State wrestling tournament

Colstrip's Merlin Whitedirt celebrates his win in the class B/C 285-pound championship match of the state wrestling tournament at the Rimrock Auto Arena in MetraPark on Saturday.

BILLINGS -- Every other year.

That's what Colstrip's Class B/C championship meant when the Colts outdistanced last year's champions Eureka on Saturday, 196 to 127.5 points, at the State Wrestling Tournament at Rimrock Auto Arena Metra. Glasgow finished third with 120.5.

"This is our third one, and we've won it every even year, in 2014 and 2016," related Colstrip coach Cody Currier. "Maybe next year, hopefully, we can break that cycle."

When asked to name the keys to his club's bringing home the championship, Currier answered: "Wrestling like we do it in practice, to keep the 'Metra Scare' out of it."

The Colts put five into the finals, and came away with four titlists, led by multiple champs Jackson Currier and Merlin Whitedirt.

Currier, a junior at 138 pounds, captured his third state crown in as many tries. He pulled a 12-3 major decision over Circle's Trey Taylor in the finals, while improving his season record to a sparkling 46-2 on the year.

Whitedirt, a heavyweight, is now a two-time state champ, by pinning Dawson Hoerauf of Whitehall in 3:06. He finished the season with a a 46-3 mark.

"Merlin is our only senior, he's been wrestling for us since he was 5, he's as tough as nails and he's got great parents," Coach Currier said. "We've owned the heavyweight division lately, we've won it six of the last seven years. We're looking for our next heavyweight."

Colstrip's other two champions were Ty Bradley and Nakoda Siegel. Bradley edged Matt Middleton of Huntley Project, 5-4, with a match-winning takedown with just 3 seconds on the clock.

"I was behind by two and got the takedown early in the third to tie it up," said Bradley, who finished at 45-5. "I kept slipping off trying turn him so I cut him (for a 1-point escape) and was behind 4-3. I knew it was late so I shot my double (leg) and got it, and then looked at the clock and saw two seconds.

"I've actually had experience doing that, it's gutsy but not wise, and gives the coaches a heart attack."

Siegel's title at 170, pinning Glasgow's Dylan Nieskens in 1:56, capped a perfect 46-0 year for the Colts' junior.

Colstrip's only loss in the chipper came at 205, when Huntley Project's Blaine Buchanan completed an unbeaten season of his own, decisioning Trey Yates 7-1. Buchanan flexed a powerful bicep when the referee raised his hand for the 46th time without a loss.

Eureka had four grapple for titles, with two posting victories, highlighted by Garrett Graves' back-to-back undefeated seasons.

Graves shaded Spencer Jones of Florence 12-9 for the 189 championship, and a spotless 37-0 mark. He ends his career with a 78-match win streak.

"I owe it all to my coaches, Danny Lemer and Chad Dunn, they've been my coaches since Little Guy wrestling in second grade," explained the lanky Lions' senior. "They're helping raising their wrestlers through the sport. I was going to play basketball, but I had to be around them.

"Plus my dad – he got me into and showed me hard work and how to persevere – and my mom, and my whole family. They've always gave me the support I needed."

Also garnering a crown for Eureka was 113-pounder Gunnar Smith, who edged Shepherd's Tanner Cook 4-1.

The Lions' runners-up were Nathan Schmidt, losing 2-1 to Thompson Falls' Kaleb Frank at 120; and Hank Dunn at 132, dropping a 6-2 decision to Forsyth's Nathan Weber.

Glasgow had two in the finals, with both finishing second.

At 126, Oden Hallock lost to Daniel Uli of Plains, 7-1, and teammate Dyaln Nieskens at 170.

Fortsyth's Weber brothers garnered a pair of titles, with senior Nathan winning the 132 class, and junior Michael, becoming a three-time titlist with a 43-second pin of Florence's Jethro Thome in the 145 finals. This brings the five Weber brother's total state mat championships to 16.

"This whole thing (his career) has been breathtaking," said Nathan, who finishes with two firsts and two seconds. "It's been unreal being able to wrestle with my brothers and the rest of our team; just an amazing group of guys, including the Colstrip team."

Michael Weber wound up the year undefeated at 46-0, and claimed the tournament's Quick Pin Award, stapling all four foes in a combined time of 4 minutes, 9 seconds.

Forsyth's four-man team had a third titlist, in 103-pounder Camron Reilly.

The other B/C champion was Dalton Herbst of Baker at 160, with an injury default over Jefferson's Nate Brunett.

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