Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966


Thomsen nabs 4th at state


Two of three Haines High School wrestlers placed at the small schools state wrestling championship last week at Nikiski, the best finish by the team since the sport was revived here five years ago.

Senior Jimmy Thomsen placed fourth of 16 competitors in the 152-pound weight class, with a record of 4-2.

Thomsen lost in the semifinal round by points (8-3) to Bethel’s Brayton Lieb. In the match for third place, he was pinned by Nikiski’s Josh Brown, caught in a “head and arm,” a move Thomsen said Brown defeated him with earlier this year.

Thomsen said the performance was his best for the season. “I felt I did well… I’m happy with how the season turned out. I’d really like to thank coach Durr and Andus Hale for all the time and support they gave, and I’m looking forward to watching the team develop in the coming years.”

Sophomore Josh Stearns also placed, finishing sixth of 16 competitors at the weight of 220 pounds and up. Coach Dennis Durr said he was “pleasantly surprised” by Stearns. “He’s looking real good for the next couple of years.”

Freshman Zane Durr also traveled to Nikiski, winning one and losing two matches, but gaining valuable experience as a first-year wrestler. The Haines team finished 23rd out of 44 schools and fourth among Southeast schools, behind Mount Edgecumbe, Craig and Wrangell.

Each of the three Haines wrestlers made it to the second day of competition at state, which also was a first for the team, Durr said. He said he was pleased with his team’s performance and excited for next year. “We have two returning state competitors and what looks to be a good-sized team with up to a dozen guys coming out.”

Junior high wrestling starts in January.