UCSD wrestling team competes in first tournament, prepares for lengthy trip
The Unalaska Raiders competed in their first wrestling matches of the season at the Throwdown in Snowtown Tournament in Valdez last month.
At the two-day tournament, sophomore Cache Henning took second place in the 125-pound weight category. Henning competed against athletes from Houston and Cordova, before making his way to the finals, where he fell short of first place with a final score of 6 to 11.
10th-grader Jamin Tolai started off strong with a pin in his first match and carried that energy all the way to the semifinals, where he lost his final two matches.
Coach Rainier Marquez said he didn’t come to the tournament with many expectations.
“I try not to make expectations for how a tournament is going to turn out,” Marquez said. “I think that taking it one match at a time is super important, especially in the sport of wrestling because, of course, [you] can't make it to the finals unless you beat the guy in front of you. So taking it one match at a time is really our main goal here.”
Due to weather, the team couldn’t make it out for their scheduled tournament at Mountain City Christian Academy last week. For the boys team, that tournament is considered a preview to the state competition because the student athletes compete against everyone in their division.
“These tournaments — like the [Mountain City Christian Academy] tournament, as well as Lancer Smith — are going to really show us where we stand as a team,” Marquez said. “And then it's up to us in December at regions to make a statement and send as many kids as we can to state this year.”
On Wednesday, the team leaves for Ketchikan for the Bill Weiss 2023 Tournament and to Palmer for the Lancer Smith Invitational. They’ll compete against 25 teams during their 11-day trip.