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Montanans bow out at NCAA wrestling championships

Parker Filius
Posted at 10:04 PM, Mar 19, 2021

ST. LOUIS — The three Montana athletes competing at the NCAA wrestling championships saw their tournament runs come to an end on Friday.

North Dakota State Luke Weber, a Forsyth native and Big 12 champion, won his first match on Thursday as the No. 9 seed in the 165-pound bracket before a 7-5 loss to Stanford’s Shane Griffith in the second round sent Weber to the consolation bracket.

Weber bounced back on Friday with a 7-0 decision over Andrew Nicholson from UT-Chattanooga and a 2-1 decision over NC State’s Thomas Ballard.

One more win would have guaranteed him a top-eight finish and All-American status, but Weber dropped a 5-1 decision to Missouri’s Keegan O’Toole in the blood round.

Former Havre four-time state champion Parker Filius, a No. 18 seed for Purdue in the 141-pound bracket, dropped a 7-6 decision to South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson in the first round to move to the consolation bracket.

Filius won his next two matches: a 9-0 major decision over Drexel’s Julian Flores and a 6-3 decision over Pittsburgh’s Cole Matthews. But Filius would fall to Nebraska’s Chad Red in the third consolation round by an 11-3 major decision.

Iowa State redshirt senior Jarrett Degen, a 149-pound Belgrade product, was eliminated from the tournament, falling 10-7 to Purdue's Griffin Parriott in the first round on Thursday and 8-6 against Arizona State's Cory Crooks in the consolation round.

Degen ends his career as a two-time All-American and four-time NCAA national tournament qualifier.

(Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct previously misreported scores.)