The Homer Mariners brought home the hardware Saturday at the Kachemak Conference wrestling championships, although they did not have to go very far to put it in the school display case.
Riding on the strength of seven individual champions (including girls), the Mariners were crowned region champs for the first time since 1986, rolling up a total of 239 points. Houston finished second with 197 and Nikiski was third with 193.5.
“I’m just really proud of these guys,” said Homer Coach Chris Perk. “They come in every day with a great positive attitude and get to work.”
Homer junior Timmy Woo was named the Kachemak Conference Wrestler of the Year. Woo went undefeated in the tournament and capped his weekend with a 17-6 major decision over Houston’s Terry Jackson in the 152-pound final.
“Timmy’s just been obstinate in practice, he comes every day wanting to work hard and wrestle,” Perk said. “He’s just ‘Mister Consistent,’ and really coachable.”
Perk himself garnered some of the attention, as he was given Coach of the Year honors.
After going 29 years without a region wrestling team title, Perk said the breakthrough this season was due to a greater effort to develop young talent before it explodes onto the high school scene, starting at the club level.
“We have a really great system in place that we believe in,” Perk said. “It starts at the youth level, gets faster at the middle school level, and once they get to the high school level, we’re just getting them ready. The bottom line is putting in the time.”
Perk also said the joy of winning the gold on the Mariners’ home mats made the occasion all the more special.
Among Homer wrestlers that took home individual championships were freshman Wayne Newman at 98 pounds, freshman Seth Inama at 106, senior Jadzia Martin at 106, freshman Allison Wells at 120, junior Jared Brant at 132, Woo at 152 and sophomore Teddy Croft at 160.
Nikiski claimed third place in the team standings with help from three individual champs. Bulldogs senior TJ Cox defeated Luciano Fasulo of Homer in a technical fall with 1:17 left in the third and final round of the 120-pound final, senior Nathan Carstens won the 170-pound title with a 5-4 decision over Tristen Cook of Homer, and senior Luke Johnson won the 285-pound championship with a medical forfeit over Justin Schutter of Seward.
Seward took fifth in the team standings with three wrestlers in the championship rounds. Cole Norcross was defeated 7-6 by Alhrik Schomer of Grace Christian in the 113-pound final, Jon Kingsland lost to Homer’s Jared Brant 13-1 in the 132-pound final, and Schutter suffered a medical forfeit at heavyweight.
Voznesenka finished ninth in the team standings, led by Maxim Kusnetsov, who lost a 12-0 major decision to Wayne Newman of Homer in the 98-pound final, while Nikit Anufriev finished sixth at 160 pounds.
Kachemak Conference tournament
Team results — 1. Homer, 239 points; 2. Houston, 197; 3. Nikiski, 193.5; 4. ACS, 132.5; 5. Seward, 111; 6. Grace Christian, 109.5; 7. Redington Sr., 58; 8. Holy Rosary, 35; 9. Voznesenka, 27; 10. Cordova, 10.
98 — Wayne Newman, Hom, maj. dec. Maxim Kusnetsov, Voz, 12-0; 106 — Seth Inama, Hom, maj. dec. Saige Paris, Red, 12-3; 113 — Alhrik Schomer, Gra, dec. Cole Norcross, Sew, 7-6; 120 — TJ Cox, Nik, tech. Luciano Fasulo, Hom, 4:43; 126 — Shannon LeMay, ACS, p. Robert House, Hou, 3:27; 132 — Jared Brant, Hom, maj. dec. Jon Kingsland, Sew, 13-1; 138 — Evan Bockman, maj. dec. Justin Cox, Nik, 17-3; 145 — Michael Lucas, HRA, dec. Etienne Kinney, Hou, 5-0; 152 — Timmy Woo, Hom, maj. dec. Terry Jackson, Hou, 17-6; 160 — Teddy Croft, Hom, dec. Zach Young, Gra, 6-1; 170 — Nathan Carstens, Nik, dec. Tristen Cook, Hom, 5-4; 182 — Robert Ritter, Hou, p. Warren Gage, Nik, 5:54; 195 — Malaki Barrett, Hou, dec. Michael House, Hou, 9-2; 220 — Ezra Lincecum, Hou, forf. Sean Lang, Hou; 285 — Luke Johnson, Nik, med. forf. Justin Schutter, Sew.
106 — Jadzia Martin, Hom, 3 for 3; 113 — Alex Moseley, Hom, bye; 120 — Allison Wells, Hom, p. Megan Wallace, Hou, :32; 132 — Teeana Nicholai, Hou, 3 for 3; 145 — McKenzie Cook, Hom, bye; 160 — Katie Rios, Hom, bye; 220 — Heather Harrington, Hom, bye.
98 — Isaac Guillermo, ACS, p. Malcolm Yerkes, Nik, :56; 106 — Gabe Smith, Nik, p. Thomas Biegel, HRA, 1:30; 113 — Ali Alawadh, Sew, won on bye; 120 — Ethan Martin, ACS, p. Jordan Morganflash, Red, 4:18; 126 — Simon Estes, Sew, p. Chris Kingsland, Sew, 2:21; 132 — Case Estes, Sew, dec. John Sanford, ACS, 9-7; 138 — Gabe Martin, Gra, p. Collin Smallwood, ACS, 3:55; 145 — Jaime Rios, Hom, inj. Tyler Johnson, Hom; 152 — Nathan Juliussen, Gra, dec. Garrett Bond, Gra, 7-0; 160 — Riley Martin, Gra, tech. Dustin Mullins, Nik, 4:38; 170 — Dylan Broussard, Nik, dec. Colter Deville, ACS, 9-4; 182 — Kyle Wells, Hom, p. Eli Davis, Sew, 3:57; 195 — Levi King, Hom, dec. Matt Morris, Sew, 2-0; 220 — Tyler Litke, Nik, p. Jadin Mann, Hom, 4:44; 285 — Dylan Jackson, Hou, dec. Stelios Gialopsos, Cor, 7-0.
98 — bye; 106 — bye; 113 — bye; 120 — Jens Knutson, Hou, def. Damien Jessup, Hou, DFF; 126 — Braxton Donahey, ACS, p. Lane Guim, Hou, 1:22; 132 — Samuel Chapson, Hou, p. Colton Jones, Red, 1:56; 138 — Caleb Mikkelson, Hou, def. Bryan Conrad, Hou, 7-5; 145 — Ben Sobek, ACS, p. Matthew Hollinger, Nik, 2:55; 152 — Joel Hofacker, ACS, dec. Chris Cudaback, Hom, 2-1; 160 — Connor Merriner, Gra, dec. Nikit Anufriev, Voz, 8-5; 170 — Elliot Merriner, Gra, dec. Aaden Hendrick, Hou, 9-2; 182 — Shawn Graham, Hou, p. Austin Brown, Cor, 1:54; 195 — Kyler Rumfelt, Red, dec. Dakota Hupp, Nik, 3-2; 220 — Audric Turner, Gra, dec. Kjell Nilsson, Sew, 9-4; 285 — Thomas Murrin, Hou, bye.