth Wrestling Academy won with 212 points and Juneau Youth Wrestling finished second with 184. The Kenai Kavemen finished 19th with 28 points, Popeye was 21st with 26 and Nikiski Freestyle was 23rd with 14.
Soldotna secured seven champions — at intermediate U10, Hudson Morris won the 63-pound title with a pin on teammate Carson Cobb. In novice U12, Sam Henry won the 58-pound championship with a 30-24 decision and a tech fall, Samuel Strouse won the 67-pound title with two pins, Michael Dickinson won the 82-pound title with a tech fall and Jaykob Kemp won the 117-pound title with a pin.
At schoolboy/girl U14, Scott Michael won the 125-pound championship with a tech fall and Hunter Richardson won the 136-pound title with a tech fall.
Also for Soldotna, in intermediate U10, Christian Edmunds finished sixth at 63 pounds, Madison Curren was fifth at 67 pounds, Zackary Kemp was fifth at 71 pounds, Nathan Powell was fourth at 93 pounds and Phoenix Goolsby was sixth at 93 pounds.
At novice U12, Jacob Strausbaugh took third at 74 pounds, Mason Bock was fourth at 78 pounds, Liam Peck was fourth at 98 pounds, Chase Johnson was fourth at 108 pounds, Dallas Walker took third at 117 pounds and Avery Powell was fifth at 135 pounds.
At schoolboy/girl U14, Owen Hart took second at 106 pounds, Collin Peck took third at 110 pounds and Cassius Miller took third at 136 pounds.
At cadet U16, Hunter Secor was fifth at 120 pounds, Dennis Taylor was third at 152 pounds and Sammy Baker was fifth at 152.
In the junior division, Brayde Wolfe was fourth at 138 pounds and Sean Babitt was fifth at 170.
The Kenai Kaveman placed four wrestlers at the greco tournament. At intermediate U10, Gunnar Stanley took fifth at 84 pounds, and at novice U12, Keagan Stanley took fifth at 78 pounds, Daniel Steffensen was runner-up at 92 pounds and Hunter Bras was second at 108 pounds.
The Nikiski Freestyle club placed three grapplers at the greco tourney. At novice U12, Jaxson Young took fourth at 82 pounds, Oliver Parrish was fourth at 92 pounds, and in the schoolboy/girl U14 division, Trevor Williams was sixth at 125 pounds.
The Popeye club from Homer collected two championships. In novice U12, Cameron Cook won the 98-pound title with a pin, and Conner Cook won the 78-pound title with a tech fall.
Also for Homer, at schoolboy/girl U14, Chris Martishev was sixth at 114 pounds.
In the state freestyle championships, the Soldotna Whalers picked up 14 champions, the Kenai Kavemen got one champion and Homer’s Popeye club got three champs.
In pre-bantam, Kallen Elmore won the 40-pound title with a pin, Logan McKay Jr. won the 45-pound title with a pin on teammate Jaxson Ebenezer, and Kevin Michael won the 62-pound class with a pin.
At bantam U8, Peyton Cobb won the 53-pound class with a pin on teammate Ryder Lervig.
At intermediate U10, Carson Cobb claimed the 63-pound title with a pin.
In novice U12, Sam Henry collected the 58-pound title with a 6-4 decision, Samuel Strouse won the 67-pound title with a tech fall over teammate Tracker Keller, Michael Dickinson claimed the 82-pound championship with a tech fall and Jaykob Kemp won the 117-pound title with a pin.
In schoolboy/girl U14, Scott Michael won the 125-pound belt with a pin and Hunter Richardson won the 136-pound title with a tech fall.
At cadet U16, Dennis Taylor won the 152-pound title with a 9-5 decision.
In the AMOM category, Carissa McKay won by default at 110.2 pounds and Katherine Ebenezer won at 125.7 pounds.
In pre-bantam, Owen Knisley finished third at 35 pounds, Elijah Edmunds took second at 40 pounds, Karter Elmore took fourth at 40 pounds, Hunter Young finished fifth at 43 pounds, Landon Musgrove was sixth at 43, Kellen Steele took second at 49 pounds, Adrena Curren was fifth at 53 pounds and Cooper Aragon was second at 85 pounds.
In bantam U8, Bentley Elmore was second at 43 pounds and Amelia Ries was fourth at 43 pounds.
In intermediate U10, Charles Lawson was sixth at 53 pounds, Hudson Morris was third at 63 pounds, Titus Watts was fourth at 63 pounds, Zackary Kemp finished second at 71 pounds, Madison Curren was third at 71 pounds, Gunnar Lervig was fifth at 93 pounds, Clayton McDonald was third at 105 and Kolben Lopez was sixth at 105.
In novice U12, Draiden Mullican took fourth at 58 pounds, Jacob Ries took fifth at 58 pounds, Jacob Strausbaugh was second at 74 pounds, Mason Bock took fifth at 78 pounds, Liam Peck finished sixth at 98 pounds, Dallas Walker was third at 117, Avery Powell was fifth at 135 and Jacob Lopez took third at 160.
In schoolboy/girl U14, Tustin Keller finished third at 77 pounds, Simon Secor was third at 102 pounds, Owen Hart finished second at 106, Collin Peck was third at 110 and Cassius Miller placed fifth at 136.
At cadet U16, Hunter Secor took fourth place at 120 pounds, Sammy Baker took sixth at 152 pounds and Julian Yakunin was fifth at 182.
In the junior category, Brayde Wolfe finished fifth at 138 pounds and Sean Babitt was second at 170.
In the AMOM category, Christina Ries finished fourth at 125.7 pounds and Nettie Keller took second at 143.3 pounds.
Kenai Kavemen got one champion at freestyle, at bantam U8 when Landon Stanley won the 85-pound title with a tech fall.
At pre-bantam for Kenai, Kass Winger finished second at 53 pounds and Kannon Pyfer took fourth at 53.
In bantam U8, Harley Hyatt finished third at 53 pounds.
In intermediate U10, Gunnar Stanley finished fifth at 84 pounds.
In novice U12, Keagan Stanley was fourth at 78 pounds, Daniel Steffensen was fifth at 92 and Hunter Bras was second at 108.
In schoolboy/girl U14, Benjamin Harris was sixth at 102 pounds.
Nikiski placed six wrestlers at the freestyle tournament. At bantam U8, Kyson Rogers took sixth at 56 pounds, Jaydon Nordwall placed fifth at 70 and Matthew Roofe took sixth at 85. At novice U12, Jaxson Young was second at 82 pounds, Oliver Parrish was third at 92 and Daegan Mullin took sixth at 92.
Homer’s Popeye club got three champions in freestyle. At bantam U8, Kanin Kumfer won the 45-pound title with a pin, at novice U12, Cameron Cook won the 98-pound championship with a tech fall, and in the AMOM category, Erica Harrington won the 149.9 class with a pair of pins.
Also placing for Homer, in the intermediate U10 class, Hayden Kumfer was fifth at 53 pounds. At novice U12, Luca Fitzpatrick took sixth at 58 pounds, Conner Cook was second at 78.