Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 3:59 PM on Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mariners' mat men finish 13th at State

BY Hal Spence
For the Homer News

Mariner junior Mark McGregor won three matches on his way to becoming Homer's top finisher at the Alaska State Small-School Wrestling Championships at Nikiski on Saturday, taking a fourth-place in the 160-pound weight class.

Mariner mat men scored 42 points and finished tied with Cordova in 13th place out of 47 teams, said Wrestling Coach Chris Perk.

"The team, overall, wrestled well," Perk said. "We were able to beat some opponents that got us (the previous) weekend. Many of the guys got a real idea of what it will take to win a state championship."

McGregor won his three matches all by pins, but a loss to Corey Green of Nikiski put him in the consolation round where he beat Mason Kimber of Cordova before losing a close 7-6 match against Anthony Minnillo of Thorne Bay to finish in fourth place.

Homer senior Mick Wells, 182-pounds, scored a 16-7 major decision over Austin Elsberry of Hutchinson capping off his final season with a fifth place finish at state.

"His upset of Luke Rietveld of Glennallen in the consolation quarterfinals was the biggest win of his career," Perk noted. "He used a 'standing jitney' to put Rietveld to his back and pin his shoulders to the mat."

Rietveld had beaten Wells in the conference tournament in Seward the previous week and had been seeded fifth at state. Wells finished his final season with more than 25 wins, Perk said.

Senior DJ Marsengill (145 pounds), junior Joe Resetarits (195 pounds) and sophomore Calvin Johnson (106 pounds) also made it to the state meet from Homer.

Marsengill ended his season with two wins and two losses, including a dramatic come-from-behind victory over Grace Christian's Paul Johnson who led the match deep into the third period. Marsengill subsequently lost to Keefe McIntosh, of Valdez, to finish in eighth place.

"DJ had a solid career that showed incredible improvement over the years," Perk said.

Resetarits lost both his tournament matches, but had been fighting off a stomach ailment most of the previous week. "He did not have enough energy to finish each match," Perk said.

Johnson won two matches both by pin against Kenny Savo, of Dillingham, and sixth-ranked Austin Craig, from Skyview, before losing to the eventual third-place finisher, Evan Dyment, of Bethel, and the sixth-place finisher, Alex Megalong, of Unalaska.

"Johnson led the team this season in most statistical categories, including 33 wins," Perk said.