The Lathrop Malemutes wrestling program return to the mat in preparation of their title defense

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The defending state wrestling champs, the Lathrop Malemutes started their championship defense last night with a matchup against the North Pole Patriots for an Interior duel.
The Malemutes dominated on the night with the team scoring 60 points over North Pole's 10.
Starting in the 119 class, Colton Parduhn scored the victory, while Zane Lucksavage took the 125 for Lathrop.
The Patriots finally got on the board with Sabastian Benefield grabbing the points in the 130 match.
Then from the weight classes 135 to 215, the Malemutes scored victories through William Poland, Luke Millam, Kobe Ames, Nathan Kisgen, Andrue Shepersky and Sean Michel.
In the final matchup, the 285 class was won by North Pole, as Brock Weatherspoon claimed the victory.
Coach Westley Bockert spoke after the dual meet about Lathrop's progress into the new season.
"I just think we're out of shape. We're just getting ready to pace our gradual climb towards state so it's really hard to say because we haven't seen everybody. North Pole didn't have everybody out. We got to put some young kids out today and got to see a couple of our veterans. And North Pole had some good guys we have never seen so they kind of tested our really good guys and they have some good kids and they are going to be tough at regions," said Bockert.
Last night was also the first time in the Interior that an all girls duel went down, and the North Pole Patriots captured the matchup 34-18.
Lathrop got on the board first with Aiyana Erhart grabbing the 130 class.
Then Macara Kobernuss scored the 112 for the Patriots, and Elizabeth Schumaker won the 119.
Desarae Matheny then claimed the 160 for Lathrop, and Dakota Darby closed it out with a victory for North Pole in the 125 weight class.
The Malemutes prepare for their duel against the West Valley Wolfpack, while the Patriots prepare for the Battle for the Interior starting on Friday.