GREAT FALLS — University of Providence wrestling is off to a hot start to their season and just wrapped up the Battle of the Rockies tournament. UP had nine wrestlers claim individual titles in their weight classes; five women and four men. Two former CMR wrestlers are off to a hot start as well and want to finish their senior season off strong together.
A friendship that started years ago on CMR's wrestling mats continues to shine on the University of Providence wrestling mats in the form of KC Buday and Deven Altenburg-Lasher.
"I think we're doing really well this year, and I think we keep making improvements," Buday said. "We're ranked ninth right now and I think we have a shot at placing in the national tournament, and that's the ultimate goal. I'm going to win the national title."
Both wrestlers are in their senior year at U.P. and are teaming up for one last go at it.
"Coaches always tell us to go for gold. So, I mean, I'd love to reach all-American status, if not better be national champ. But it's a climb. So we we have a tough schedule and it only pushes us."
Buday took first in his weight class in this weekend's Battle of the Rockies tournament and is grateful he can end it out with a long time wrestling mate.
"I think it makes it super comfortable. Freshman year in college can be super intimidating. By having someone in the room who you've been friends with and you know and are super close with. It just helps adjust to the culture and feel at home. It's just good to have someone to talk to when you're down. We've been super close ever since high school and started wrestling together and I foresee us being super close after this too."
Altenburg-Lasher took fourth in his class this weekend. The tournament itself has a lot of meaning to him and Buday. He transferred back home to Great Falls after a year and a half at the University of Mary. It was this tournament four years ago that helped reunite them.
"I wanted to come home after my time at Mary, and KC was talking about transferring. We talked about it along the way. He said he wanted to commit and I told him I'd sign with him. I called my mom and told her I made my mind and we committed together. It was this tournament where we talked about it and it's been great since then."
Being reunited with KC has brought out the best of both wrestlers. They're excited to push each other for the last leg of their college wrestling careers.
"He's been one of my best friends since high school," Altenburg-Lasher said about Buday. "He did great at Nationals last year and kind of gave our team hope and gave us inspiration to reach the podium. He's a workhouse in the weight room and in practice. We've been on this team for four years and it's been great."
No matter what happens, they say they'll always have the wrestling memories and the friendship. Their time on the mats might be temporary, but the bond is for life.
https://www.trackwrestling.com/ for tournament results.