Chugiak wrestler named ‘Most Outstanding’ at Glenn Vandergaw tournament
Chugiak senior Daniel Niebles tore through the 189-pound weight class on Saturday to win the Most Outstanding Wrestler title at the Glenn Vandergaw Wrestling Tournament at Dimond High.
Niebles pinned Palmer’s Ethan Bleakney in the finals to complete a perfect tournament run that saw him pin two opponents and outscore the other two by a combined 26-7 in a pair of lopsided victories. The defending Cook Inlet Conference champion beat Wasilla’s Gavin Harrington 9-2 to open the tourney, then pinned Palmer’s Preston Long to reach the semifinals. There, he won by major decision, outscoring West Valley’s Peter Macchione 17-5 to advance to the finals.
Powerhouse Colony won the team title by nearly 30 points over second-place Soldotna, with Wasilla third. Eagle River was 13th at the tournament, which attracted 20 schools from as far away as Fairbanks and the Yukon-Kuskokwim region.
The Wolves had three wrestlers reach the championship semifinals before getting knocked into the consolation bracket. Eagle River’s Dylan Chancy was the team’s top placewinner in fourth place, with James Salter (171) and Andrew Hamilton (189) losing in the consolation semifinals.
Eagle River will host East in a dual Wednesday and Chugiak will travel to South. This year, middle school and high school matches are being held at the same venues. This week’s high school matches begin at 7 p.m., with the middle school matches starting at 6 p.m. On Wednesday, Gruening will compete against Central and Begich at Eagle River, while Mirror Lake will compete against Clark and Romig at Bartlett.
Both high school teams will participate in the annual Lancer Smith Tournament Friday and Saturday at Palmer High.
Glenn Vandergaw Wrestling Tournament
Saturday, Dimond High
Team scores — 1) Colony, 173; 2) Soldotna, 144.5; 3) Wasilla, 123; 4) Lathrop, 109; 5) East, 99; 6) Bethel, 97; 7) South, 71; 8) West Valley, 67.5; 9) Palmer, 61.5; 10) North Pole, 49; 11) West, 41; 12) Chugiak, 37; 13) Eagle River, 29; 14) Service, 25; 15) Bartlett, 12: 16) Dimond, 11; 17) Emmonak, 6; 18) (tie) Kodiak, Napaskiak and Reington, 0.