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Bethel Wrestlers Win 123A State Championships

52 teams competed in the 123A State Championships for wrestling over the weekend. Bethel High School won the meet, while Nome-Beltz placed 22nd. Photo: Emily Russell, KNOM.

Bethel High School took home first place in this year’s Alaska Schools Activities Association ASAA 1, 2, and 3A State Championships with 264.5 points. 52 teams competed on Friday and Saturday (December 16-17), including the Nome Nanooks, who scored 22 points to finish in 22nd place.

Inside the Alaska Airlines Arena in Anchorage, Nome-Beltz High School had three wrestlers score points for the team during the championship meet: Caleb Evatt, Ben Cross, and Timothy James.

Caleb Evatt competed in the 113 lb. weight class and scored 14 team points after placing 4th overall. Evatt lost in the semifinal round to Bethel’s Avery Hoffman. Ben Cross scored three points for the Nanooks in the 138 lb. class, while Tim James scored 5 points in the 160 lb. class.

Starr Erikson and Sierra Tucker represented the Nanooks during the Girls State meet. During the Girls State Championships, Starr Erikson scored 21 points in the 106 Girls weight class. Erikson was beaten by a North Pole Patriots wrestler in the semifinal round but finished 3rd overall. Sierra Tucker placed 8th and scored 3 team points in the 132 Girls class.

Other teams from the region that participated and scored in the 123A State Championships included Barrow, Kotzebue, Aniak, Galena, Shaktoolik, and Unalakleet. Both Barrow and Kotzebue finished in the top ten, in third and seventh place, respectively.