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New weight classes debut this weekend


December 4, 2013

Lindsay Brown

Havre High's Jace Billy, top, competes in the 2012 Havre Invitational Wrestling Tournament last December. The Blue Ponies make their season debut Friday-Saturday at home.

Friday afternoon, the Havre High wrestling team will kick off a brand new season as the Blue Ponies host the annual Havre Invitational Wrestling Tournament. The fun starts Friday and runs through Saturday evening.

Fans of the Havre Invite won’t just get to witness the birth of a brand new season, and the beginning of Havre’s quest to defend its 2013 Class A state championship. No, fans will also get to see a major change as it pertains to all high school wrestling in Montana.

The MHSA has adopted a restructuring of weight classes for the 2013-14 high school wrestling season. The changes have brought Montana into compliance with National Wrestling Federation weight standards. For years, the MHSA has stuck with its own weight classes, which go as low as 98 pounds and as high as 285, or heavyweight. But in recent years, proposals to move to National Federation weights started to surface but were rejected by many Montana high school coaches.

However, the latest proposal to move to the National Federation format was passed last spring, and this season will see those new weight classes take effect. The national standards allow for one less weight class up to 152 pounds, and one more in the heavier weights, with weights starting at 106 pounds. An amendment to add 98 pounds to the National Federation’s weight classes was approved at the MHSA's annual meeting in Missoula last spring, so Montana will still have 15 weight classes, as opposed to the 14 most states adhere to under the National Federation.

The weight classes for this season will be, 98, 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and heavyweight. Those changes might seem drastic compared to Montana’s former weights, but many are still within range of the old system, though the 113-pound class and the 195-pound class will be significantly new for Montana wrestlers this season.

The 2013 Havre Invitational gets started Friday afternoon and runs through Saturday evening at the HHS gymnasium.

Note: For a complete preview of the 2013-14 Havre High wrestling team, see Thursday's Havre Daily News.


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