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Simms wrestling continues trending in the right direction

State wrestling championship matches
Posted at 12:06 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 14:31:40-05

SIMMS — The state wrestling tournament may have concluded Saturday, but the celebrations are far from over.

Simms High School held a pep rally Tuesday evening to honor its state placers. Lili Schubarth and Hayley Petersen took home titles in their respective weight classes, William Mishler placed sixth in the boys 160-pound bracket, and the girls finished the team race 10th overall and third in Class B-C while only having four athletes competing.

State wrestling championship matches
Simm’s Hayley Petersen jumps on her coach after winning the girls 107-pound final during the state wrestling tournament at First Interstate Arena in Billings on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.

“It was a phenomenal year. I’m super proud of my two state champions obviously and Will Mishler pulling it off for our boys as he places sixth,” said coach Robert Hazenberg. “I’m really happy with the performance these guys put forth. Their attitude, their effort was huge and the belief that they have in the program.”

Schubarth cemented herself in the school's history last year as she became the first girl to win a state championship, doing so in the 132-pound weight class. This year she added to her resume by doubling back and becoming a two-time champion.

“It’s pretty awesome. Honestly I would like to say that it’s pretty cool to have my second state title, but to make it 10 times better is I got to take it with my freshman, Hayley Petersen,” said Schubarth. “It’s just a very honorable moment to make history in Simms.”

Earlier in the season, Schubarth spoke to MTN about how she wanted to inspire the young girls on the team and help them achieve their goals. Watching Petersen win her first state title became a full-circle moment Schubarth. As her high school wrestling career comes to a close, she reflected on the legacy that she will be leaving in the Tigers’ program.

State wrestling championship matches
Simm’s Hayley Petersen, top, wrestles Poplar's Angelina Escarcega in the girls 107-pound final during the state wrestling tournament at First Interstate Arena in Billings on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.

“I feel this is the best thing I could’ve done for Simms women’s wrestling. I really hope that the program continues in the direction that it’s going. I am really excited to see what the world brings these girls in the future and their endeavors in wrestling,” said Schubarth.

The program is already trending in the right direction, especially with the help of Petersen who will look to build on her success. Petersen defeated a two-time state champion to win her title in the 107-pound weight class. Knocking off her opponent and doing so as a freshman, Petersen inserted herself onto a list of just four girls who have the opportunity to become the first four-time state champion.

Mishler may not have been at the top of the podium when receiving his award, but he still felt like he was on top of the world.

“I started in the fourth grade, so I haven't been wrestling since I was like 3,” said Mishler. “So, placing sixth I think is a pretty good accomplishment for how long I’ve been doing this sport. You know, obviously I wish I could’ve went back and started earlier but we don’t always get to do that, so I’ll take sixth.”