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State title matches set at Montana high school state wrestling championships

Bibler, Schroeder chase 4-peats
Huntley Project wrestling
Posted at 11:28 AM, Feb 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-15 15:45:59-05

BILLINGS -- Thirty-nine state champions will be crowned throughout the afternoon and early evening at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark, after 78 high school wrestlers punched tickets to the state championship matches on Saturday morning.

Great Falls High, Sidney, Huntley Project and Circle took Day 1 leads in their respective team standings, and each secured berths in Saturday's state championship matches.

At the conclusion of Saturday morning's semifinals, Great Falls High had 181.5 points, compared to Bozeman's 164.5. Kalispell Flathead made a charge to third with 154, while Billings Senior was fourth with 147.5.

Great Falls High sent reigning champs Elijah Davis and Ethan Deroche back to the finals at 205 and 285 pounds, respectively.

Bozeman's Leif Schroeder will look to secure his fourth title at 138 pounds, the second match of the night, while teammates Avery Allen, Brock Rodrigues and Tom Walkup are also finalists.

Sidney moved a step closer to two goals -- another team championship and breaking the 2019 Eagles' state-record 310.5 points. The Eagles were at 260 at the conclusion of the semifinals, with an impressive eight wrestlers in the finals.

Frenchtown all but secured the second-place trophy with five wrestlers securing berths in the championships. The Broncs will compete in the final four matches of the night with Landen Stewart, Walker Dyer, Eli Warner and Jake Bibler competing from 103 to 126 pounds. Bibler's match will conclude the tournament as he chases a fourth consecutive title against Lewistown junior and two-time champion Cooper Birdwell in arguably the most-anticipated match of the tournament.

Laurel, Miles City and Havre are in the running for the third-place trophy.

Glasgow and Eureka have moved past Huntley Project in the Class B race. The Scotties have 131 points to the Lions' 103. Huntley Project is at 102, while Whitehall is still in contention with 97 points.

Circle took a commanding lead in the Class C standings with 76.5 points, behind Krayle Stormer and Cole Becker's semifinal wins. All five of the Wildcats' state qualifiers will return next season.

Class AA state championship pairings

103: Jase Van Pelt (West) vs. Hunter Ketchem (Skyview)
113: Teegan Vasquez (Glacier) vs. Carter Schmidt (Belgrade)
120: Jesse Aarness (West) vs. Keagan Gransbery (Butte)
126: Drake Rhodes (West) vs. Matthew Dewitt (Senior)
132: Carson DesRosier (Capital) vs. Avery Allen (Bozeman)
138: Brendan Barnes (Flathead) vs. Leif Schroeder (Bozeman)
145: Fin Nadeau (Flathead) vs. Brock Rodrigues (Bozeman)
152: Hunter Meinzen (Big Sky) vs. Paolo Salminen (Skyview)
160: Dougie Swanson (Big Sky) vs. Thomas Klepps (Senior)
170: Bridger Hall (Big Sky) vs. Tanner Russell (Flathead)
182: Noah Kovick (Capital) vs. Peyton Morton (Senior)
205: Zane McCormick (Capital) vs. Elijah Davis (Great Falls High)
285: Tom Walkup (Bozeman) vs. Ethan Deroche (Great Falls High)

Numbers by team

Bozeman 4
Billings Senior 3
Billings West 3
Helena Capital 3
Kalispell Flathead 3
Missoula Big Sky 3
Billings Skyview 2
Great Falls High 2
Belgrade 1
Butte 1
Kalispell Glacier 1

Class A state championship pairings

103: Landen Stewart (Frenchtown) vs. Owen Lonski (Sidney)
113: Walker Dyer (Frenchtown) vs. Zander Dean (Sidney)
120: Eli Warner (Frenchtown) vs. Kaiden Cline (Sidney)
126: Jake Bibler (Frenchtown) vs. Cooper Birdwell (Lewistown)
132: Cameron Pleninger (Havre) vs. Jordan Darby (Sidney)
138: Keagan Campbell (Laurel) vs. Damian Leidholt (Miles City)
145: Triston Davis (Corvallis) vs. Aden Graves (Sidney)
152: Trey Thompson (Libby-Troy) vs. Connor Harris (Havre)
160: Bridger Williams (Hamilton) vs. Orion Thivierge (Havre)
170: Cooper Hoffman (Dillon) vs. Nelson Crisafulli (Glendive)
182: Cameron Younger (Laurel) vs. Riley Waters (Sidney)
205: Tate Jones (Frenchtown) vs. Jett Jones (Sidney)
285: Tyler Harms (Miles City) vs. Brodey Skogen (Sidney)

Numbers by team

Sidney 8
Frenchtown 5
Havre 3
Laurel 2
Miles City 2
Corvallis 1
Dillon 1
Glendive 1
Hamilton 1
Lewistown 1
Libby-Troy 1

Class B-C state championship pairings

103: Gavin Nedens (Huntley Project) vs. Nate Blodnick (Anaconda)
113: Krayle Stormer (Circle) vs. Miguel Ramos (Fairfield)
120: Trae Thilmony (Thompson Falls) vs. Tanner Cook (Columbus-Absarokee)
126: Gunnar Smith (Eureka) vs. Roper Mycke (Conrad)
132: Kyle Durden (Eureka) vs. Colten Fast (Glasgow)
138: Nathan Schmidt (Eureka) vs. Forrest Fairbanks (Manhattan)
145: Dallen Hoover (Whitehall) vs. Cole Becker (Circle)
152: Hank Dunn (Eureka) vs. Riley Forcella (Whitehall)
160: Callen Mears (Malta) vs. Rylin Burns (Colstrip)
170: Isaiah Allik (St. Ignatius-Charlo) vs. Nate Gorham (Shepherd)
182: Kyler Alm (Florence) vs. Dylan Nieskens (Glasgow)
205: Gage Schmitt (Shepherd) vs. Cooper Larson (Glasgow)
285: Mayson Phipps (Glasgow) vs. Journey Grimsrud (Huntley Project)

Numbers by team

Eureka 4
Glasgow 4
Circle 2
Huntley Project 2
Shepherd 2
Whitehall 2
Anaconda 1
Colstrip 1
Columbus-Absarokee 1
Conrad 1
Fairfield 1
Florence 1
Malta 1
Manhattan 1
St. Ignatius-Charlo 1
Thompson Falls 1