Six Nome-Beltz wrestlers earned top scores after competing in Anchorage this weekend. The Anchorage Christian Schools Wrestling Tournament was the largest Division II tournament of the year.
Nome’s Starr Erikson, co-captain of the team, won each of her matches, taking home first place. She remains Nome’s only undefeated wrestler this season with a record of 18-0. Coach Charlie Cross elaborated on her championship win over the weekend:
“…The person she met in the finals was seated second. That’s Liana Carney from Wrangell. Starr handed her her first loss of season… so they’re definitely going to be seeing each other again later in year.”
Benjamin Cross pinned each of his opponents, facing Aengus Bancroft from Glennallen in what, according to Coach Cross, was a “highly anticipated match.”
“In the tournament seating, Benjamin was seated first, and Bancroft was seated second. So, if they won their initial matches, they were going to meet in the finals. So, there was a lot of anticipation of them facing each other, because they were ranked number one and two in the state.”
Benjamin Cross ended up pinning Bancroft and taking home the championship for his weight class. He was awarded the boy’s tournament Outstanding Wrestler.
Caleb Evatt scored 2nd place after his opponent in the championship, Homer’s Seth Inama, won by injury default in what was a very close match. Again, Coach Cross:
“When the injury happened, it was really too bad, because Caleb was managing a comeback, for sure. Then the injury occurred as they were going out of bounds — they came down really hard onto the mat… and Caleb sustained painful but relatively minor injury to his neck and chest area.”
Elden Cross scored a 4th place finish in his 29-man bracket. Katie Smith and Georgia Ustaszewski both placed 6th in their respective weight classes.
Coach Cross reflected on the team’s progress and what’s to come.
“Senior co-captains Starr Erikson, Caleb Evatt, and Ben Cross are all performing the way we expect them to… and there’s a lot of expectations for the team to get better as a whole. They’re all working really hard in practice. It’s a lot of time away from home, since we have to travel just about every weekend to face our competition. But overall, we have a very strong team.”
Next up for Nome-Beltz high school and middle school wrestlers is the Lancer Smith Tournament in Palmer this coming weekend.
Image at top: Wrestlers compete at Nome’s only home meet of the season on Saturday, October 20, 2018. Photo: Katie Kazmierski, KNOM.