Jefferson High brought 16 wrestlers, the maximum allowed, to the Southern B/C Divisional Wrestling Tournament in Cascade on Feb. 8. They came away with fourth place – the same result as last year — and five individual spots in next weekend’s state tournament.
The Panthers started strong. Six wrestlers competed in the first round, and three advanced: Christian Davis at 113 pounds, John Armstrong at 138, and Kaden Johnson at 145.
In the quarterfinals, Armstrong won again – along with teammates Leo Anderson at 103 pounds, Cody St. Clair at 120, Dakota Dorn at 182, and Matt Riehl at 205. Anderson, Dorn, and Riehl punched their tickets to State by winning their semifinal matches.
In the consolation bracket, meanwhile, Davis and Johnson won by pin to stay alive, as did Jace Oxarart at 132 pounds, Eli Reed at 138, Miles Dodge at 152, and Braden Jones at 160.
But then, the Panthers’ momentum slowed. Jefferson had been ranging between second and third place earlier in the day, with the top three teams earning a trophy. But as the afternoon wore on, the wins were harder to come by, and Jefferson dropped down to fourth.
In the consolation semifinals, St. Clair and Armstrong won to earn spots in the consolation finals and places in the state tourney. They both finished fourth in their brackets. Christian Davis, Oxarart, and Jones didn’t qualify for state; Oxarart and Jones finished fifth and Davis sixth.
Then came the finals. Anderson, Dorn and Riehl all wrestled hard but settled for second place. That left Jefferson in fourth place for the tournament, with 101.5 points. Whitehall finished first, followed by Broadwater and Columbus-Absarokee.
By finishing in the top four, Anderson, Dorn, Riehl, St. Clair, and Armstrong all earned All-Conference recognition. They’ll close out the season at the State All-Class Tournament at the MetraPark in Billings this weekend, Feb. 14 and 15.