BILLINGS — The Billings Senior girls are sick of being the bridesmaid — and are ready to be in the spotlight.
The Bronc girls lead the 2023 girls state wrestling tournament after a strong showing on Day 1 Friday in front of thousands of fans inside First Interstate Arena. Senior put four wrestlers into the semifinals, including two-time defending champion Kendal Tucker at 152 pounds. Tucker earned two pins for 12 big points as she looks to become one of the first three-time girls state wrestling champs in Montana history.
Kalispell Flathead, who won the first two girls State wrestling team titles in 2021-22, is in second in the team race, but does not have a single wrestler left in the championship bracket; 120-pound freshman Bella Downing was disqualified in her quarterfinal match against Miles City's Grayle Fox after the referee called Downing for an illegal move that didn't allow Fox to continue due to injury. Downing led 7-0 at the time of disqualification.
Butte is in third in the team standings, with Ronan — the top non-AA team — in fourth.
Sidney's Amaiya Kirn (132 pounds) and Billings Skyview's Kassidee Savaria (185) are also chasing their third consecutive state titles. Both advanced to the semifinals.
One more interesting story to follow: five eighth graders remain in the championship bracket. If any win a title, they could be on the path to becoming the first five-time state wrestling champions in Montana history. The MHSA approved a rule change last spring allowing eighth graders to compete in all Montana high school sports except football.
For first-day results, click here.