Kalispell Well-Represented at Wrestling National Championships

Tilynne Vasquez finishes third at Junior Nationals in Fargo; Trae Vasquez, Tucker Nadeau also in action

By Andy Viano
Kalispell's Tilynne Vasquez. Beacon File Photo

Kalispell’s Tilynne Vasquez earned All-America status at the U.S. Marine Corps Cadet/Junior Nationals, highlighting a strong week of performances at the annual event in Fargo, North Dakota that brings together the country’s top amateur wrestlers.

Vasquez, who will be a high school junior next year, was competing at the junior level (for wrestlers up to 19 years old) for the first time after finishing second in 2017 as a cadet. Wrestling freestyle at 106 pounds, she won her first four matches in Fargo before stumbling in the championship semifinals against eventual champion Mia Palumbo of Illinois. Vasquez rebounded from that loss to win twice in the consolation bracket, claiming third place by beating Georgia’s Amani Jones.

Older brother Trae Vasquez was also in Fargo, wrestling in both the freestyle and Greco-Roman tournaments and making his first appearance in a national competition since suffering a leg injury that cost him his senior season at Flathead High School. Trae will wrestle for Cal Poly next year. His former Braves teammate, West Virginia University commit Tucker Nadeau, also wrestled in Fargo but did not place in either discipline.

The trio helped lead Flathead to a second consecutive Class AA state championship in 2018. Tilynne Vasquez finished fourth at 103 pounds competing against boys and girls — the highest finish by a girl in tournament history — and Nadeau completed an undefeated season with the 182-pound state title.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.