The Harlem Wildcats and Chinook Sugarbeeters have both had plenty of success recently at the Class B-C state wrestling tournament. But this weekend’s state tourney in Hamilton saw both Hi-Line teams reach new heights.
Harlem capped off its best finish in two decades with 117 points, good enough for a sixth-place overall finish. The Wildcats crowned two state champions and placed five wrestlers overall in what was a great two days for Harlem wrestling.
Meanwhile, Chinook, which didn’t field as deep a team as in year’s past, still found its way to 77.5 points, yet another best amongst Class C teams, which is four in a row for the Sugarbeeters, as well as solid ninth-place finish overall. The Beeters also crowned two state champs, including a historic third straight state title for junior Benjamin Stroh.
But as moments go, Saturday was a great day for Harlem. The Wildcat program has been building and they reached a pinnacle on Saturday. Harlem sent five wrestlers into Saturday morning’s semifinals, eventually landing two on the state championship podium. Senior Trent Jones (171) won his second straight state championship by beating Taylor Vaughn of Eureka, 6-4 in Saturday’s finale. Last season, Jones was the first Harlem wrestler to win an individual title in over two decades.
But he wasn’t alone this weekend.
Teague Jones fought his way to the 105-pound state title with dominating performances throughout. The younger Jones bested Colstrip’s Taylor Ramsey 4-2 in the 105-pound championship match on Saturday. Fellow freshman Shay Snider also wrestled in the 98-pound final, but he came up short against Maestro Martinez of Wolf Point. The two battled to a 1-1 tie after three period, but Martinez prevailed 5-1 in overtime. Harlem also got big points from junior Colten Dirden, who cruised to the 135-pound semifinals, before ending up third. Dirden beat Christian Hammersmith of Darby 6-3 in the consolation final. Chris Schupe also gave the Wildcats a lift at 140 pounds. Schupe reached the semifinals, then fought his way back to the consolation final, before losing to Dalton Roundy of Darby to finish fourth overall.
And while Harlem’s run was spectacular this weekend, so too was Chinook’s. The Beeters only placed three wrestlers overall, but they won the Class C trophy again and had two state champions.
Stroh was his dominant self at 189 pounds, winning every match by pin for the second straight year. He pinned Noxon’s Adam Moore in just 1:30 in the 189-pound final. The win gave Stroh a second straight unbeaten season and a chance to go for the coveted four-peat at next year’s state meet. Stroh could be become the first Hi-Line wrestler to win four straight individual titles if he succeeds next season.
Not to be outdone was Chinook’s Jorrell Jones, who captured the 215-pound state title on Saturday. Jones beat Cut Bank’s Brock Calvi 3-0 in the championship match, and atoned for his loss to Calvi in the divisional championship match last weekend. Joining Jones and Stroh on the podium was Chinook’s Cord Anderson, who came back to finish sixth in the 189-pound class.
Success also found the Chester/J-I Hawks this weekend in Hamilton. The Hawks scored 30 points and got a fourth-place finish from heavyweight Ethan Wolery. As a team, the Hawks finished 23rd overall. Big Sandy took five wrestlers to Hamilton but didn’t score over the two-day tournament.
Note: For complete state B-C results, see Tuesday’s Havre Daily News.