SoHi girls, boys wrestlers take 2nd at Grace as local squads tune up for conference tourneys

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The Soldotna girls and boys wrestling teams each finished second at the 2023 Grace Grizzly Shakedown on Friday and Saturday in Anchorage.

The Colony girls won the event with 136 points, while Soldotna was next with 109.5. Also from the Kenai Peninsula, Homer was sixth with 49 and Kenai was 20th with 4.

South Anchorage won the boys meet with 246 points, while the Stars were next with 237.5.

Seward was fifth at the tourney with 116.5 points. The Seahawks were also the top Division II team.

Kenai finished seventh with 67.5 and Homer was eighth with 65.5.

Soldotna’s Trevor Michael was named the Boys Most Outstanding Wrestler at the tournament. Michael pinned his way through the bracket at 152 pounds, pinning top seed Zane Gerlach in 1 minute, 50 seconds, in the final.

Also winning titles for the Stars were Valarie McAnelly at girls 107, Angelina Chavarria at girls 114, Carson Cobb at 112 and Jacob Strausbaugh at 125.

Also for the Stars, Megan Whittom was second at girls 100, Taylor Whittom was third at girls 107, Rowan Peck was second at girls 120, Infinity-Ann Asiata-Higa was fourth at girls 185, Meg Roberts was second at girls 235, Sam Henry was third at 103, Titus Watts was second at 119, Ryan Buchanan was third at 119, Michael Dickinson was second at 140, Cody Coonrod was fourth at 140, Jaykob Kemp was fourth at 160, Collin Peck was second at 171, Koda Lepule was fourth at 215 and Kenai Lepule was fourth at 285.

Hunter Forshee-Kurtz won Seward’s lone title at 130. Also for the Seahawks, Tommy Jarnig was second at 103, Ridge Conant was fourth at 112 and Alejandro Sanchez was second at 135.

Daniel Steffensen led Kenai by placing third at 140.

Homer received titles from Saoirse Cook at girls 126 and Roane Cook at girls 185. Also for the Mariners, Bryce Glidden was fourth at girls 152 and Brayden Woods was third at 152.

The tournament served to tune up the peninsula’s wrestling teams for conference tournaments.

Division I Soldotna will be at the Northern Lights Conference tourney at Colony, which is Saturday only. Wrestling starts at 9 a.m. and the championship round will not start before 4 p.m.

For the boys, the top five finishers make the state tournament. For the girls, the top two finishers get automatic berths to state, then there also are four at-large berths available across the state.

Homer, Kenai, Nikiski and Seward will be at the Kachemak Conference tournament at Kenai Central. Wrestling begins at 3 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday.

The top three boys finishers at the tournament go to state, while the girls champion also gets an automatic berth. Then there are also four at-large girls berths available across the state.

Soldotna wrestlers travel to Barrow

The Stars also sent some wrestlers to Barrow on Friday and Saturday for the Bob Harcharek Classic, a round-robin event that didn’t have team scores.

Finishing first for Soldotna were Zackary Kemp at 125, Anthony Payne at 152 and Kaytlin McAnelly at girls 138.

Also for Soldotna, Jaden Carlyle was second at 112, Andrew Fielden was third at 112, Jace Gilliam was second at 125, Paxton Roach was fourth at 135, Harold Rudstrom was second at 145, Leigh Tacey was second at 152, Jackson Koetitz was third at 152, Nicholas Calhoun was fifth at 171, Elias Brantley was fourth at 215, Rodney McNeel was third at 215, Devin Fielden was fifth at 215 and Bella Byrd was third at girls 185.

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