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Unalakleet’s Colton Ivanoff took first place in the middle school’s 98-pound weight class. They were led by Ben Apangalook, who took third at 220 pounds.
Apangalook attended the 2015 state meet at the same weight.
On his way to the finals, Cross beat Nuq Alexie-Leonard of Bethel, 6-3, and recorded pins over Andrew Aningayou of Gambell in and Kevin Bergman of Galena in 58 seconds.
He beat Bradley Brower of Barrow 8-4 to advance to the first place match, where he was pinned by Bethel’s Hayden Lieb in .
Also earning third place finishes for Gambell were Andrew Aningayou at 138 pounds, and Jon Avalnun at 170 pounds.
James’ first two matches were against members of the Kotzebue Huskies, a team that took third place at the 2015 state tournament.
Because of the limited number of girl participants, all middle school wrestlers were grouped together is similar weight classes.
Showing that she was undaunted by the challenge, Nome’s Katie Smith beat four boys en route to a first-place finish in the 113-pound weight classification.
James pinned Billy Nelson in one minute 54 seconds, and then dispatched Jack Hyatt in a 7-2 decision.
He finished pool action with pins over Jon Avalnun of Gambell in , and Charlie Tikik of Kotzebue in 43 seconds.
Sophomore Caleb Evatt is still relatively new to the sport, but is having early success in his second year as a wrestler.