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Interior Grappling Academy score wrestling medals in Utah tournament

Published: Dec. 8, 2020 at 6:46 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On December 6, the Interior Grappling Academy (IGA) represented the state of Alaska in Farmington, Utah for the USA Wrestling Western States Tournament. IGA sent 21 wrestlers down to the regional tournament and came back with 13 medals.

Their trophy haul was highlighted by performances from Autumn Poland, who scored a silver in the girls’ 115-pound bracket. Poland was able to place runner-up after scoring a win over teammate Kiann Williams and Flathead Valley Wrestling Club’s Hania Halverson.

“After I won true second, it was a moment of like, shocking realization that I actually did it.” said Poland.

The Interior Grappling Academy from Fairbanks, Alaska scored 13 medals in Farmington, Utah for...
The Interior Grappling Academy from Fairbanks, Alaska scored 13 medals in Farmington, Utah for the USA Wrestling Western States Tournament.(Interior Grappling Academy)

Williams however, responded to her loss with silvers in the 115-lb. middle school and high school divisions. Head Coach Westley Bockert took down a team with high school, middle school and youth wrestlers ranging from mainstays like Kobe Ames to newcomers like Braidin Martin. In Martin’s case, this is his first year under Coach Bockert, and he scored a fourth place finish in the 138-lb. middle school class.

“It was awesome man. We just went down there and had a lot of fun trying me best,” said Martin on his time in Utah. “It was awesome because this is my first year of wrestling for Coach Bockert. It was super cool getting the experience.”

The Interior Grappling Academy from Fairbanks, Alaska scored 13 medals in Farmington, Utah for...
The Interior Grappling Academy from Fairbanks, Alaska scored 13 medals in Farmington, Utah for the USA Wrestling Western States Tournament.(Interior Grappling Academy)

Coach Bockert has been leading IGA and Lathrop High School for numerous seasons, and despite the COVID-19 global pandemic, this year’s squad is no different.

“It was good to see. I think they did well,” said Coach Bockert about IGA’s efforts in Utah. “They’ve been training for four months since we started school and we’ve had really no events.”

According to Team USA Wrestling, over 1,000 athletes were able to compete across the different divisions.

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