Two H-DNL wrestlers crowned section champions; four advance to state

Submitted photo, from left to right, Gerard Marshall, Mason Evanow, Joshua Hannan, Shyloh Nicholson, Weylan McKnight and Kaewett Nelson.

The H-DNL had a very strong showing at the North Coast Section wrestling championships over the weekend, with Hoopa’s Gerard Marshall and Arcata’s Joshua Hannan both crowned champions in the boys tournament.

Winning two of the 14 weight classes is a particularly impressive achievement for the league considering that the section wrestling championships are not divided into divisions and the H-DNL competes against the biggest programs in the entire NCS.

Marshall won the 285-pound division, pinning De La Salle’s Aidan Roe in the championship showdown, while Hannan won with an 8-3 decision over Heritage’s Levi Waller at 126 pounds.

Both local champions are just juniors and are highly ranked in the state, with Marshall No. 15 and Hannan No. 22.

The H-DNL also had a big showing in the girls tournament, with Del Norte’s Savannah Williams and Eureka’s Lucia Romero each also qualifying for next week’s state tournament.

Williams placed third at 131, while Romero was fourth at 235.

And they weren’t the only locals to impress at the two-day tournament.

A total of 14 H-DNL wrestlers placed in the top eight, including seven boys and seven girls.

In addition to Hannan’s and Marshall’s big showing, Fortuna’s Weylan McKnight was fourth at 182 and barely missed out on state qualification, which goes to the top three boys in each weight division.

Fortuna’s Mason Evanow (113), Del Norte’s Curtis Bartley (132) and Eureka’s Shyloh Nicholson (285) each placed fifth, while Hoopa’s Kaewett Nelson was eighth at 160.

As a team, the Del Norte boys placed 15th, followed immediately by Fortuna in 16th and Hoopa in 17th.

The latter was a particularly impressive showing for the Warriors against the biggest schools in the NCS.

For the girls, Eureka’s Maize Fugate (137) and St. Bernard’s Rory Bickmore (150) each placed fifth, while Arcata’s Piper Bjorkstedt (160) was sixth.

Del Norte’s Channey Schaad (106) and Fortuna’s Tristan Jones (121) each also placed eighth.

The boys tournament was held at James Logan High in Union City, while the girls competed at Albany High School.

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