Courtesy Photos | Dana Richards                                 Above: Evelyn Richards stands with her arm raised following a match at the Middle School State Wrestling Championship in Fairbanks.

Courtesy Photos | Dana Richards Above: Evelyn Richards stands with her arm raised following a match at the Middle School State Wrestling Championship in Fairbanks.

They are the champions: 2 Juneau wrestlers win at middle school state

Several others earned medals.

More than half of the 17 Juneau wrestlers who competed at the Middle School State Championships in Fairbanks brought home medals or won championships.

Two of those wrestlers, Thomas Baxter and Evelyn Richards won their respective divisions and are state champions. Baxter won the 174-pound bracket and Richards won the 136-pound girls bracket.

“It was a good showing by us,” said Juneau Youth Wrestling Club coach Loren Cummins in a phone interview.

The 45th annual tournament attracted more than 40 teams and 550 participants, he said.

“Some of the teams bring 35 or 45 kids there, and we only had 17,” Cummins said.

[Hoops hotshot takes her talents to Malibu]

In addition to Richards and Baxter, other finalists from Southeast Alaska included Jonas Baekklund from Petersburg, who won the 160-pound bracket, and Colton Cummins, who placed second in the 77-pound bracket. Eli Harvey, Hayden Aube, Sage Schultz, Eric Tipton, Brycen McKubbin and Jayden Johnson were all medalists as well, Cummins said.

He praised the performance of both champions from Juneau.

“Thomas is a fantastic athlete,” Cummins said.

Richards’ win makes her the first-ever girl state champion from the capital city, Cummins said.

“She wasn’t even the top-seeded wrestler, but she was just totally dominant there,” Cummins said.

• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt

Left: Thomas Baxter, 174 pounds, and Evelyn Richard, 136 pounds, each won their divisions at the Middle School State Wrestling Championship in Fairbanks.

Left: Thomas Baxter, 174 pounds, and Evelyn Richard, 136 pounds, each won their divisions at the Middle School State Wrestling Championship in Fairbanks.

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