by Tommy Wells
Landon Smith and DellaRae Charlie both wrestled their way to gold medals this past weekend and helped power the Bethel Regional Junior High School wrestling team to a second-place finish behind Anchorage Christian in the small-school standings at the Tanana Invitational Wrestling Tournament.
Bethel finished ninth in the combined totals with 163.5 points.
Smith starred for the Warriors’ boys’ team. He posted a perfect 5-0 record in the 84-pound weight classification. He capped his outing with a 5-0 victory over Ryan Middle School’s Colton Parduhn in the finals.
Jamin Crow and Joseph Smith also turned in solid outings. Crow netted a fourth-place finish with a 4-2 performance. He advanced to the third-place match before dropping a decision to Chugiak’s Grant Jones.
Smith finished fifth in the 84-pound division with a 4-2 record.
Ryan Chaney and Cody Demientieff also placed for BRJHS. Chaney netted seventh in the 70-pound division with a 3-2 mark. Demientieff was seventh in the 174-pound bracket with a 2-2 record.
Other BRJHS wrestlers participating in the boys’ division were Mason Fitka, Tyler Laraux, Kristofer Kupanoak, Peter Crow, Larry Bayer, Terrel Jimmy and Shawn Peter.
Charlie and Trinity Geerdts highlighted the girls’ outing. Charlie worked her way to first in the 104.5-pound division. She capped a perfect 3-0 effort with an 11-4 win over Eielson’s Jenna Curry in the finals.
Geerdts narrowly missed a gold in the 81-pound division. She advanced to the finals before falling to Wrangell’s Liana Carney.
Rebecca Samuelson also notched a medal for the Warriors. She took third in the 136-pound division with a victory over Tanana’s Gillian Crawford. She finished the tournament with a 3-1 record.
Anna Avalos also did well. She finished eighth in the 120-pound classification.