Cut Bank sophomore heavyweight Alen Nelson breaks down his Browning opponent Thursday night during the Cut Bank Mixer. Teams from Conrad, Shelby, Valier, Browning and Cut Bank competed in the event.

The Cut Bank Wolves wrapped up the regular season last weekend with a second place team finish at the Malta Invitational. The Wolves were led by a 1-2 finish in the 120 pound bracket. Sophomore Kierrin Rooney topped freshman teammate Tristan Sydenstricker to claim the championship. Five other Wolves placed in Malta as Cut Bank scored 164 team points in their final test before this weekend’s Divisional Tournament in Conrad. 

Rooney opened with a 28 second pin over Christian Moe of Great Falls. Rooney then took down Chinook’s Lane Snider in 1:40 to advance to the semifinals. Rooney pinned Jose Moran of Shepherd in 1:12 to reach the finals where he pinned Sydenstricker in 1:25. 

Sydenstricker received a first round bye into the quarterfinals where he pinned Ethan Jarrett of CMR in 3:44. In the semifinal round the local grappler pinned Alex Derbyshire of Billings Central in 1:37 before falling to Rooney in the finals. 

Four Cut Bank wrestlers placed third in Malta with Caleb Simpson, Matt Larson, Austin Vanek and Jeremy Gallagher ending the weekend with a win. 

Simpson, wrestling at 126, received a first round bye into the quarterfinal round where he pinned Sam Hanson of CMR in just 32 seconds. Simpson dropped his semifinal match to Brodie Ober by pinfall in 2:28. Simpson bounced back with a major decision victory over teammate Shane Barcus 14-2 to reach the consolation final where he defeated Glasgow’s Jack Cornwell by a 9-5 decision. 

Larson opened the 138 bracket with a 6-2 decision over Kale VanCampen of Havre. In the quarterfinal round Larson pinned Alex Stene of Shepherd in 58 seconds to reach the semifinals. Ty Curry of Valier defeated Larson by a 10-5 decision to send Larson to the consolation semifinals. The Cut Bank grappler defeated VanCampen a second time by an 8-2 decision to reach the consolation final. Larson defeated Joe Ramos of Valier by pinfall in 2:06 to claim third place. 

Vanek received a first round bye at 170 into the quarterfinals where he needed just 58 seconds to pin Kendall Moore of Malta to reach the semifinals. Orion Thivierge of Havre downed Vanek by a 10-5 decision to drop the Cut Bank sophomore into the consolation semifinals. Vanek took just 47 seconds to pin Ty Kittleson of Glasgow before pinning JT Hauer of Chinook in 1:35 in a battle for third. 

Gallagher, wrestling at 205, dropped his opening round match to Cooper Larson of Glasgow but bounced back to pin Dre Oshio of Malta in 3:25 to place third. 

Raice Strand placed fourth at 145, going 2-2. After a first round bye Strand pinned Tyler Eggebrecht of Circle in 3:51. Strand dropped a 13-0 major decision to Nathn Popichak of Great Falls to fall to the consolation semifinals. Strand pinned Aiden Aldrich of Billings Central in 2:51 to reach the consolation finals where he dropped a 13-3 major decision to Camryn Mears of Malta. 

Brock Barcus went 3-2 on the day while Shane Barcus went 2-2 and both finished one match away from placing. Andrew Andersen went 2-2 on the day. The senior grappler was eliminated in the consolation semifinals, one match away from earning placement points. Bradin Murphy, Jacob Hjartarson and Wes Omsberg also finished one match away from placing as they each went 1-2 in Malta. Hunter Kennedy, Ethan Sullivan, Dalton Estey all picked up a win in Malta and Elijah Green, Dakota Manecke and Tobias Alvarez all went 0-2 on the day. 

The Wolves will be in Conrad Saturday at the Divisional Meet in hopes of bringing home some team and individual hardware as well as qualifying for the State Tournament in Billings next weekend.

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