Matcats take second at Divisionals

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  • Columbia Falls wrestler Colton McPhee battles Ronan’s Justin Mays in the 182-pound championship at the Class A Divisional Meet in Columbia Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Columbia Falls wrestler Ben Windauer pins Polson’s Hunter Fritsch for the 170-pound Class A Divisional title in Columbia Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Columbia Falls wrestler Brayden Stone battles Browning's Ryan Kipp Friday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • Columbia Falls wrestler Colton McPhee battles Ronan’s Justin Mays in the 182-pound championship at the Class A Divisional Meet in Columbia Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

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    Columbia Falls wrestler Ben Windauer pins Polson’s Hunter Fritsch for the 170-pound Class A Divisional title in Columbia Falls Saturday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

  • 2

    Columbia Falls wrestler Brayden Stone battles Browning's Ryan Kipp Friday. (Jeremy Weber photo)

The Matcats made a strong push for their sixth straight divisional wrestling title Saturday but came up just short as Columbia Falls hosted the Class A Western Divisional Tournament.

The Cats, who had won the last five Western A titles, scored 214 points but came in behind Frenchtown’s 246.5. Polson was third at 211.5 and Ronan was fourth with 187.

“Obviously we wanted to win, but Frenchtown came in and did what they needed to do to end our streak. Now, we just need to look at how we need to respond and how we are going to move forward with our program to keep it competitive,” head coach Jessie Schaeffer said.

Despite being out of the running for titles in five weight classes going into Saturday’s finals, the Matcats made a strong push and had three individual champions as Ben Windauer (170), Colten McPhee (182) and Taylor Gladeau (285) each won their weight classes. The Cats also had three runners up - Brandon Thomas (132), Jakob Freeman (205) and Kyler Koski (285).

“We put ourselves in a situation where we had kids out of five weight classes after the first day, but I thought we responded very well on the second day. Most of our kids wrestled above their seed and I feel very good about going into the state tournament that way,” Schaeffer said. “All our champions competed well. My hat is off to them for having a great weekend.”

The Cats will be sending 11 wrestlers to the all-class state tournament, which begins in Billings Friday, where Schaeffer says the team will be hoping to earn a few individual titles.

“We are going to have to focus on the individual titles. We are going in without wrestlers in five weight classes, and that is going to hurt our team score,” he said. “We just need all 11 of the kids we are sending to be competitive. Ultimately, we want those kids to be standing on the podium. Whatever happens with the team race, happens.”

Windauer, McPhee, Gladeau, Thomas, Freeman, Koski, Austin Nelson, Ayden Role, Easton Sempf, Nathan Hader and Braydon Stone will all wrestle for the Cats at state.

This was the first time Columbia Falls had hosted the Western A divisional tournament in nearly a decade, which had its pros and cons for the Cats.

“Yeah, we get to sleep in our own beds, but they also have the pressure of wanting to perform in front of their home crowd,” Schaeffer said. “We also had to get everything prepared, we didn’t just get to walk in and wrestle. There are two sides to it, but it was fun to be hosting.”

Western A Divisional

Columbia Falls High School

Friday’s Results

Team Totals

1. Frenchtown 246.5; 2. Columbia Falls 214; 3. Polson 211.5; 4. Ronan 187; 5. Libby/Troy 145.5; 6. Browning 107; 7. Hamilton/Darby 105.5; 8. Corvallis 81; 9. Beaverhead/Twin Bridges/Sheridan 76; 10. Whitefish 61; 11. Stevensville/Victor 49; 12. Butte Central 37.5.

SATURDAY

120

Fifth Place - Zane Walchuk (Ronan), wins by forfeit (Austin Nelson, Columbia Falls).

132

Championship — Bridger Wenzel (Polson), maj. dec. Brandon Thomas (Columbia Falls) 11-2.

Third place — Trey Thompson (Libby/Troy) dec. Ayden Role (Columbia Falls) 4-2.

138

Fifth place — Jarod Farrier (Poloson) p. Easton Sempf (Columbia Falls) 4:35.

145

Third place — Nathan Hader (Columbia Falls) p. Aaron Christensen (Corvallis) 1:39.

160

Third place — Dan Cheff III (Ronan) dec. Braydon Stone (Columbia Falls) 7-2.

170

Championship — Ben Windauer (Columbia Falls) p. Hunter Fritsch (Polson) 2:46.

182

Championship — Colten McPhee (Columbia Falls) maj. dec. Justin Mays (Ronan) 15-4.

Fifth place — Noah Humphrey (Polson) p. Fisher Billsborough (Columbia Falls) 4:15.

205

Championship — Kyle Anderson (Hamilton/Darby) dec. Jakob Freeman (Columbia Falls) 7-3.

285

Championship — Taylor Gladeau (Columbia Falls) dec. Kyler Koski (Columbia Falls) 3-0.

FRIDAY

Round 1

113

Rene Pierre (Polson) 14-5 won by tech fall over Garhet Salminen (Columbia Falls) 6-26 (TF-1.5 4:26 (16-1)

120

Austin Nelson (Columbia Falls) 24-16 won by fall over James Wissenbach (Corvallis) 22-14 (Fall 0:59).

126

Owen Brown (Ronan) 15-2 won by fall over Thomas Peters (Columbia Falls) 12-13 (Fall 1:21).

132

Brandon Thomas (Columbia Falls) 20-13 received a bye, Ayden Role (Columbia Falls) 21-10 won by decision over Cody Crace (Libby/Troy) 25-20 (Dec 6-0).

138

Easton Sempf (Columbia Falls) 15-19 won by fall over Randon Weidow (Corvallis) 21-21 (Fall 1:26).

145

Nathan Hader (Columbia Falls) 25-16 won by fall over Eric Dolence (Ronan) 9-13 (Fall 2:00), Jason Dobson (Columbia Falls) 11-7 won by fall over Mike Lamere (Browning) 0-5 (Fall 2:28).

152

Robert Bertelsen (Whitefish) 26-15 won by fall over Isaac Balla (Columbia Falls) 3-18 (Fall 1:46).

160

Braydon Stone (Columbia Falls) 18-17 won by decision over Ryan Kipp (Browning) 12-10 (Dec 17-10).

170

Ben Windauer (Columbia Falls) 38-8 received a bye.

182

Colten Mcphee (Columbia Falls) 36-9 received a bye, Fisher Billsborough (Columbia Falls) 0-1 received a bye.

205

Jakob Freeman (Columbia Falls) 26-11 received a bye.

285

Kyler Koski (Columbia Falls) 17-5 received a bye, Talylor Gladeau (Columbia Falls) 27-5 received a bye.

Consolation Round 1

113

Garhet Salminen (Columbia Falls) 6-26 received a bye.

126

Thomas Peters (Columbia Falls) 12-13 received a bye.

152

Isaac Balla (Columbia Falls) 3-18 received a bye.

Consolation Round 2

113

Nicolilai Blanchard (Frenchtown) 16-6 won by fall over Garhet Salminen (Columbia Falls) 6-26 (Fall 2:56).

126

Brody Marcure (Frenchtown) 22-13 won by fall over Thomas Peters (Columbia Falls) 12-13 (Fall 2:39).

132

Ayden Role (Columbia Falls) 21-10 won by decision over Kolby Reum (Ronan) 8-15 (Dec 5-0).

138

Easton Sempf (Columbia Falls) 15-19 won by fall over Tristan Riel (Stevensville/Victor) 4-33 (Fall 0:17).

145

Daylon Moore (Hamilton/Darby) 20-21 won by fall over Jason Dobson (Columbia Falls) 11-7 (Fall 4:46).

152

Seth Cheff (Ronan) 15-13 won by fall over Isaac Balla (Columbia Falls) 3-18 (Fall 2:14).

160

Braydon Stone (Columbia Falls) 18-17 won by fall over Aalec Pace (Whitefish) 7-20 (Fall 3:57).

182

Fisher Billsborough (Columbia Falls) 0-1 received a bye.

Quarterfinals

120

Austin Nelson (Columbia Falls) 24-16 won in sudden victory - 1 over Spencer Stagg (Ronan) 18-5 (SV-1 6-4).

132

Brandon Thomas (Columbia Falls) 20-13 won by decision over Ayden Role (Columbia Falls) 21-10 (Dec 5-2).

138

Dakota Flannery (Whitefish) 21-5 won by fall over Easton Sempf (Columbia Falls) 15-19 (Fall 3:11).

145

Nathan Hader (Columbia Falls) 25-16 won by decision over Jason Dobson (Columbia Falls) 11-7 (Dec 4-3).

160

Dan Cheff III (Ronan) 8-3 won by decision over Braydon Stone (Columbia Falls) 18-17 (Dec 7-5).

170

Ben Windauer (Columbia Falls) 38-8 won by fall over Hunter Riley (Stevensville/Victor) 8-12 (Fall 0:53).

182

Colten Mcphee (Columbia Falls) 36-9 won by fall over Ethan Borden (Libby/Troy) 12-23 (Fall 0:19), Justin Mays (Ronan) 21-5 won by fall over Fisher Billsborough (Columbia Falls) 0-1 (Fall 1:13).

205

Jakob Freeman (Columbia Falls) 26-11 won by fall over Joe Schildt (Browning) 7-2 (Fall 1:13).

285

Kyler Koski (Columbia Falls) 17-5 won by decision over Cyrus Sweedman (Libby/Troy) 31-16 (Dec 4-1), Talylor Gladeau (Columbia Falls) 27-5 won by fall over Coy Whyte (Hamilton/Darby) 8-7 (Fall 2:26).

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