Winning Windauer

Columbia Falls senior Justin Windauer leads Wildcats team ranked first in Class A

By Frank Gogola for 406mtsports.com
Columbia Falls High School wrestler Justin Windauer on March 10, 2022. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Columbia Falls senior Justin Windauer captured his first championship at the Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic on Saturday at Missoula Sentinel after finishing fourth and second in his previous appearances.

Windauer remained undefeated as he scored an 8-4 decision over Kalispell Flathead’s Cade Troupe in the 152-pound title match. He’s chasing his second State A championship after he won at 138 last year, took second at 126 as a sophomore and was third at 113 as a freshman.

“I feel I’m wrestling as good as I ever have,” he said. “Senior year, I’m feeling pretty good. I think keeping my pace up when I wrestle, that’s the main thing I’ve improved on. I think I’m wrestling pretty smart, knowing when to hold back and when to apply pressure.”

Windauer is seeking more hardware at state before he goes to wrestle at MSU-Northern on scholarship next year. The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 in the state in the latest Class A team poll, followed by Miles City, Frenchtown, Havre and Sidney.

Columbia Falls split with Frenchtown at the Western Montana tournament during the first weekend of January. The Wildcats beat the Broncs in the invitational format, 233.5-224, but lost in the championship round of the dual format, 36-31.

“We have a shot at winning a team title this year, so they keep me motivated,” Windauer said. “Knowing that we could win as a team means everything to me too. Almost more important than another individual title. I know winning a state title myself would help that out, so that’s a big goal for me too.”