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Billings' Keyan Hernandez wins national wrestling title, Great Falls' Cael Floerchinger places second

State wrestling semifinal matches
State wrestling semifinal matches
Posted at 10:19 AM, Apr 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-09 11:20:02-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Billings West senior Keyan Hernandez added another accolade to his wrestling resume Sunday, winning the 126-pound senior championship at the NHSCA (National High School Coaches Association) High School Nationals.

Hernandez, who earlier this year became the first wrestler in West history to become a four-time Montana high school state champion, defeated Peyton Ellis of Rhode Island 5-3 for the title Sunday. Hernandez won four bouts over the weekend, winning by fall in the first round and earning a 5-1 decision in the second. He got an 11-0 major decision in the quarterfinals and an 11-5 decision in the semifinal round.

Hernandez is committed to wrestle in college at Iowa.

Cael Floerchinger of Great Falls wrestled to a second-place finish at the High School Nationals. Competing in the 113-pound freshman bracket, Floerchinger won his first two matches by fall. He earned a 9-2 decision in the round of 16, a 6-0 decision in the quarterfinals and 1-0 decision in the semifinals to advance to the championship bout, where he lost an 8-4 decision to Amari Vann of New Jersey.

Floerchinger won the 113-pound championship at the Class AA state wrestling tournament in February.