Talaiasi leads Whalers to 12th at Lancer Smith tournament
Oneahi Talaiasi wrestled his way to a third-place finish this past weekend and helped power the Barrow Whalers to a 12th-place finish at the Lancer Smith Memorial Wrestling Tournament. Barrow, which fielded just nine wrestlers, scored 53 points in the three-day meet.
Colony, the top-ranked team in the state's Class 4A division, won the tournament. Lathrop and South Anchorage finished second and third, respectively. Homer was the state's highest-finishing Class 3A program in the 42-team field at fourth.
Talaiasi's third-place finish was only a few seconds from being golden. His only loss of the tournament came in a second-round setback to Palmer's Lucas Santana. Following the loss, the Whalers' standout reeled off three straight wins to earn the right to face Santana again, this time for third-place honors. In the bronze-medal match, Talaiasi reeled off a quick victory, pinning Santana at the 1:52 mark of the first period.
With his 5-1 performance in Wasilla, Talaiasi improved to 12-3 for the season.
Sione Tuifua and Ben Heather also turned in strong outings for the Whalers. Tuifua improved to 19-3 for the season with a 3-2 mark in the 195-pound classification. He finished fifth overall in the classification. Heather, now 22-7 overall, was sixth in the 220-pound standings.
Sammy Keovilayhong also notched a win for Barrow. He improved his season record to 8-8 heading into the break with a 1-2 mark in the 120-pound ranks. Keovilayhong claimed his victory by downing Service's Paul Stripling by a 4-3 clip in the second round.
Other BHS wrestlers participating in the varsity division of the meet included Anthony Librado, Bradley Brower, Bilal Zafar and Vakameilalo Tuifua.
Jay Rick Nobleza starred for the Whalers in the junior varsity division. He wrestled his way to a fifth-place finish in his weight class.