Freshmen Shania Gustafson and Natalie Tavares both set state records over the weekend in their first powerlifting meet, hosted by Body Mechanics. Gustafson benched 120 and Tavares benched 85 and squatted 165. Gustafson said she works out everyday in Kayhi’s girls conditioning class and started her powerlifting campaign only 3 months ago. “I wanted to show that I could be more than just a small chubby girl,” Gustafson said. ”Next spring I’m going to try to beat the deadlift of 320.” Girl’s conditioning teacher Allegra Machado said she was very proud of the girls. “Shania comes in everyday wanting to lift and get stronger.” Machado said. “As a class we watched some videos and had Kevin Manabat came in from Ketchikan Crossfit and go over proper from with the girls. Come the spring meet they’re going to be even stronger.”
The Kayhi wrestling team won their tenth consecutive Region V title this weekend. The team scored a total of 203 points. Eleven wrestlers took first in the regional tournament, and 18 will participate in the state tournament next weekend in Anchorage. Junior Brayden Linne was named Most Outstanding wrestler for the second year in a row. Coach Rick Collins said he is very proud of the team’s success. “I think the guys did a great job. They wrestled really hard, and represented us really well,” said Collins. “They had some really tough matches, but they pushed through and it was really great to see that. We won our tenth title in a row, and we got the Sportsmanship Award again which is also great. I’m really proud of them for that.” Senior Joey Karlik won his first Region title of his career this weekend. “It feels really good because I put in so much work these past six years, and seeing something finally come out of it is really big for me,” said Karlik. “I hope to place in the state tournament, and possibly even take a state title too. This season really showed who was willing to actually go the distance, and it whittled out those who didn’t actually care about wrestling. Our team lost a lot of our big names and still came out on top.”
The Kayhi wrestling team is hosting the Region V tournament today Friday Dec. 8th, and tomorrow Saturday Dec. 9th. Every southeast team is participating, including the combined Juneau teams. The 3A and girls tournament will start Friday at 4 p.m., the 4A tournament will start Saturday at 10:30 a.m., and the finals will kick off at 7 Saturday night. Coach Rick Collins said that although the team isn’t what it used to be, they hope to have enough remaining wrestlers to take the Region title for the tenth year in a row. “We’ve got a lot of injuries still, and a lot of people dealing with disciplinary issues as well as people who quit,” said Collins. “Basically we’re just a shell of what we were supposed to be this year, but I’m really proud of the kids who’ve done the right thing and worked hard through the season. We’ve still got a good product and we still feel that we’ve got a shot at another region title.” Kayhi seniors Justin Albecker and Nate Eisenhower are both very excited for this year’s region tournament. Albecker said he hopes to see some wrestlers take first place. “I’ve been waiting for this moment all year. Post season is always my favorite time of year,” said Albecker. “I believe we will still have a great impact at regions, but we are a skeleton of the team we used to have. We’ll still have some state placers for sure though.” Eisenhower said he is excited that his last regions tournament is at home. “I have looked forward to my senior year of wrestling for a long time now, it is really exciting to have my last region tournament at home,” said Eisenhower. “I expect if the team performs up to their best capability, we’ll take home another title.”
The Kayhi wrestling team finished sixth at the Mt. Edgecumbe High School Invitational with 120.5 points. The Kings had five wrestlers place in the top four in their brackets. Junior Matthew Rodriguez (6-5) won his first tournament of the season in the 120 weight class. “It was good getting back on top. It was the first tournament of the year and I won,” said Rodriguez. “I’m ready for regions but, I still have some things I need to work on because I only won by one point in the finals against Conor Norman, and he’ll be my finals match in regions, too.”
1st and 2nd Place Wrestlers: Matthew Rodriguez – 120 Blaise Boor – 195
Fourteen Kayhi wrestlers are heading to Sitka this weekend for their last regular season tournament. All Region V teams will participate in exception of one team from Mount Hood, Oregon. Senior Joey Karlik said he hopes that this tournament will help him shake off any rust before regions. “The majority of our team is staying home because they would like to have a bigger break before regions,” said Karlik. “But I feel like I need to wrestle before then and I am rested enough to do that.”
With the air getting colder, and the holidays coming around, you know what season it is? Yup, it’s Kayhi Basketball season. Both the Kings and Lady Kings are kicking off their season with Meet the Kings, the annual event introducing this year’s arsenal to the public. Meet the Kings will start at 6:00 p.m.. Philly Cheese Steak dinner comes with a purchase of a ticket.
Kayhi girls and boys basketball tryouts are today in the main gym. The girls will tryout from 3-6p.m. and the boys from 6-9p.m. Junior Marcus Lee said he is excited for the season to start. “I’m really excited for this years tryouts and getting the season started. I think there’s over 30 kids trying out which is more than last year,” said Lee. “Overall I think it’s going to be fun, but the hardest part is the running, which is a really the big test for each individual.”