MISSOULA — Plenty of familiar faces took center stage on Saturday afternoon in the finals of the Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic at Missoula Sentinel High School.
One of the largest state wrestling tournaments of the year, the Jug Beck offers some of the state's top wrestlers to compete against each other regardless of class, while also getting challenged by schools from outside of Montana as a preview of sorts to the all-class state wrestling tournament coming up in Billings Feb. 10-11.
Kalispell Glacier's Teegan Vasquez and Bozeman's Avery Allen are Montana's two wrestlers vying to become four-time state champions this year. Vasquez pinned Butte's Kip Pummea 1:12 into the first round to win the 132-pound bracket, while Allen, a South Dakota State commit, won the 145-pound bracket with a technical fall, 18-3, over Kale Baumann of Great Falls High.
Iowa commit and two-time state champ Keyan Hernandez defeated Belgrade's Mason Gutenberger by 5-1 decision to win the 120-pound bracket.
Belgrade's Carter Schmidt, a state champ last year at 126 pounds, won on Saturday at 138 with a 13-5 major decision over Josh Neiwert of Washington.
Columbia Falls' Justin Windauer, who won a State A wrestling title at 138 last year, defeated Kalispell Flathead's Cade Troupe by 8-4 decision to take the 152-pound bracket.
Missoula Big Sky's Izzy Moreno, who won the 132-pound title in 2021, pinned Flathead's Gabe Lake one minute into their match in the 160-pound final.
Flathead's Anders Thompson then followed that up with the fastest finish of the finals as he pinned Helena Capital's Conner Kovick in 27 seconds to win at 170.
At 182, Flathead got another winner in Noah Poe-Hatten. Poe-Hatten, a runner-up the last two seasons at state, pinned Havre's Kale VanCampen 1:01 into round two of their match.
Last year's Class AA state champ at 205, Brendan Lockart of Great Falls High, pinned Flathead's Sawyer Troupe 1:30 into round three to take that bracket on Saturday.
Then, last year's Class AA heavyweight champ in Capital's Talon Marsh topped Browning's Brendyn Whiteman by major decision, 13-2.
West's Makael Aguayo defeated Frenchtown's Isaac Stewart by major decision 14-0 at 103. Then at 113, Czar Quintanilla of Washington pinned Zach MacDonald of Idaho. Havre's Reed Mantle won the 126-pound crown by default.
Flathead won the team title with 233 points, West was second with 217.5 and Havre was third with 159.5. For full results from the entire Jug Beck tournament, click here.