The Floyd Dryden Middle School wrestling team appears to be peaking at the right time.
The Eagles won the Geoff Harben Invitational on Saturday, one week before they are to compete in the season-ending Southeast Tournament in Ketchikan.
While FDMS did not win the most titles — Dzantik’i Heeni crowned a total of seven champions— the Eagles crowded the podium with numerous top-four finishes to narrowly win the meet. FDMS had 289.5 points, Schoenbar Middle School from Ketchikan had 287.5 points and Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School had 273.5.
Haines, Hoonah, Kake, Sitka and Gustavus finished fourth through eighth.
FDMS coach Ken Brown gave kudos to Josh Quintal, Chase Darbonne and Jarrel Williams. All three wrestlers won their respective finals.
Quintal won the 148-pound bracket final via pin. Quintal is known for an aggressive wrestling style, according to Brown, but in his title match against Schoenbar’s Romel Del Mundo, he took a different approach.
“He was controlled in his title match,” Brown said.
Darbonne also pinned his challenger in the finals, but unlike his teammates, the eighth grader took just 15 seconds to finish off his 121-pound opponent.
“He pretty much dominated that whole weight class,” Brown said.
The DMHS Wolverines had seven champion wrestlers: Colton Cummins (80), Eli Harvey (85), Carson Cummins (90), Malachi Pieman (95), Jamal Johnson (140), Thomas Baxter (160) and Sage Richards (174).
DHMS coach Loren Cummins said the Wolverines’ ultimate goal is still in play: to win the Southeast Tournament.
“We’re looking at that as a goal because we’re capable of it this year,” Cummins said. “We had four champions last year and finished fifth at last year’s Southeast Tournament. This year we definitely have a stronger team.”
The Floyd Dryden Invitational was renamed the Geoff Harben Invitational in 2010 after the longtime Eagles wrestling coach, who retired the same year after 24 years at the helm of the program.
The middle school wrestling season runs from mid-December to mid-February each year.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.