Hunter Meinzen of Missoula Big Sky, Cooper Birdwell of Lewistown and Krayle Stormer of Circle have been awarded Blewett wrestling scholarships.
The $1,000 scholarships are awarded by Alexander (Zander) Blewett, III, a trial lawyer from the personal injury law firm of Hoyt & Blewett PLLC in Great Falls. One wrestler from each classification -- Class AA, Class A and Class B/C -- is selected based on his or her "combined qualities of wrestling and academic achievement," according to a media release, which also noted that Meinzen, Birdwell and Stormer combined for nine state champions while maintaining impressive grade-point averages.
“It is inspiring to see these students excel both on the mats and in the classroom," said Zander Blewett. “It is quite an accomplishment that a wrestler (Birdwell) could never lose a match in high school and still manage to earn a 3.97 GPA.”
Birdwell, the Class A scholarship recipient, graduated from Lewistown as one of the most decorated wrestlers in Montana high school history. He became a four-time state champion this year, capping an undefeated career with a first-period pin over Sidney's Kolton Reid in the 132-pound championship match at the Class A state wrestling tournament in Miles City. Birdwell has a 3.97 GPA and will wrestle at Oklahoma State, where he will study biology.
Big Sky's Meinzen is the winner of the Class AA scholarship. He was a three-time state champion for the Eagles after earning a runner-up finish as a freshman. Meinzen has a 3.2 GPA and will wrestle collegiately at Oregon State and study kinesiology.
Stormer, a two-time state champion for the Wildcats, is the Class B/C scholarship winner. He also added two third-place finishes in his career while being coached by his mother. Stormer boasts a 4.0 GPA and plans to study mechanical engineering at Oregon State, Emory Riddle or Harvard.
“We love wrestling for the life lessons it teaches and these kids embody what this great sport is all about,” said Blewett.
Blewett also offers $500 wrestling scholarships to several high schools in north-central Montana.