Flathead Sending 24 to State Wrestling Tournament

The Braves will send at least one wrestler in every weight class to the state tournament

No Class AA school will have more individuals competing at the Montana All-Class State Wrestling Tournament than the defending champion Flathead Braves, who qualified 24 wrestlers at the Western AA Divisional Tournament, Feb. 3 at Flathead.

The Braves will send at least one wrestler in every weight class to the state tournament, Feb. 9-10 at MetraPark in Billings, and will have a pair of entrants in the field at 11 different weights. Tilynne Vasquez (103), Jaden MacNeil (132), Garrett Rieke (160), Payton Hume (170), Tucker Nadeau (182) and Michael Lee (285) all finished first in their respective classes at the divisional seeding tournament. The top eight finishers at each weight qualify for state.

Glacier, meanwhile, will send 12 wrestlers, including two each at the three lowest weights (103, 113 and 120). Tristan Little (120) and Tre Krause (285) were the Wolfpack’s top finishers, both placing third.

In Class A, Columbia Falls and Polson will send 12 wrestlers apiece to Billings after the Western A Divisional in Columbia Falls Feb. 3. The Matcats finished second in the team standings behind Frenchtown on the strength of three weight-class champions, Ben Windauer (170), Colten McPhee (182) and Taylor Gladeau (285). The Pirates also boasted a trio of first-place finishers, Bridger Wenzel (132), Cameron Brown (145) and Parker Adler (152), and finished third as a team. The Libby-Troy co-op landed 11 wrestlers in the top eight, including 113-pound champion Buddy Doolin. Five Whitefish grapplers also qualified.

Defending Class B/C champion Eureka dominated its regional, as expected, winning the team completion by more than 60 points and qualifying 11 for the state tournament. Gunnar Smith (113), Nathan Schmidt (120), Hank Dunn (132), Garrett Graves (182) and Sam Johnson (285) were divisional champions.