By George Ferguson
With just four weeks left in the regular season, the Havre High school wrestling team is looking to this weekend to get some solid mat experience against a quality field at the 45th annual Cowboy Invitational in Miles City.
The Ponies enter the tournament off of a seventh-place finish at last weekend's Cut Bank Invitational.
Havre junior Jeff Hedges captured his second championship of the year in the 112-pound weight class. Hedges enters the week as the top-ranked wrestler in Class A at 112 pounds, but he will see formidable competition this weekend. Three of the top six 112-pounders in Class A will be at the Cowboy Invitational.
Freshman Grey Chagnon is also ranked second among 98 pounders in Class A and he to will have three quality opponents in his weight division from Colstrip, Laurel and Miles City. The only other Havre wrestler ranked right now is sophomore Chad Seely who comes into the weekend ranked fifth at 171 pounds and figures to be one of the favorites in his division.
The Ponies will invade Miles City as the seventh-ranked team in all of Class A and they have won the tournament five times including, three straight from 1998 to 2001. Last year the Ponies finished fourth, but they were the top finisher among schools from Montana.
Sheridan, Wyoming comes in as the defending champion and should be one of the top teams in the event. The tourney will also feature several other top Wyoming and North Dakota schools as well as Class AA Billings West. As far as the Class A ranks are concerned, Havre will see the second-ranked Sidney Eagles, the sixth-ranked Hardin Bulldogs and the tenth-ranked Glendive Red Devils. Billings Central, Colstrip, Laurel and Lewistown round out the Class A participants. In all, the field features 22 schools and is considered to be one of the strongest tournaments of the season.
The action gets underway this morning at Custer County High School and the tournament will run through Saturday evening.