By George Ferguson
Amongst the toughest teams in Class A wrestling, the Havre High wrestling team finished in eighth place at the Class A Duals in Belgrade over the weekend.
The Western A swept the top three places at the tournament with the Libby Loggers taking first place. The Polson Pirates came in second and Corvallis was third. Hardin placed fourth and Eastern A foe Colstrip came in fifth. The Central A then took the next four spots, led by Anaconda, Belgrade and the Ponies. Dillon came in just behind Havre.
In the first round Friday, the Ponies opened the tournament with a 50-30 win over the Ronan Chiefs. Chad Zuelke, Daine Solomon, Guy and Chad Seely and Nick Johnson all picked up late victories to preserve the Ponies' first-round victory.
In their second dual of the day the Ponies grabbed a close 39-32 decision over Dillon. That gave Havre a 2-0 record after the first day of competition.
On Saturday Havre continued to roll as it knocked off Central A foe Livingston 36-27 in round five. Gray Chagnon opened the dual with a win by pinfall and Jeff Hedges followed suit with a pin of his own. Daine Solomon also picked up a key victory at 152 pounds. And Nick Johnson grabbed a key 10-8 decision over Kyle Roach at 189 pounds to preserve the victory for the Ponies.
In round six, the Ponies ran into a very good Hardin Bulldog team and were soundly defeated, 45-27. Jeff Hedges and Scott Sheppard both earned victories by pinfall. But from the 125-pound division to the 160-pound division the Bulldogs won every match, which gave them a comfortable lead. Chad Seely scored a 6-0 win over Paul Morning at 171 pounds, and Jimmy Albertson gained Havre's other victory in the heavyweight class. He pinned Cory Hammond at the 1:15 mark of the match.
The Ponies forfeited their final dual against Anaconda in order to get some much-needed rest. That forfeit gave Havre a 3-2 record in the tournament and an eighth-place finish.
Next up for the Ponies is their final home dual of the season on Thursday night. Havre will dual both CMR and Great Falls High at the Havre High gymnasium. They will also travel to Conrad on Saturday night for a dual match with the Class B Cowboys.