BILLINGS — Avery Allen admits that, even entering his third state wrestling tournament, he still felt plenty of pressure.
"It's always there," Allen said shortly after earning a second-round technical fall over Great Falls' Dylan Block in the 152-pound title match. "All the fans and everything gets to you. But I have that feeling where I've been there before."
He certainly has.
A junior at Bozeman High School, Allen locked up his third straight wrestling championship on Saturday afternoon at the all-class state wrestling tournament at MetraPark. He won the 132-pound title as a freshman and then followed that up with an undefeated sophomore campaign culminating in him clinching the 145-pound championship.
He's now on pace to join former Hawk wrestler Leif Schroeder, a 2020 graduate, as the only other four-time champion out of Bozeman High School. That rare distinction has been earned by just 38 Montanans, with Sidney's Aden Graves joining the list last weekend.
He'll have to wait another year to get a shot at making that list, but it's already on his radar.
"Halfway there," Allen said. "More than halfway there but four times has been my goal this whole time."
Allen will now begin looking to compete in large tournaments before his final high school season rolls around. But the end goal is, of course, to walk out of the Metra next February with a fourth title.
"Right now I'm focusing on bigger tournaments nationally and the ones that really help me get ready for moments like this and that are gonna help me the most," he said.