The Cut Bank Wolves wrapped up the 2019-20 season at last weekend’s State Tournament in Billings. After a strong first day that saw the Wolves sitting in third place in the team standings, the Wolves ended with two grapplers on the podium in sophomore Austin Vanek and senior Andrew Andersen. The Wolves entered the second day of the tournament with six grapplers still alive but went 0-6 in their first matches, eliminating four local mat men. The Wolves ended with a top ten finish as they wrapped up the tournament in ninth place.
Vanek opened the 160 bracket with a pin over Carter Woodson of Superior in 1:28. Vanek followed that up with a pin over Miles Hoerauf of Whitehall in 3:48 to reach the semifinals. Rylin Burns of Colstrip pinned Vanek in 57 seconds in the semis, sending the Cut Bank grappler to the consolation semifinal round. Vanek got back on track with a pin over Kyler Hallock of Glasgow in 1:14 to reach the consolation final where he pinned Whitehall’s Hoerauf of Whitehall a second time, this time in 2:01, to finish in third.
Andersen opened the last State Touranment of his career with a pin over Bert Detienne of Plains in 1:53. Andersen then pinned Logan Boadle of Poplar in 1:30 to reach the semifnal round. Andersen was pinned by Hank Dunn of Eureka in 2:27 to fall to the consolation semfinal. Wylee Lindeen of Huntley Project earned a 4-2 decision to send Andersen to the fifth and sixth match. Andersen dropped a 10-2 major decision in his final match to place sixth.
Along with Vanek and Andersen, four other Cut Bank grapplers advanced to the second day of the tournament. Senior Colten Barsness and sophomores Matt Larson, Hunter Kennedy and Kierrin Rooney all went 2-1 on the opening day to advance to Saturday.
Barsness dropped his opening match to Chance Muller of Eureka by pinfall in 1:53 and was sent to the consolation bracket. Barsness bounced back with a pin over Sam Lane of Townsend in 1:33 and then advanced to the consolation third round by injury default to make it to Saturday. Camryn Mears of Malta eliminated Barsness with a second period pin in his final match in a Cut Bank singlet.
Larson pinned Robert Dempsey of St. Ignatius in 1:54 to open the 138 bracket to advance to the quarterfinals. Larson was pinned by Colstrip’s Zach Valdez in the third period and was sent to the consolation second round. Larson needed just 50 seconds to pin Zach Cox of Colstrip to stay alive and advance to Saturday. Trentin Walker of Whitehall defeated Larson in sudden death to end his season.
Rooney opened with a 14-5 major decision victory over Nate Wadlow of Cascade. Tugg Taylor of Circle pinned Rooney in the quarterfinals in 1:19 to drop to the consolation bracket. Rooney bounced back with a 15-0 victory over teammate Tristan Sydenstricker to move on to Saturday. Rooney was eliminated by Dawson Powers of Whitehall in a 6-3 decision.
Kennedy pinned Dane Hoover of Whitehall in 1:30 to open the tournament but was defeated by Langdon Smith of Shepherd in the second round by pinfall. Kennedy rebounded with a pin over Morgan Ayers of Highwood in 1:55 to make it to Saturday where he was eliminated by Cameron Mikesell of Malta by pinfall.
Bradin Murphy dropped his opening round match at 103 to Leo Anderson of Boulder by pinfall but bounced back to pin Keegan Small of Colstrip in 41 seconds to stay alive. Jake Kuka of Glasgow eliminated Murphy by a 6-0 decision to end his season.
Elijah Greene also wrestled at 103 and dropped his two matches at his first State Tournament. Greene was pinned by Nate Blodnick of Anaconda in his opening match and then was eliminated by Pancho Ibanez of Eureka.
Sydenstricker dropped his first round match at 120 to Tanner Cook of Columbus by pinfall in 1:17. The Cut Bank freshman bounced back to pin Oliver Post of Florence in 2:36 before being eliminated by Rooney.
Caleb Simpson dropped his first round match at 126 to Cooper Cook of Columbus by a third round pin. Simpson bounced back to pick up a 9-0 major decision over Jack Cornwell of Glasgow. Simpson was eliminated by Harold Miller of Shelby by pinfall in 1:47.
Freshman Jacob Hjartarson dropped his opening match at 132 to Elijah Ratliff of Thompson Falls by pinfall in 1:34 before being eliminated by Riley Richtmyer of Townsend in 2:37.