Heavyweight Leo Sega emerged as Kodiak’s only champion at Saturday’s Lancer Smith Memorial wrestling tournament in Palmer.

Sega, last year’s 4A state heavyweight champion, edged Palmer’s Ben Button 3-2 in the championship match. Button pinned Sega in the third round at last week’s Peninsula Duals. This week, Sega got the best of Palmer’s big man to improve to 10-1 on the season.

“For the non-wrestler, it looked like a boring match, but it was a great match,” Kodiak coach Pat Costello said.

Sega got the lead late and had to hold off an attack to perserve the win.

The Kodiak senior pinned Dimond’s Cody Wadsworth (1:05) and East Anchorage’s Javin Smith (0:41) and earned a 6-1 decision over Colony’s Mitchell Daigle to earn a spot in the title bout.

Kodiak’s Andrew Caballa and Kerry Powers both went into the tournament undefeated and both lost in the championship round.

Caballa was pinned in the second round of the 120-pound title fight by East Anchorage’s Brennan Girard, who missed most of last season with a knee injury. Caballa was down 4-2 when he got pinned 3 minutes, 12 seconds into the match.

“The kid came out and was on fire,” Costello said. “And Andrew wasn’t on his game like he needed to be.”

Caballa, now 11-1, breezed to finals with victories over Homer’s Jaime Rios (3:49), West Anchorage’s Katherine Treder (inj, 3:21), Skyview’s Ryan Winter (12-0) and Houston’s Aaron Drake (18-2).

Powers suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to Palmer’s Caleb Deemer in the 195-pound finals.

“The whole match was on the feet,” Costello said. “A lot of pushing, shoving and countershots. It was a real strategic match.”

The Kodiak junior worked his way to the last round with victories over Seward’s Parker Hinton (0:46), ACS’ Gabriel Nohr (15-0), Dimond’s Josiah Walker (1:28) and East’s Keahi Queja (3:38). Powers, last year’s 195-pound state runner-up, is also 11-1 on the season.

Logan Owens placed fourth (195), Yuto Ohki (106) and Jay-Ar Small (126) finished fifth and Joel Valdez (113) placed sixth.

Kodiak finished sixth out of 37 teams with 139.5 points. South Anchorage took team honors with 189, followed by Wasilla (187.5) and Palmer (151.5).

“We didn’t have quite enough to get in the top 5, but we weren’t too far away,” Costello said.

The powerful Northern Lights Conference fielded four teams in the top six.

With 424 wrestlers, the Lancer Smtih is the biggest tournament in the state.

“It was the biggest and best athletic event that Alaska has ever had,” Costello said. “The atmosphere was like going to a big tournament in the Lower 48.”

Six small-school wrestlers claimed titles against large-school competition — Glenallen’s Gavin Maslen (98) Bethel’s Josh Mendenhall (132), Skyview’s Seth Hutchison (113), Valdez’s Isaac Deaton (160) and Austin Rake (170) and Kotzebue’s Josh Roetman (182).

Other titles went to South’s Greg Shack (106) and Kraig Hammond (138), Kenai’s Paul Steffensen (126), East’s Anthony Sierra (145), Colony’s Wade Booth (152) and Wasilla’s Quace Wright (220).

Kodiak is off this week for Thanksgiving and returns Dec. 6 for the North/South Tournament in Wasilla.

Contact Mirror writer Derek Clarkston at sports@kodiakdailymirror.com.

Lancer Smith Memorial Tournament

Team (top 10)

1. South Anchorage 189; 2. Wasilla 187.5; 3. Palmer 151.5; 4. East Anchorage, 147; 5. Colony 141; 6. Kodiak 139.5; 7. Kotzebue 139; 8. Bethen 137.5; 9. Nome 118.5; 10. Valdez 114.5.

Kodiak results

Championship match

120 — Brennan Girard, East, p. Andrew Caballa, Kod, 3:12. 195 — Caleb Deemer, Pal, dec. Kerry Powers, Kod, 2-1, OT. 285 — Leo Sega, Kod, dec. Ben Button, Pal, 3-2.

Third-place match

195 — Keahi Queja, East, m.d. Logan Owens, Kod, 15-2.

Fifth-place match

106 — Yuto Ohki, Kod, dec. Bryce Adams, Col, 5-1. 113 — Chance Booth, Col, dec. Joel Valdez, Kod, 12-5. 126 — Jay-Ar Small, Kod, dec. Aaron Molesky, Pal, 7-6.


98 — Bryan Gonzales, 2-2. 126 — Takahiro Kishimoto, 2-2. 132 — Scott Larionoff, 0-2; Aaron Rohr, 3-2; 152 — Joseph McFarlin, 1-2; Riley Lechner, 2-2; Joshua Lochman, 4-2. 285 — Jonathan Bates, 1-2.

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