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Polson edges Lake City to win team title

PABLO – The Polson Pirate wrestling team had a nice start to the new 2018-19 wrestling season by winning the team title in the Owen Invitational.

The Pirates hosted the tournament at home this past weekend. Due to last winter’s snowstorm damage to Linderman gym, the Joe McDonald Health and Fitness Center located on the Salish and Kootenai College campus in Pablo was the site for the 43rd annual invitational. 

“It was awesome,” Polson head coach Matt Owen said of the new venue. The bigger gymnasium allowed the tournament to flow a little quicker than it had in the past. “Being able to throw the fourth mat down definitely sped things up this year. We have never been out of a tournament this early before,” Owen said.

In the two-day 20-team event, Polson narrowly edged the Lake City team from Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, 202-201 for the overall team title on Saturday.

The Pirates placed four grapplers in championship brackets, including Hunter Fritsch winning the title at 170 pounds by fall over Isaiah Alik of Mission/Charlo in the title match. Rene Pierre (103), Bridger Wenzel (152) and Logan Adler (182) were runners-up. For the Pirates, Jarod Farrier (132) nabbed a third-place finish, Gavin Knutson (103) placed fourth, both Kedrick Baker (113) and Maysn Cowell (120) placed fifth and Justice Moore (205) placed sixth.

“I am super impressed with where we are at this point of the season,” said Owen. “Everything is headed in the right direction. We were able to take home the title this weekend and it has been a long time since we have done that.” 

Isaiah Alik (170) placed second. Walker Murphy (120) and Darwin Adams (145) added third-place finishes, and Miles Anderson (205) chipped in a fifth place for Mission/Charlo who placed tenth in the team standings with an 89.5-point effort.

For the Ronan Chiefs, Justin Mays took third in the 205-bracket and Daniel Collins Bishop (152) claimed fifth.

Up next, the Pirates and Chiefs are on the road to Butte for the Mining City Duals on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8, while the Mission/Charlo and Arlee squads head to Superior for the Bob Kinney Memorial on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Owen Invitational: team standings

1. Polson 202; 2. Lake City 201; 10. Mission/Charlo 89.5; 18. Ronan 51.5

Championships, area placing matches

103 – Championship match – Landen Stewart, Frenchtown, over Rene Pierre, Polson, dec. 4-3; third place match – Nathan Sproul, Whitefish, over Gavin Knutson, Polson, dec. 7-2

113 – Fifth place match – Kedrick Baker, Polson, over Matt Foley, Belgrade, fall 3:09

120 – Third place match – Devin Sorrelle, Lake City, over Walker Murphy, Mission/Charlo, dec. 6-5; fifth place match – Maysn Cowell, Polson, over Novik Thomas, Sentinel, fall 1:29

132 – Third place match – Jarod Farrier, Polson, over Carter Brown, Corvallis, fall 1:15

145 – Third place match – Hank Dunn, Eureka, over Darwin Adams, Mission/Charlo, TF-3:42 

152 –– Championship match – John Mears, Belgrade, over Bridger Wenzel, Polson, dec. 5-2; fifth place match – Daniel Collins Bishop, Ronan, over Porter Howard, Lake City, dec. 9-5

170 – Championship match – Hunter Fritsch, Polson, over Isaiah Alik, Mission/Charlo, fall 4:52

182 – Championship match – Colton McPhee, Columbia Falls, Logan Adler, Polson, fall 0:49

205 – Third place match – Justin Mays, Ronan, over Mahlon Clark, Lake City, dec. 7-1; fifth place match – Miles Anderson, Mission/Charlo, over Justice Moore, Polson, fall 1:51

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