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With Little Practice, Bethel Wrestler Wins Third State Title

May 26, 2021

Landon Smith won his third state title at the 2021 Spring State Wrestling Tournament.
Credit Alaska School Activities Association

Bethel wrestlers did the impossible this weekend, proving that they can deliver even when they haven’t had much time on the mat. Even with only three weeks to prepare, and no previous matches with any other wrestlers around the state, Bethel managed to get some major wins when the team competed at the state level.

Despite what appeared to be insurmountable odds, the Warrior boys came in second at the Spring State Wrestling Tournament in Chugiak, and Landon Smith won his third state title. The Warrior girls' team came in fourth.

This was Bethel’s wrestlers’ first competition since December 2019, and most of the teams they faced had been competing since March 2021. Five wrestlers on the boys team earned major points on the mat. Besides Smith’s championship, Paul Dyment and Joseph Smith took home second place finishes. Jamin Crow placed fourth, and Charles Smith took home a fifth place finish.

Three of Bethel’s lady wrestlers got significant points for their team at state. Rebecca Samuelson placed second, and Fiona Phelan and Kaeli Amik both placed fifth.

Bethel Coach Darren Lieb said that the Warriors went to the statewide competition with “a winning attitude, and it showed.”