Local youth racks up three state wrestling titles
Eleven-year-old Joey Lerch won three state titles in the novice 105-pound division to lead the Chugach Eagles Wrestling Club at the Alaska USA State Freestyle, Folkstyle and Greco-Roman tournaments May 2-5 at the Menard Sports Complex in Wasilla.
Sweeping every championship was quite a feat for the Ravenwood Elementary fifth-grader, said Eagles’ head coach Lindsey Yip.
“It’s difficult to win all three divisions,” he said. “It was great to see him have that much success.”
Lerch wasn’t the only local grappler to win multiple titles.
Four Chugach Eagles won two titles last week, three of whom wrestled for Eagle River High.
Gavin Arnold (cadet 145) won the freestyle and Greco crowns and took second in the folkstyle tournament. Fellow ERHS freshman Marcus Amico (cadet 120) won the folkstyle and Greco championships and placed fourth in freestyle.
Eagle River senior Xavier Horton (junior 152) was first in freestyle and folkstyle and finished second in Greco-Roman.
Taylor Rofidal (schoolboy/girl 190) won the freestyle and Greco titles.
Four other wrestlers won state titles, giving the Chugach Eagles Wrestling Club a total of 15 first-place finishes.
Those included, Bryce Fuller (bantam 60 freestyle); Austin Davison (intermediate 50 freestyle); Blake Johnston (cadet 195 Greco) and Alex Medeiros (junior 182 Greco). Medeiors also placed second in the freestyle tournament and Johnston finished third.
Other local top-three place winners included: Freestyle — Peter Dalgleish (third, bantam 65); Christopher Ward (third, intermediate 45); Camden Costanios (second, intermediate 75); Cody Isaacson (third, intermediate 112); Joshua Edwards (third, cadet 126); Toren Cheely (second, cadet 195); Richard Burroughs (second, junior 220); Greco-Roman — Celestin Sardakowski (second, intermediate 80); Caleb Dalgleish (third, novice 100); Brennan Dalgleish (third, schoolboy/girl 160); Joshua Edwards (second, cadet 126); Dawson Budke (second, cadet 138); Folkstyle — Caleb Dalgleish (third, novice 100); Dawson Budke (third, cadet 138); Katarina Alvarado (second, open).
Yip, who came to the Eagles this season after coaching with the Alaska Battle Cats Wrestling Club for the past five years, said he was impressed with the skill level among his 140 grapplers.
“I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of wrestlers we have,” he said. “From the bantams all the way up to the junior kids.”