Five members of the Juneau Youth Wrestling Club won the prized “triple crown” at Alaska USA Wrestling Championships earlier this month.
Camden Messmer (10U, 67 pounds), Thomas Baxter (14U, 165 pounds), Carson Cummins (16U, 94 pounds), Camden Erickson (16U, 195 pounds) and Jacob Ferster (16U, 220 pounds) conquered their respective brackets in the folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle tournaments that fell on three consecutive days at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla, May 2-4. A girl’s freestyle tournament also took place on the second day of action.
As a team, JYWC took second in Greco-Roman division and fourth in the folkstyle division.
“It’s by far the best we’ve ever done,” JYWC coach Josh Houston said, adding, “For whatever reason, this year our numbers were big, and our kids just had a lot of success.”
Houston was one of eight coaches who traveled with the state team of roughly 50 athletes. The team practiced three times per week throughout the spring to prepare, and many of the wrestlers come into the season straight from their middle school or high school seasons.
Houston said very few wrestlers can pull off the triple crown, in which a wrestler places first in his age division and weight bracket for all three different styles.
“It’s usually just the best of the best that can win all three styles,” Houston said. “And even kids that are really good, sometimes, they can win two styles and not the third.”
Over 800 youth ranging ranging in age from 4 to 18 competed at this year’s state championships, hosted by USA Wrestling. Over the course of the four tournaments, the team earned 25 first-place medals.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.