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Western AA wrestling gets under way in Helena with strong performances

Western AA wrestling
Posted at 10:40 PM, Feb 02, 2024

HELENA — The 2024 Western AA divisional wrestling tournament got under way Friday, as 16 boys and girls teams convened in the Capital City for the two-day seeding tournament.

On the girls side, Helena Capital's Shaelynn Sinerius and Leila McKay each posted victories. Sinerius' win came by pin, calling it "the best feeling ever."

McKay, a 2023 state tournament qualifier, won by pin at 165 pounds. But for these girls it's about more than just wins and losses.

“We wrestled each other and when we were done she literally gave me a hug and she was like, ‘You’re such a great wrestler,’ and we basically exchanged phone numbers. It was really fun,” McKay said.
 
Capital's Taylor Lay, a returning 2023 state champ, also won by pin on Day 1.

There were plenty of additional triumphs out on the floor, such as Helena High’s Trenton Salway, who had redemption on his mind as he won both of his matches versus challengers from Missoula Sentinel and Butte High.

“It felt pretty good, I’m excited about (seeing) if I could go to state. It’s going to be tough competition, but we’ll see how it goes,” said Salway.

As will fellow Bengals senior Sam Schiltz, who wrestles at the 182-pound weight class.

“Bogie, our head coach (Sam Bogard) ... love him. He makes things fun,” Shiltz said. “You just got to go out there and work as hard as you can.”

The Westen AA seeding tournament continues Saturday at the Capital High gym. The state wrestling tournament begins Friday at First Interstate Arena at MetraPark in Billings next Friday.