Fasulo leads M's to third at meet
Luciano Fasulo and the Homer Mariners wrestling team went into the North/South Invitational in Soldotna looking to send a message to the rest of the Kachemak Conference teams.
The message: the Mariners are primed on a three-peat.
Backed by first-place finishes by Fasulo, Wayne Newman, Mose Hayes, Kyle Wells and Alex Moseley, Homer rolled up 169 total points and raced to third in the tournament's final standings. Colony, the state's top-ranked Division I program, edged out Wasilla and Homer for the North/South title.
Fasulo highlighted the Mariners' outing with a spectacular effort. He powered his way to the 132-pound title by breezing to a 5-0 record. Having won his last 90 matches, Fasulo pinned four of the five opponents he faced in the tournament. His only non-pin victory came in the finals, where he dispatched Wasilla's Hunter Hayes by an 8-4 margin.
Hayes entered the tournament as the third-ranked wrestler in the 132-pound ranks in Division I.
With his five wins, Fasulo improved to 40-0 heading into the conference tournament, which will be held this weekend in Seward.
Like Fasulo, Newman and Hayes were untouchable in Soldotna. A junior, Newman worked his way to a perfect 4-0 mark - including a 3-2 win over Wasilla's Isaac Rodman in the first round of action, and an 8-7 tie-breaker win over three-time state champion Micah Matthis of Wasilla.
In his 126-pound matchup with Mathis, Newman built a 4-1 lead early in the match. Mathis managed to rally back and tie the score at 7-7, and send the bout into overtime. In the extra period, Newman controlled Mathis for 30 seconds on the mat and collected the win.
Hayes won the 138-pound championship with a perfect 5-0 mark. He heads into the conference tournament with 34 wins this season, the second-highest total on the HHS squad.
Wells turned in a 4-0 record en route to winning the 220-pound championship. For the season, he is 32-1.
Moseley won the girls' 120-pound crown with impressive fashion. She pinned all three of her opponents en route to running her season record to 23-3. Teammate Mina Cavasos was second in the 120 standings with a 2-1 mark.
Seth Inama, Chris Cudaback and Halle Lapp also medaled for the Mariners. Inama placed second in the boys' 120-pound division to Soldotna's Gideon Hutchison. Cudaback turned in a 2-2 record and finished third in the 170-pound standings, while Lapp placed third in the girls' 132-pound classification.
Richard Brock wrestled his way to fourth in the 285-pound division.
The Mariners has several grapplers do well in the junior varsity division, including Ian Stovall, who eased his way to a second-place mark in the 132-pound bracket. He went 2-1 overall.
Dakota Moonin, Hunter Harrington and Alex Miller also placed fourth in their weight divisions, while Bruce Graham finished fifth in his.
Homer kicked off the weekend's busy schedule on Thursday with a duel against top-ranked Colony in the Alice Witte Gymnasium. The Mariners, who gave up 24 points via forfeits, suffered a 51-22 loss in front of a large crowd on Senior Night.
Levi King, Wells, Moseley, Cudaback, Tristen Cook and Brock were honored at the event.