Homer’s wrestling team proved its power over the weekend by taking the top spot in its own hosted event, the Round Robin Rumble.
Held Saturday at the Homer High School, the event drew five other teams from around the state and took place a day after those teams competed in smaller dual meets against each other.
Homer came in first at Saturday’s rumble by a large margin, racking up 209.5 points. The next highest scoring team was Nikiski with 122 points, with Soldotna coming in close behind with 120 points for third place.
Kenai Central High School wrestlers took fourth place with 119 points, Kodiak took fifth with 116.5, and the Voznesenka team sixth with 115 points.
On Friday, five of the six teams competed against each other one at a time in dual matches. There, Homer defeated Soldotna’s team 52-30, and also beat Kodiak 60-21.
“The team benefited from having a full line up, scoring forfeits and pins in a lot of weight classes,” said assistant coach Chris Perk in an email.
While helping Homer beat Kodiak, senior Ian Stovall at 130 dislocated his finger after getting a takedown against Brayden Stevens, Perk wrote. Stoval’s mom was able to reset the finger and he went on to earn an escape, and then “threw Stevens to his back in a lateral drop and pressed his shoulders to the mat for a pin.”
Voznesenka defeated Nikiski 42-33 before losing to Soldotna 33-42 Friday.
Coach Justin Zank said he’s working with quite a few freshmen this year on his team of 12, and that his hopes are for them to get trained up. Nine of his wrestlers appeared at the Rumble.
“My older guys, you know, Max, Dia, Anthony and Daniel, obviously our goals there are state goals,” Zank said. “For the younger guys, it’s about growth this year.”
Besides losing to the Mariners, Kodiak defeated Soldotna in the duals 41-20, as well as Nikiski 48-30. Soldotna won one of its Friday duals, rising 42-33 over Voznesenka.
During Saturday’s Round Robin Rumble, Homer came away with four first-place individual varsity titles, from Seth Inama in the 130-pound weight class, Wayne Newman at 140, Mose Hayes at 152, Jadin Mann at 285. Homer’s Sadie Blake also took first in the 125-pound weight class for the girls.
For Blake, sophomore, it was her first championship ever, Perk reported. She pinned all four girls in the 125 bracket.
Voznesenka had three individual champions — Maxim Kusnetsov, who won at 125, Dia Martishev at 145 and Anthony Kalugin at 189.
Logan Craig of Soldotna took first place in the 112-pound weight class, and his teammates Gideon Hutchison at 135, Max Rogers at 215 and Amanda Wylie at girls 160 also brought in first place finishes for the Stars.
Kenai Central High School champions were Talon Whicker at 103, Pierce Peterson at 119 and Tucker Vann at 160.
Nikiski did not have any winners of individual weight classes.
The Mariner wrestlers next head up to Anchorage for the South Anchorage Monster Mash on Friday and Saturday, where some will face off against the top four 4A teams in the state: South Anchorage, Lathrop, Colony and Wasilla.
For full results from the Round Robin Rumble, see the sports in brief.