Homer senior Luciano Fasulo works on Dillingham’s Chris Williams in the 135-pound final Saturday night at the Div. II state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer senior Luciano Fasulo works on Dillingham’s Chris Williams in the 135-pound final Saturday night at the Div. II state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

State wrestling sees final Hutchison appearance; Homer boys capture state title

More than two decades after the first Hutchison stepped onto an Alaska state wrestling mat, the last one walked off of another.

Soldotna senior Gideon Hutchison lost 13-5 to South Anchorage’s Jacob Shack in Saturday night’s 130-pound final at the Division I state wrestling championships in the spacious Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, but the moment represented a final chapter to an illustrious era of wrestling written by one family.

Soldotna head coach Neldon Gardner, who has been there and coached every Hutchison sibling, said the remarkable streak of success by one family has been rare treat for Alaska wrestling fans.

“There are families out there that have brothers win some,” Gardner said. “But as far as multiple kids, as many as they have had, win the ones they have, it is a step above.”

For Mike Hutchison, patriarch of the Hutchison clan and chairman of Alaska USA Wrestling, the moment wasn’t the last time he’ll roam the sidelines at a meet, but it was the last time he will feel the pressure of watching a son or daughter fight for a state crown.

“(I’m) frustrated but relieved I don’t have to feel this way again,” Hutchison said.

The family consists of 10 siblings, Gideon being the last of them. Gideon won a state championship last year at 120 pounds to add to his family’s legacy in Alaska wrestling. The title was the 12th total for the family, joining the two won by Zeb, the four each won by Eli and Seth, and the historic 2006 crown won by Michaela, who became the first female to win a state high school wrestling championship against boys.

“For us, it was a family sport,” Mike explained. “We have a big family and we travelled a lot.”

Soldotna still left Saturday with a state title in hand, as senior Aaron Faletoi came through in the 215-pound final to win his first wrestling championship in his prep career.

Across the arena, the Div. II state championships finished with the Homer Mariners taking the team title, reclaiming the throne they had in 2015 when the squad snapped a 29-year championship drought in the sport.

Homer racked up 180 points to beat the 157 earned by runner-up Glennallen. Two-time defending Div. II champs Bethel finished second, just a half-point behind Glennallen.

Entering the finals round, Homer led the team race by a slim 12 points — 160.5 to Bethel’s 148.5 — with Glennallen close behind with 147.

But Homer had packed the finals with five wrestlers, while Bethel advanced three, and the Mariners finished with four champions — Seth Inama at 125 pounds, Luciano Fasulo at 135 pounds, Wayne Newman at 140 and Jadin Mann at heavyweight. All four winners were seniors making their final appearance.

In the girls tournament, Homer got a fifth state champ in McKenzie Cook, who joined an exclusive club of four-time state champions in Alaska with a pin at the buzzer of Eielson’s Nailah Bealer in the 145-pound final.

With the victory, Cook became the second girl and just the 14th overall wrestler to win a fourth state crown in Alaska history. Cook was also presented with the 2018 Girls Outstanding Wrestler of the Year award.

“It’s pretty special,” Cook said. “I feel like it was kind of paving the way, or maybe continuing the way for girls that want to wrestle.”

It’s no surprise to learn that Cook got here partly due to the help of a former Kenai Peninsula legend in the world of girls wrestling, 2006 Skyview High graduate Michaela Hutchison, who became the first girl in the nation to win a state wrestling title against boys competition. Cook said Hutchison has coached her for two years with Team Alaska, helping her prepare for national meets.

“I don’t remember her winning (in 2006),” Cook said. “But she coached me and helped me.”

With a promising spot on the McKendree University (in Lebanon, Illinois) on the horizon, Cook said the four years she has spent with the Mariners have served her well.

“I don’t really want to leave, but I’m ready to go,” she said.

In the boys tournament, Fasulo ended a remarkable career that finished with three straight undefeated seasons and an 111-match winning streak, pinning Dillingham’s Chris Williams with 32 seconds left in the third period while leading 12-5.

Fasulo lost his state semifinal match in 2015 as a freshman, but said that loss motivated him to return hungrier and stronger.

“I think that really set me up for wanting it more,” Fasulo said. “I’m really proud to win this being a senior.”

Another Homer finalist that capped his career on a high note was Jadin Mann, the 215-pound champion. Mann tallied his first state title in his second attempt after falling short in 2016 and missing last year to a torn labrum he sustained shortly after the 2016 campaign. Mann said the shoulder injury popped up several more times, including this year at the Top Dog meet at Nikiski and most recently, a week before the conference meet.

Saturday in Anchorage, Mann secured the title with a 5-1 victory over Haley Osborne of Mt. Edgecumbe, controlling the final throughout the six minutes, then celebrated by playing to the Homer crowd in the stands, slapping his biceps in a triumphant showing.

“It feels amazing, especially after the shoulder issue,” Mann said. “It really forces you to change things up when that happens.”

Perhaps the award for biggest comeback of the night would have gone to Voznesenka senior Max Kusnetsov, who rallied from an 8-2 deficit in the 119-pound final to force overtime against Alex Buck of Glennallen. Kusnetsov won it just 15 seconds into the overtime period with a takedown to become a two-time state champ. Kusnetsov won in 2016 but lost last year to a four-time state champ.

Kusnetsov tied the final at 10 apiece with 19 seconds to go, but allowed Buck to take the lead on an escape point after starting in the bottom position. Kusnetsov didn’t get the takedown he wanted, but the ref called a stall on Buck as the buzzer sounded to tie it up and force OT.

“I was definitely for a second doubting that,” Kusnetsov said.

The diminutive Voznesenka athlete was able to enjoy the moment as it was his final appearance on a wrestling mat. Kusnetsov said he plans on joining his family in the commercial fishing business full time after high school.

“This was my last match,” he said. “I tried not to get caught up in the hype because I’m a head case.”

Faletoi’s 215-pound victory in the Div. I tournament was a formality. Faletoi entered the night 2-0 against Mock this year, both pins, and was leading 10-0 in the second period when he caught Mock in a pin.

“It’s electrifying,” Faletoi said. “(Mock) is a great opponent so I had to wrestler smart and not get inside him.”

Full results at peninsulaclarion.com

DIVISION I

Team scores — 1. Homer, 180 points; 2. Glennallen, 157; 3. Bethel, 156.5; 4. Dillingham, 115; 5. Unalaska, 85.5; 6. Grace Christian, 80; 7. Kotzebue, 78.5; 8. Redington, 78; 9. Mt. Edgecumbe, 71.5; 10. Wrangell, 70; 11. Voznesenka, 68.5; 12. Nome, 68; 13. Craig, 64; 14. Napaskiak, 59.5; 15. Sitka, 52; 16. Kenai Central, 50; 17. Nikiski, 48.5; 18. Eielson, 46.5; 19. ACS, 46; 20. Barrow, 39.

Championship matches

103 — Jeremy Bockert, Lat, 9-2 dec. Adam Concepcion, Sou; 112 — Aedyn Concepcion, Sou, 9-3 dec. TJ Clapp, Col; 119 — Aidan Ehmann, Col, 11-4 dec. Alexander Logsdon, Was; 125 — Niko Mayo, Sou, 3-1 dec. Jared Hopkins, Col; 130 — Jacob Shack, Sou, MD 13-5 Gideon Hutchison, Sol; 135 — Theo Cha, Sou, 6-5 dec. Vincent Cramer, Col; 140 — Rush Fannon, Col, 8-5 dec. Kobe Ames, Lat; 145 — Trace Severson, Col, MD 13-0 Gregory Dean, Was; 152 — Christian Hudson, Sou, MD 16-4 Asa Barnes, Pal; 160 — Andrue Shepersky, Lat, 4-2 dec. Nathan Kisgen, Lat; 171 — Eric Christy, Col, 5-2 dec. Jacob Anderson, Sou; 189 — Bradley Antesberger, NP, 7-5 dec. Levi Hopkins, Col; 215 — Aaron Faletoi, Sol, pin Kelton Mock, Wes, 4:49; 285 — Henry Saafi, Sou, 3-2 dec. Poe Vaafuti, Wes.

3rd-place matches

103 — Degan Linne, Ket, 4-2 dec. Benjamin Pope, Eas; 112 — Roberto Lechuga Porras, Lat, 8-3 dec. Colton Parduhn, Lat; 119 — Patrick Rauwolf, Ket, MD 12-2 Jacob Harvey, Col; 125 — Sabastian Benefield, NP, 10-9 dec. Octavius McCleskey, Eas; 130 — William Poland, Lat, 4-1 dec. Kayden Payne, Col; 135 — Hunter Hayes, Was, 5-1 dec. Isaac Rodman, Was; 140 — Wesley Wolff, Was, 2-0 dec. Hunter Sasser, Col; 145 — Brandon DeYarmon, Sou, pin 4:52 Isaac Coon, WV; 152 — Rylan Randolph-Oxholm, Dim, 5-2 dec. Josiah Opp, Lat; 160 — Spencer Martin, Sou, 3-2 dec. Michael Chaput, Sou; 171 — Josh Nummer, Kod, pin 4:06 Sean Babitt, Sol; 189 — Dorian Mellon, Sou, 5-4 dec. Sean Michel, Lat; 215 — Jamar Toston, Col, SV 5-3 Derek Mason, Thu; 285 — John Fitzpatrick, Eas, pin 2:26 Melvin Lloyd, Sol.

5th-place matches

103 — Andrew Killian-Dalrymple, Lat, pin :52 Chandler Jasper, Was; 112 — Kai Clein, WV, 4-1 dec. Carter Silva, Col; 119 — Garrett Bourne, Lat, MD 12-1 Taylor McAlpin, Sou; 125 — Simon Keffalos, Sou, pin 3:33 Payton Portney, Pal; 130 — Wesley Fraker, Was, 9-4 dec. Rett Gallagher, Col; 135 — Riley Harris, Sou, pin :45 Matthew Sanchez, Lat; 140 — Andy Collins, pin 1:50 Niles Williams, Was; 145 — Andrew Mueller, Lat, pin 3:42 Brayde Wolfe, Sol; 152 — Tanner Thornhill, Col, 5-3 dec. Andrew Green, Ser; 160 — James Goodman, Kod, 3-1 dec. Austin Hacker, Was; 171 — Levi Farris, Pal, 12-5 dec. Colton Lindquist, Was; 189 — Brandon Wieber, Ket, inj. Daniel Niebles, Chu; 215 — Andrew Hamilton, ER, 12-7 dec. Elias Roehl-Paredes, Wes; 285 — Brock Weatherspoon, NP, 8-2 dec. Eli Floyd, Sol.

DIVISION II

Team scores — 1. South Anchorage, 340; 2. Colony, 316.5; 3. Lathrop, 261.5; 4. Wasilla, 178; 5. Soldotna, 127.5; 6. North Pole, 81; 7. Ketchikan, 75; 8. West Anchorage, 69.5; 9. East Anchorage, 68; 10. Palmer, 59.5; 11. West Valley, 42; 12. Kodiak, 37.5; 13. Thunder Mountain, 32; 14. Eagle River, 26; 14. Service, 26; 16. Dimond, 23; 17. Chugiak, 13; 18. Bartlett, 10.

Championship matches

103 — Landon Smith, Bet, 11-7 dec. Ryan Rooney, Wra; 112 — Caleb O’Hara, ACS, 9-2 dec. Joseph Smith, Bet; 119 — Maxim Kusnetsov, Voz, SV 13-11 Alex Buck, Gle; 125 — Seth Inama, Hom, TF 17-2 Caleb Evatt, Nom; 130 — Blaine Henning, UAK, 11-5 dec. Charles Severance, Red; 135 — Luciano Fasulo, Hom, pin 5:28 Chris Williams, Dill; 140 — Wayne Newman, Hom, 3-1 dec. Jesse Noden, Dill; 145 — Aengus Bancroft, Gle, 10-6 dec. Ben Cross, Nom; 152 — Dillon Chaney, Dill, 2-1 dec. Mose Hayes, Hom; 160 — Hayden Lieb, Bet, 4-1 dec. Gabe Martin, Gra; 171 — Eliot Merriner, Gra, 6-1 dec. Kael Gerlach, Gle; 189 — Caden Gerlach, Gle, pin 1:22 Ethan Roetman, Kot; 215 — Benjamin Joe Heather, Bar, 4-3 dec. Seth Henning, UAK; 285 — Jadin Mann, Hom, 5-1 dec. Haley Osborne, MtE.

3rd-place matches

103 — Colton Ewers, Sit, MD 9-1 Talon Whicker, Ken; 112 — Stephen Maxie, Nap, 7-3 dec. Darius Tilden, Dill; 119 — Boston Postishek, Red, 9-3 dec. Jordan Korth, Gle; 125 — Zach Giron, Cra, 11-6 dec. John Esnardo, Una; 130 — Daniel Chakuchin, Bet, 6-5 dec. Matt Bohlman, ACS; 135 — Aaron Williams, Nap, pin 4:44 Jay Rick Nobleza, Bar; 140 — Jacob Gagner, Sit, 11-6 dec. Dustin Ruckman, UAK; 145 — Leon Evon, MtE, inj 1:00 Dia Martishev, Voz; 152 — Hunter Wiederspohn, Wra, pin 4:02 Josh Bradshaw, Hom; 160 — Tucker Vann, Ken, pin 3:31 Koleman McCaughey, Nik; 171 — Anthony Kalugin, Voz, inj. :00 Erik Mills-Bain, Kot; 189 — Nephi Tidwell, Eie, 5-2 dec. Billy Nelson, Kot; 215 — Elijah Lindley, Bet, pin 1:50 Dustin Mullins, Nik; 285 — Ryan Smith, Bet, pin 1:42 Wesley Verhamme, Hai.

5th-place matches

103 — Seth Jacob, Nap, TF 16-0 Gusty Blunka Jr., NSt; 112 — Demetry Hoseth, Dill, 3-1 dec. Keegan Delaquito, Gle; 119 — Zach Kolbe, Dill, 8-6 dec. Jacob Andrew, NSt; 125 — JJ Marble, Nom, 4-3 dec. James Paris, Red; 130 — Ian Stovall, Hom, TF 18-3 Thomas Ooka, Sew; 135 — Joshua Baird, Eie, SV 12-10 Colton Dow, Gra; 140 — Moses Korth, Gle, pin 2:57; Gavin Metcalf, Red; 145 — Austin Cramer, Gle, pin 2:25 Jamin Crow, Bet; 152 — Graham Staley, Eie, 8-1 dec. Elden Cross, Nom; 160 — Kole Sperl, Pet, 7-6 dec. Luke Wegend, Cra; 171 — Omar Powers, Delta, 7-5 dec. Wayland Patton, Cra; 189 — Dillon Rooney, Wra, 3-2 dec. John Welsh, Sit; 215 — Andrew Bergan, Kot, pin :41 Rocky Sherbahn, Ken; 285 — Ulric Lehman, Cra, forf. Russell Saccheus, Elim.

GIRLS

Team scores — 1. Mt. Edgecumbe, 141; 2. Bethel, 102; 3. Lathrop, 92; 4. South Anchorage, 88; 5. Eielson, 78; 6. North Pole, 74; 7. Hutchison, 57; 8. Homer, 52; 9. Wasilla, 51.5; 10. Kotzebue, 51; 11. Eagle River, 40; 12. Ketchikan, 39; 13. Palmer, 38; 14. Nome, 36; 15. Dillingham, 35; 16. Petersburg, 34; 17. West Anchorage, 32; 18. Soldotna, 30; 19. Wrangell, 26; 20. East Anchorage, 24.

Championship matches

103 — Jolie Lucas, Eie, pin 3:42 Dellarae Charlie, Bet; 112 — Starr Erickson, Nom, pin 1:55 Liana Carney, Wra; 119 — Elizabeth Schumaker, NP, pin 4:36 Tatiana Green, Was; 125 — Ruby Massin, Pet, pin 2:42 Kristina Gerasimyuk, Was; 130 — Shelby Ottum, Sou, pin 4:27 Rebecca Samuelson, Bet; 135 — Brystel Charlie, MtE, 5-0 dec. Lindsey Beans-Polk, Bet; 145 — McKenzie Cook, Hom, pin 4:00 Nailah Bealer, Eie; 160 — Madison Ellis, Sou, pin 1:30 Amanda Wylie, Sol; 189 — Jayleen Sekona, Sou, 5-0 dec. Alaina Pete, MtE; 235 — Debranna Bealer, Eie, 3-0 dec. Maggie Miller, MtE.

3rd-place matches

103 — Trinity Pendergrass, Pal, 9-6 dec. Jean Krause, Dil; 112 — Autumn Poland, Lat, pin 1:53 Zaida Baldwin, Kot; 119 — Alyssa Andrews, ER, pin 2:11 Heidi Warner, Was; 125 — Jaron Mute, Bet, SV 4-2 Kaitlynne Rice, Hut; 130 — Janice Dykes, NP, pin :49 Maysa Brown, MtE; 135 — Kaleiha Ashbury, Hut, pin 3:33 Kenya Edwards, Hut; 145 — Anya Pingayak, MtE, pin 3:29 Candace Wilson, Kot; 160 — Dakota Magnuson, MtE, 3-1 dec. Halle Savage, Una; 189 — Megan Parrish, NP, SV 8-6 Rachel Moore, Sha; 235 — Ashlan Tisega, Wes, pin 3:14 Jana Allen, Val.

5th-place matches

103 — Kelsi Madson, Bet, 5-1 dec. Jessica McCall, Kot; 112 — Ashley Andrews, ER, pin 3:37 Eva Sherman-Dawe, Dim; 119 — Cate Gomez, Dill, inj. Sadie Blake, Hom; 125 — Aiyana Erhart, Lat, pin 2:13 Ada Odden, Ket; 130 — Olivia Troxell, Kod, 5-3 dec. Jessie Merrick, Hou; 135 — Danielle Johnson, Lat, pin 4:55 Hayley Gilson, Ket; 145 — Eve Negovanna, Bar, inj. Autumn Williams, Lat; 160 — Desarae Matheny, Lat, pin 2:00 Twyla Anderstrom, Red; 189 — Jacelyn Chikigak, Ala, inj. Theresia Vaafuti, Wes; 235 — Jaideen Agbayani, Pal, 5-4 dec. Tryston Macar, MtE.

Soldotna senior Gideon Hutchison takes on South’s Jacob Shack in the 130-pound final Saturday night at the Div. I state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna senior Gideon Hutchison takes on South’s Jacob Shack in the 130-pound final Saturday night at the Div. I state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s McKenzie Cook battles against Eielson’s Nailah Bealer (right) in the girls 145-pound final Saturday night at the girls state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s McKenzie Cook battles against Eielson’s Nailah Bealer (right) in the girls 145-pound final Saturday night at the girls state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna senior Aaron Faletoi anticipates the moves of West Anchorage’s Kelton Mock in the 215-pound final Saturday night at the Div. I state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna senior Aaron Faletoi anticipates the moves of West Anchorage’s Kelton Mock in the 215-pound final Saturday night at the Div. I state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Voznesenka’s Max Kusnetsov looks for a move to make against Glennallen’s Alex Buck in the 119-pound final Saturday night at the Div. II state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Voznesenka’s Max Kusnetsov looks for a move to make against Glennallen’s Alex Buck in the 119-pound final Saturday night at the Div. II state wrestling championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

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