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Bethel Freestyle Wrestling Club Racks Up Awards At State Wrestling Tournament

The Bethel Freestyle Wrestling Club at the Alaska USA Wrestling State Tournament.
Darren Lieb
Bethel Freestyle Wrestling Club

The Bethel Freestyle Wrestling Club amassed over 50 podium finishes in the Alaska USA Wrestling State Tournament last week in Wasilla. The club racked up nine gold medals, with many athletes collecting multiple medals in different categories.

Landon Smith was undefeated in the tournament, taking home gold in both freestyle and folkstyle in the Cadet 16 and under 113 pound weight class. 

Zachariah Pleasant also won two golds. His first gold in the Open 138.9 pound Greco-Roman category came free, since no one else challenged him. For his second, he beat Oscar Garcia in the Open 134.5 pound freestyle.

Head coach Darren Lieb’s son, Hayden Lieb, continued his dominant wrestling career. Lieb took down four wrestlers to win first place for folkstyle in the Junior 160 pound division.

Wade Kinegak-Merculief beat Jack Waldron to win the Novice 12 and under 160+ pound freestyle.

Representing the women, Hannah Howell beat Cecelia Fitzpatrick to take gold in the 14 and under 110 pound division for folkstyle.

Greg Kim was a news reporter for KYUK from 2019-2022.