With just one week of regular season meets remaining, the Cut Bank grapplers are building some momentum for the postseason. The Wolves had 11 local mat men place last weekend at the Harlem Invitational led by Caleb Simpson, who topped the podium at 126. The Wolves will host a mixer this Thursday at 6 p.m. and then will spend the weekend at the Malta Invitational for their season finale.
Simpson opened the Harlem Invite with a quick pin over Sofie Rasmussen of Wolf Point to reach the semifinals. Simpson defeated teammate Shane Barcus by pinfall in 3:12 in the semis and followed that up with a 14-3 major decision over Glasgow’s Jack Cornwell to claim the championship.
Barcus bounced back from his loss to Simpson to defeat another teammate, Dakota Manecke, in the consolation semifinals by pinfall in 55 seconds to reach the consolation final. Barcus pinned Harlem’s Darrius Longknife to claim third place at 126.
Manecke opened with a loss to Longknife before being eliminated by Barcus.
A trio of Wolf grapplers placed second in Harlem as Andrew Andersen, Tristan Sydenstricker and Matt Larson all reached the finals before dropping their lone match of the tournament.
Sydenstricker defeated Tannin Baumann of Fort Benton in 57 seconds to reach the finals where he was pinned by Cameron Mikesell of Malta in 3:24.
Larson pinned Valier’s Joe Ramos in the semifinals but was defeated by a tight 4-3 decision to another Valier grappler, Ty Curry, in the final to place second.
Andersen opened with a quarterfinal victory over Spencer Gibbs of Malta with a pin in 1:50. Andersen needed just under 2 minutes to pin Tyler Schoen of Chinook in the semifinal round as the local senior reached the finals. Kaden Zimmerman of Glasgow earned a 9-2 decision in the final to give Andersen a second place finish.
Five Cut Bank grapplers placed third in Harlem as Colten Barsness, Mariah Wahl, Hunter Kennedy and Bradin Murphy joined Barcus in finishing the weekend with a win.
Murphy was defeated by Trevor O’Hara in the semifinals by a 6-0 decision but bounced back to defeat teammate Elijah Greene by a 6-1 decision in the consolation finals to place third. Greene went 0-2 to finish in fourth place.
Kennedy dropped his opening round match to Jase Frederick of Poplar by pinfall in 34 seconds. In the consolation rounds Kennedy pinned three straight opponents to earn his third place finish.
Barsness fell to John Huges of Harlem in the quarterfinals but bounced back to take down Morgan Fast of Glasgow in the consolation semifinals with a 6-3 decision. In the battle for third, Barsness got revenge on Hughes as he needed just 54 seconds to pin his first round opponent and earn his third place finish.
Ethan Sullivan joined Greene as a fourth place finisher, going 0-2.
Jacob Hjartarson, Raice Strand, Tobias Alvarez and Alen Nelson also wrestled but did not place in Harlem.
The Cut Bank Mixer on Thursday will also be senior night for the wrestling program where seniors Andersen, Barsness, Manecke and Alvarez will be honored before the matches begin.