The Mariner mat men wrestled seven duals last weekend, taking eigth place in the 2012 Peninsula Duals at Nikiski.
This 16-team tournament showed Homer defeating Kenai, Houston and Colony, while losing to Dillingham twice, Colony JV and Skyview.
Homer was beating Skyview 40-36 going into the final match, looking to have a shot at the fifth place game. Sophomore Danny Rios looked solid, taking down Skyview’s DJ Tourtman in the first period. Tourtman then countered Rios’ pinning combination, pinning the Mariner, giving the Panthers six points and the win.
Another big Skyview matchup this weekend was Frank Navarro’s loss to Homer’s Pedro Ochoa 18-3. This was a turnaround from the last time these two met. Ochoa’s only loss came to No. 3-ranked Cade Schlagel from Dillingham.
Juniors Calvin Johnson and Harley Wells both went 5-1 last weekend. Johnson’s only loss came to a former state champion, Hope Steffenson from Kenai; he pinned all of his other opponents. With these victories, Johnson moved up to No. 3 in the Alaska rankings.
Wells was able to defeat No. 4-ranked Ryan Radmer of Houston, but was then injured and not able to finish the last two duals. Coach Chris Perk argued that if Wells was able to compete, Homer would have beaten Dillingham and Skyview instead of forfeiting the six points.
David Woo won six matches, including a come-from-behind cross-face cradle on Palmer’s Alex Smith.
Jazida Martin had more competition than usual at 98 pounds, going 5-2, with a legitimate shot at qualifying for state. Senior Mark McGregor and brother Austin returned to the mat for the first time this year. Mark, who wrestled at 170 and 182, should already be ranked in the top six this week as he split matches with No. 3-ranked Sonny Flensburg. As a sophomore, Austin went 3-3, but is a grappler who Perk says is very capable of pinning someone at any time.
Colony edged Kodiak 37-36 on Saturday in the championship dual of the 2012 Peninsula Duals at Nikiski.
Meanwhile, Palmer defeated West 59-20 for third place, Kotzebue toppled Nikiski 54-24 for fifth place and Dillingham defeated Homer 39-37 for seventh place.
This weekend Homer travels to Palmer for a 30-team meet, where the best 4A and small schools will set to compete.