Mariners crown four ‘King of the Mountain’

The Mariner Mat Team followed up their 15-medal performance with an 11-medal performance at Seward’s King of the Mountain Tournament last week. 

Homer dualed six times at the tournament and won each time. Jared Brant, 132 pounds, Timmy Woo, 152, Tristen Cook, 170, and freshman Jadin Mann, 285, all went undefeated over the weekend. 

Brant and Woo will be ranked No.1 in the state after their solid weekends of wrestling. 

To gain his title, Woo had to beat No. 3-ranked Caden Gerlach from Glennallen. Woo was leading 4-1 going into the third period when Gerlach slapped on a tight cradle and turned Woo to his back for a three-point near fall and possible pin. But Woo kept his shoulders off the mat and was able to reverse the hold and score two points to win 6-4. 

Brant was superior all weekend. 

At 170 pounds, Tristen Cook was unchallenged all weekend. His closest match was against Tyrone McKerny from Kenai — 7-4 in the first round. Cook should move up to the No. 2 ranking this week at 170. 

Mann was one of the biggest surprises. He was down 8-1 to Atoss from Barrow when he hit an arm spin to put Atoss on his back and then followed up with a cross face butcher to pin Atoss with 10 seconds remaining.

Other Mariners making it to the finals included Wayne Newman, 98 pounds, and Seth Inama, 106. Newman, who battled Thomas Dyment from Bethel to overtime, was taken down in the final period. Dyment pinned Newman in Bethel two weeks ago.

 This will be a great match up to watch during the rest of the season, as Dyment and Newman are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the state, respectively, at 98 pounds. Newman took Dyment down to begin the match but was unable to get out of the bottom position after a Dyment reversal, forcing overtime.

Inama also had a rematch with a Bethel opponent: Avery Hoffman. Hoffman again got the best of Inama, scoring one takedown more that his opponent. Inama is currently ranked No. 5 in the state at 106. 

Other strong showings from Homer came from Luciano Fasulo, 120 pounds, Jaime Rios, 145, Teddy Croft, 160, and Levi King, 170, all placing third. 

Fasulo lost in a heartbreaker in overtime to Jared Virgin from Glennallen. Both ranked wrestlers had each other on their backs throughout the match. Fasulo had a slim 10-9 each with seconds left as Virgin earned a controversial escape to force overtime. Virgin was able to score a leg attack on the edge of the mat to earn a trip to the finals. 

Fasulo then beat Dia Martishev from Voznsenka to take third place.  

The team travels to ACS this weekend for a preview of the Small School State Tournament. Just about every small school attends the ACS Invite and this will be the first look at the defending state champions from Kotzebue. 

Homer also will face Mt. Edgecumbe in an all-girls meet today. This is the second year that the state has an all-girls competition at the regional and state level.  

Currently, the Mariners have eight girls on the squad.