Darren Foster and Nixie Schooler with some of their gold medals and their prestigious “Triple Crown” belt buckles at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / Jason Hass)

Darren Foster and Nixie Schooler with some of their gold medals and their prestigious “Triple Crown” belt buckles at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / Jason Hass)

Juneau Youth Wrestling Club finds gold in Wasilla

USA Wrestling Alaska State Championship held from May 3-7.

The Juneau Youth Wrestling Club last week traveled to Wasilla where the club competed in the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center.

Team leader Kyle Carter (right) mentors younger teammate Miles Godkin (left) during tournament warm ups. (Courtesy Photo / Jason Hass)

Team leader Kyle Carter (right) mentors younger teammate Miles Godkin (left) during tournament warm ups. (Courtesy Photo / Jason Hass)

JYWC coach and board member Jason Hass said the three-day-long tournament spends each day focusing on a different style of wrestling such as folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle.

“The gist of all three styles are the same-take your opponent off their feet and secure (pin) their back to the mat,” Hass said. “However, each style involves different technique, body positioning, rules, and scoring. It’s always amazing to see how seamlessly our wrestlers can transition between the three styles. This is part of what makes this tournament so much fun.”

Sage Richards (JYWC) takes down Thomas Welled (Pioneer Grappling Academy) at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / Dana Richards)

Sage Richards (JYWC) takes down Thomas Welled (Pioneer Grappling Academy) at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / Dana Richards)

This year, the JYWC had three wrestlers go undefeated and win gold in all three styles; Nixie Schooler in the girls 14U 97-pound bracket, Landon Hill in the boys 14U 87-pound bracket and Darren Foster in the boys 14U 250-pound bracket. In total, the JYWC took 55 wrestlers from ages 5 to 18 to the tournament, which according to Hass is the most wrestlers the club has ever taken.

“This was also the first full season our club has been able to use our brand new wrestling club facility,” Hass said. “Having our own place to practice has allowed us to have more convenient practice times and a sense of pride in ownership of our own facility-some place we can call our own. These increasingly large participation numbers bode well for the future successes of our local wrestling programs. This tournament marks the end of a season, but the beginning of something very special.”

Landon Hill pins Jack Hughes (Mid-Valley Wolves) at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / Mel Hastings)

Landon Hill pins Jack Hughes (Mid-Valley Wolves) at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / Mel Hastings)

Placing in the top three spots spots in their respective age and weight brackets for folkstyle were Andrew Erickson, Caleb Scussel, Josh Beedle, Landon Hill, Camden Messmer, Landyn Dunn, Jed Davis, Jaeger Hubert, Xavier Thibeault, Ethan VanKirk, Weldon Zemlicka, Darren Foster, Sage Richards, Kyle Carter, Abigail Dolan and Nixie Schooler.

Placing in the top three spots spots in their respective age and weight brackets for Greco-Roman were Stevie Fairchild, Caleb Scussel, Landon Hill, Caleb Aube, Camden Messmer, Jed Davis, Jaeger Hubert, Ethan VanKirk, Ivan Shockley, Weldon Zemlicka, Judah Haven Marr, Darren Foster, Yanis Ivanov, Sage Richards, Kyle Carter, Nixie Schooler and Caelih Willet.

A group of JYWC Tornadoes get ready before the opening ceremony at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / Mel Hastings)

A group of JYWC Tornadoes get ready before the opening ceremony at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / Mel Hastings)

Placing in the top three spots in their respective age and weight brackets for freestyle were Evan Daniels, Rylan Pegues, Cash Miller, Matthew Shockley, Caleb Scussel, Landon Hill, Camden Messmer, Jed Davis, Ethan VanKirk, Darren Foster, Sage Richards, Kyle Carter, Abigail Dolan and Nixie Schooler.

Hass said that in addition to the top three finishers, JYWC had many other wrestlers that medaled placing fourth, fifth or sixth, as well. Additionally, Hass said the local support the club has received throughout the season is what makes traveling to tournaments possible.

Caleb Aube (JYWC) gets his hand raised in victory over Maxwell Shellabarger (Dillingham Wrestling Club) at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / William Dapcevich)

Caleb Aube (JYWC) gets his hand raised in victory over Maxwell Shellabarger (Dillingham Wrestling Club) at the USA Wrestling Alaska State Championships at the Menard Center in Wasilla from May 3-7. (Courtesy Photo / William Dapcevich)

“It is incredibly heart-warming for the coaches and rewarding to the wrestlers to see a season’s worth of focused dedication and hard work result in a raised hand at the end of the match,” Hass said. “Our team would like to offer our sincerest thank you to the amazing support from our community.”

• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at jonson.kuhn@juneauempire.com.

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