George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor email@example.com
The Montana State University- Northern wrestling team had a few firsts this weekend at the Northwest Open in Powell, Wyo. The Lights competed in their first tournament of the season, and were also on the road for the first time this year. And according to MSU-N secondyear head coach Dan Troupe, the Lights had a strong showing. “We really did wrestle pretty good,” Troupe said. “We had four champions and three runners up. I was really happy with how we did for our first tournament of the year.” The Lights got individual championships from Corey Borges at 125 pounds, Chris Smith at 141 pounds and co-titles from heavyweights Jake Kallestad and Josh Robinson. Borges, a transfer from Fresno State, cruised to the 125-pound title while teammate Sean Costello wrestled back to a solid third-place finish at the same weight. “Borges looked really good,” Troupe said. “And Costello is wrestling really well. We are definitely strong at 125.” Mike McPeak gave the Lights a solid second-place finish at 133 pounds, and Smith, a senior, who has battled injury during his MSU-N career, looked extremely good on his way to the 141- pound championship. “Chris Smith is wrestling as well as I have ever seen him wrestle,” Troupe said. “He looked really good this weekend. He is really solid, very technical right now.” Troupe was also pleased with the efforts of true freshman Byron Kuylen, who moved up to 149 pounds and finished third. Kuylen lost his first match of the tournament, but battled all the way back to take third. He also avenged his only loss of the tournament. Northern got a second-pace finish from Joe Souza at 157 pounds, and third and fourth places by Joe Souza and Mikey Kuhene at 165 pounds. At 174 pounds, Tre Leckbee finished third, and he beat teammate David Waters in the consolation round. In the upper weights, the Lights looked strong, especially at 184 pounds where former Havre High standout Chad Seely placed second. Seely lost a close match in the championship bout, 3-1. “I think Chad could have won and he did wrestle really well,” Troupe said. “One of the things about this tournament is that matches were only six minutes long and we train for seven. So in a few matches, we just ran out of time.” Brian Fritchman finished fourth at 197 pounds, while Kallestad and Robinson did wrestle off for the heavyweight championship. “This tournament was about getting back into the swing of things and I think we accomplished a lot,” Troupe said. Northern will only send five wrestlers to the Division I Cowboy Invitational this weekend in Laramie, Wyo. The full Lights team will be back in action on Nov. 16 when they are back in Powell to dual Northwest College.