Kusnetsov leads Voznesenka to 10th at state tournament
Maxim Kusnetsov wrestled his way to a second-place finish on Saturday and helped power the Voznesenka Cougars to a 10th-place finish in the final team standings at the 2017 ASAA/First National Bank Division II State Wrestling Championships in Anchorage. The Cougars rolled up 62.5 points in the two-day tournament, which was held at the Alaska Airlines Center.
Bethel Regional High School narrowly repeated as the Division II state champion with 207 points. Homer, which led the team standings after the first day of action, was second at 196.
Kusnetsov completed a stellar season on Saturday by advancing the the finals of the 113-pound championship. He had breezed through the first three rounds of the bracket. In his opening-round bout, he posted an easy 23-5 victory over Wrangell's Chase Kincaid. He followed that with a 15-6 romp over Glacier View's Noah Lucia in the quarterfinals. Kotzebue's Michael Hatch gave Kusnetsov his tough challenge in the semifinals. The two completed the first three rounds with the contest tied at 3-3. Kusnetsov scored a two-point move in overtime to notch the victory and earn a berth in the finals opposite Bethel's Thomas Dyment.
Kusnetsov dropped a historic decision in the championship match. Dyment's win over Kusnetsov capped a perfect 37-0 season and made him only the 11th Alaskan wrestler in to win a state title in each of his four seasons in high school.
Anthony Kalugin and Nikit Anufriev added to the Cougars' success. Kalugin capped a 4-2 mark over the weekend by downing Delta's Omar Powers in the fifth-place matchup. Kalugin finished his season at 34-14.
Anufriev also wrestled his way to a 4-2 record at the state tournament and placed fifth in the 195-pound division. He nailed down fifth-place honors by pinning Kotzebue's Jack Hyatt.
Dia Martishev also did well for Voznesenka. He took sixth in the 138-pound weight classification with a 3-3 record.
Daniel Anufriev also collected a win for the Cougars, going 1-2 in the 145-pound division.