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Lights sign two mat stars


Daniel Horton

Glendive's Dillon Tennant, below, wrestles Havre High's Thomas Gruber at the 2014 Class A state tournament in February in Billings. Tennant has signed to compete for the Montana State University-Northern Lights next fall.

Fresh off a third-place finish at the NAIA national tournament, the Montana State University-Northern wrestling team has added two new recruits for next fall.

Northern head coach Tyson Thivierge announced the signings of Glendive’s Dillon Tennant and Andrew Bartel of Mason City, Iowa.

Tennant, who’s projected to wrestle at either 133 or 141 pounds, won the 2011 Class A state championship, and wrestled in the Class A finals three times in his prep career. He missed his sophomore season due to a knee injury.

“Dillon has been around our program for many years and he knows exactly what we are about (his brother Garrett was on roster and is coming back).” Thivierge said. “We are excited to have someone of his caliber in the room, and we are excited that he shares the same goals as us. He wants to help this program achieve our goals of winning a national title. That is really rare to find in a recruit these days. He is not terribly self-absorbed; he sees the team aspect, as well, when it comes to achieving his own success.  We are pleased to have him on board.”

Bartel wrestled for Mason City High School and reached the coveted Iowa State Tournament three times. He finished eighth as a junior and sixth as a senior. He’ll wrestle at either 165 or 174 pounds for the Lights.

"With Andrew, we may have found a diamond in the rough,” Thivierge said. “He is a big kid and has a lot of potential to grow. Andrew comes from a great wrestling family, his brother is currently competing for NCAA Division 1 at the University of Northern Iowa at 197. Andrew has the potential to grow into any weight class from 165 on. He has great motion on his feet, he wrestles with extreme confidence and he can push the pace in his matches.  Andrew is someone we look forward to doing great things here at Northern. He is a kid who understands hard work and sacrifice, so we couldn’t be happier that he chose to come to Montana to further his wrestling career.”


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