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Island wrestlers excel at State meet
Island Wrestler Timber Patten, fourth from left, holds a team plaque, as he’s surrounded by teammates at the conclusion of the ASAA Division II state wrestling championships on Dec. 21 in Anchorage. From left to right: Ulric Lehman, Rogan Hanson, Emett Fairbanks, Timber Patten, Coach Troy Thain, Dalton Wyzykowski, Assistant Coach Chuck Hanson, Luke Wegand and Wayland Patten. Absent from the photo is Ruben Hoppe. Photo by Teresa Fairbanks

By Cathy Bolling
Island Post Staff Writer

The Island Wrestling team brought home a champion, and placed seventh out of 44 Division II teams at the state meet from Dec. 20 to Dec. 21 in Anchorage, according to results posted at the Alaska School Activities Association website.

Craig High School senior Wayland Patten took home top honors in the 171-pound division, while teammate Ulric Lehman placed third in the 285-pound weight class.

Timber Patten placed fourth in the 145-pound weight bracket, and Luke Wegand finished fourth in the 160-pound weight class. The team also received All-Academic honors.

Island Wrestling is a co-op team of wrestlers from Craig and Klawock high schools, coached by Troy Thain and assistant Chuck Hanson. Other team members who competed at state are Dalton Wyzykowski, Emett Fairbanks, Ruben Hoppe and Rogan Hanson.

“They really peaked at the right time,” Thain said.

Especially notable is the fact the team placed so well overall with so few wrestlers, compared to other teams at state, he said.

Also, for their state final wins, Wayland Patten and Lehman defeated the wrestlers they had previously lost to at regionals, he said. Hanson also defeated a wrestler he had previously lost to.

“That shows how much we have improved,” Thain said.