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Whalers, Huskies wrestle to top five finishes

November 10th 3:34 pm | Tommy Wells Print this article   Email this article  

Sione Tuifua added another piece of hardware to a memorable senior season on Saturday. The Barrow standout wrestled his way to the top spot in the 195-pound weight classification and helped the Barrow Whalers roll to a third-place finish at the 2017 Lime Solar/Anchorage Christian Schools Invitational. Barrow was one of 33 teams competing in the two-day meet in Anchorage.

As a team, Barrow rolled up 136 points in the meet. Defending Class 3A state champion Bethel Regional High School won the Lime Solar/ACS title with 214.5 points. Homer was second at 199. Kotzebue finished fourth at 135.5.

Tunisia, who helped lead the Whalers football team to their first-ever state football championship last month, dominated the 195-pound division. He turned in a perfect 4-0 mark in the event, including a thrilling 7-6 victory over Homer's Levi King in the championship round.

After drawing a bye in the first round, Tuifua got off to an impressive start. He edged out Unalaska's Seth Henning by an 8-3 score in his first bout. After a quick victory over Sitka's Maximus Johnson in the quarterfinals, he earned his spot in the finals by taking a 10-2 victory over Nikiski's Tyler Litke in the semifinals.

Ben Heather and Vakameilalo Tuifua narrowly missed gold medals, too. Heather advanced to the championship round of the 220-pound division before suffering a tough 4-3 setback to Monroe Catholic's Tanner Clark. Tuifua reeled off three straight wins en route to reaching the finals of the 285-pound class. In the finals, he dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to Mt. Edgecumbe's Haley Osborne in overtime.

Anthony Librado walked away from the meet with a third-place finish in the 113-pound ranks. He went 3-1 overall, including a 9-1 rout of Grace Christian's Owen Ford in the third-place contest.

Librado's only loss of the tournament was to eventual 113-pound champion Thomas Dyment of Bethel.

Oneahi Talaiasi and Bradley Brower finished fourth in their respective weight classifications. Talaiasi wrestled his way to a 4-1 mark in the 285-pound class before falling to Bethel's Ryan Smith in the third-place matchup. Brower also won four of his first five matches before suffering a tight 3-1 loss to Homer's Mose Hayes in the 138-pound third-place bout.

Jay Rick Nobleza also did well for the Whalers. He placed sixth in the 132-pound division with a 4-3 record.

Other Barrow wrestlers competing in the meet included Krystian Gandia, Calvin Miller, Bilal Zafar and Jalen Tracey.

Like Barrow, the Kotzebue Huskies also turned in a solid performance at the meet, which featured many of the state's top Class 1A, Class 2A and Class 3A squads. The Huskies had five wrestlers place and almost caught the Whalers - their Region I North rivals - for third.

Michael Hatch and Trevor Miller-Hickerson each claimed second-place marks in their divisions.

Hatch, wrestling in the 113-pound classification, breezed through his first two bouts — downing Mt. Edgecumbe's Ethan Cooke by a 15-0 score and ACS' Matthew Bohlman by a 7-1 margin — to reach the finals. In the championship, he suffered a loss to Dyment, who improved to 11-0 for the year.

Miller-Hickerson placed second in the 160-pound ranks with a 4-1 record. After winning his first four bouts, he suffered a 6-1 loss to Holy Rosary's Michael Lucas.

Matthew De La Cruz and Ethan Roetman also did well. De La Cruz was third in the 132-pound ranks, while Roetman went 4-1 and took third in the 182-pound class. Jack Hyatt placed sixth in the 195-pound division.

Also wrestling for Kotzebue at the meet were Ryan Troyer, Judah Atkinson, Xavier Jones, Mark Salta, Billy Nelson and Asaqpan Hensley.

Several area wrestlers also participated in the tournament, including grapplers from Noatak, Noorvik and Selawik.

Noatak's Brad Walton highlighted the Lynx's efforts. He posted a 2-2 record in the 170-pound ranks. Justice Jones and Thurston Mills each scratched out wins in their brackets.

Kane Hoffam went 2-2 for Noorvik in the 113-pound classification. Teammate Richard Hankinson turned in a 1-2 record in the 152-pound action.

Selawik's David Colton also competed, going 0-2 in the 113-pound ranks.


1. Bethel 214.5

2. Homer 199.0

3. Barrow 136.0

4. Kotzebue 135.5

5. Unalaska 129.5

6. Grace Christian 118.5

7. Glennallen 100.0

8. Wrangell 94.0

9. Redington 76.5

10. Nome 71.0

11. Hutchison 66.5

12. Sitka 66.0

13. Petersburg 61.5

14. Craig 60.5

15. Voznesenka 58.5

16. Mt. Edgecumbe 58.0

17. Eielson 53.0

18. Klawock 53.0

19. Monroe Catholic 53.0

20. Houston 52.0

21. Nikiski 52.0

22. Anchorage Christian 48.5

23. New Stuyahok 38.0

24. Seward 35.0

25. Holy Rosary 30.0

26. Napaskiak 26.5

27. Valdez 19.0

28. Noatak 15.0

29. Bristol Bay 13.0

30. Noorvik 13.0

31. Cordova 7.0

32. Su Valley 7.0

33. Selawik 0.0


1. North Pole 82.5

2. Homer 73.0

3. Kotzebue 60.0

4. Bethel 53.0

5. Soldotna 48.0

6. Bartlett 42.0

7. Nome 37.0

8. South Anchorage 36.0

9. Hutchison 32.0

10. Palmer 30.0

11. Eielson 24.0

12. Noatak 20.0

13. Lathrop 16.0

14. Napaskiak 16.0

15. Nikiski 10.0

16. Petersburg 9.0

17. East Anchorage 8.0

18. Selawik 8.0

19. Barrow 7.0

20. Seward 6.0

21. Koliganek 2.0

22. Bristol Bay 0.0

23. Houston 0.0

24. New Stuyahok 0.0

25. Redington 0.0

26. Unalaska 0.0

27. Valdez 0.0


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