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State A wrestling: Columbia Falls claims first title since 1990

Columbia Falls wrestling
Posted at 9:20 PM, Feb 11, 2023

BILLINGS — Columbia Falls piled up the points this weekend at the State A wrestling tournament, as the Wildcats claimed their first state wrestling title since 1990. The Wildcats finished with 201 points, well clear of second-place Miles City and third-place Laurel.

Columbia Falls only had one individual champion, Justin Windauer at 160 pounds, but Chris Rathjen (138) and Tyler Gilfry (126) finished runner-up in their respective weight classes.

"My dad was on that team. He was a senior as well. He won a state title that year, so that was pretty cool," Windauer said. "I don't know if it was meant to be or whatever, but it was pretty cool."

The Wildcats had several placers across the 13 weight classes. Traic Fainter placed third at 103, Blake Hoerner finished sixth at 132, Winslow Peters placed sixth at 138, Billy Gustafson finished sixth at 145, Blaise Cronk finished third at 152, Rowdy Crump placed third at 170 and Brandon Role placed third at 182.

"We knew from the start of the season that we could be a state title contender," Windauer said. "We had some injuries mid-season, so bouncing back from those it's really impressive seeing our guys wrestling good."

Miles City's Holden Meged capped a 24-0 season with an individual title at 285 pounds, while Laurel's Camden Johnson claimed a title at 170 to help their teams to trophies. Sidney, which came in seeking its sixth consecutive team title, finished in fourth place just 1.5 points behind Laurel.

For full results click here.