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12 Nome-Beltz Wrestlers Head to State Tournament

A referee stands in front of two young women in purple and yellow wrestling on a purple mat

Following last weekend’s Northern Conference Tournament in Kotzebue, twelve Nome-Beltz wrestlers are on their way to the state meet in Anchorage this weekend. Wrestlers had to place in the top two at regionals in order to qualify for States.

Taking first for the Nanooks in Kotzebue was Starr Erikson, still undefeated in her 112 weight class, along with Katie Smith in the 119 weight class and Ava Earthman in the 125. Boys’ first place winners included Paris Hebel at 112, Caleb Evatt at 125, and Tobin Hobbs at 140. Ben Cross was champion of his 145 weight class, as was Elden Cross for 152, and Owen Hebel for 160.

Josh Marble and Stephan Anderson both placed second in their respective weight classes.

Georgia Ustaszewski will join her teammates in States, despite not placing in the top two in Kotzebue. Coach Charlie Cross tells us more:

“Georgie Ustaszewski was able to earn a spot at the state tournament because of her record through the season and also a place opening at the tournament for her. So, her record was good enough despite her placement at the regional tournament.”

Coach Cross also wanted to highlight the performance of one regional champion in particular:

“Tobin Hobbs, at 140 pounds, had to wrestle some really stiff competition. It’s his first year really wrestling. His athletic ability and listening to the coaches really helps him. So he earned it, that’s for sure. It was a pretty good battle in two matches.”

On the whole, the coach is proud to report their success:

“The team is looking really good, really strong. They’re wrestling better than they’ve ever wrestled. We’re excited for them… I look forward to seeing them step on the mat and compete against the state’s best wrestlers.”

The Nanook wrestlers will be put to the test this Friday morning at States in Anchorage at the Alaska Airlines Center. You can follow the tournament here.

Image at top: file photo: Nome’s Starr Erikson takes on a Bethel wrestler at the 2017 Nome Wrestling Invite. Photo: Janeen Sullivan, used with permission.