Mariner wrestlers finish 9th at Gut Check
January 12th 7:59 pm | Sean Pearson
Lady M's best 53 other teams for 14th place in tournament
After finishing second in the state for their 2016 season, Homer High School wrestlers extended their grappling action with participation in post-season tournaments last weekend.
The Mariner boys traveled to Bremerton, Wash., for the annual Gut Check Tournament, where they finished ninth overall out of 58 teams.
Senior Jared Brant was the highest placer for Homer with a second-place finish at 138 pounds. Brant was Alaska State Champion in his division, and faced a number of strong and talented wrestlers from all over the Northwest.
After picking up a bye in the first round, Brant won his next four matches to advance to the semi-finals. He picked up his first loss of the day in the finals, where he lost by a 2-6 decision to Josh Franich of Puyallup, Wash.
State champion at 160 pounds, senior Timmy Woo finished third overall at the Gut Check. Woo won his first four matches before picking up a 0-9 loss in the semifinals to the eventual champion. He regrouped to win the third-place bout by a 3-1 decision over Izaiah Duran of Battleground, Wash.
Wrestling at 126 pounds, sophomore Luciano Fasulo just came off an undefeated season and state championship before participating in the tournament. Fasulo won his first two matches by fall, and then squeaked out an 8-6 decision in the quarterfinals. He picked up his first loss of the season with a 6-12 performance in the semifinal round.
Also finishing fifth was 106-pounder Wayne Newman. Newman picked up a bye in the first round, and then won by fall and went on to earn a 12-5 decision before falling in the quarterfinals. Newman lost by a 2-14 major decision in the quarterfinals, but rebounded to pin his opponent in the consolation round and earn fifth overall.
Homer's final placer at the tournament was state champion Tristen Cook at 170 pounds. Cook also received a bye in the first round, and then earned his first win of the competition with a 4-0 decision. He went on to win his next match by fall, but then lost in a 2-5 decision in the quarterfinals.
Homer's Lady Mariner wrestlers also took advantage of their holiday break with a trip to the Kelso Girls Tournament in Washington. Homer placed an impressive 14th out of 67 teams, led by fourth-place finishes from Alex Moseley at 115 pounds and Allison Wells at 125.
Moseley went 4-2 overall, with two major decisions, one fall and a forfeit.
Wells wrestled at 125 pounds, and scored 24 team points for her performance on the mat. All four of her wins came by fall; the fastest just 1 minute, 36 seconds into the match.
McKenzie Cook finished sixth at 145 pounds â€” all four of her victories also came by fall. Cook struggled with an injury throughout the competition, and two of her losses were by injury default.
At 120 pounds, Mina Cavasos scored seven team points for her performance. She went 2-2, with one win coming by fall, and the other in a 6-2 decision.
The Mariners look to return strong next season. In the meantime, most of the athletes will compete in club wrestling â€” such as Popeye wrestlers in Homer, and the Anchor Kings from Anchor Point.