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Vikings sending six to state wrestling tournament

For the Eagle | February 14, 2023 3:00 PM

Six Vikings’ wrestlers will be making the trip to the All-Class State Wrestling Tournament in Billings this weekend after Bigfork earned 15th at Western B/C Divisional Tournament at Salish and Kootenai College’s Joe McDonald Health and Fitness Center in Pablo Friday and Saturday.

Lyric Fainter (103) and Evan Tidwell (170) had the top finishes for the Vikings, each earning sixth in their divisions.

Fainter battled back from an opening round loss by pinning Anaconda’s Owen Pesanti in 48 seconds before earning a 9-5 decision against Cascade’s Elijah Kennerson.

Fainter was pinned by Florence-Carlton’s Max Rosenthal in the consolation semi-final before dropping a 10-6 decision to Anaconda’s Roddy Wyant in the fifth-place match.

Fainter will open the state wrestling tourney with a matchup against Forsyth’s Trey Starcher (33-17), who took third in the Eastern Divisional.

Tidwell pinned Conrad’s Xavier Wood in 3:59 in the opening round before being pinned himself by Whitehall’s Miles Hoerauf in the quarterfinals.

Tidwell bounced back by pinning Brenden Vanderwall of Plains/Hot Springs and Sean Larson of Florence-Carlton in the next two rounds before falling to Canyon Sargent of Mission/Charlo in the consolation semi-final.

Tidwell dropped a 6-0 decision to Cascade’s Colby Crowell in the 5th-place match.

Tidwell will face Colstrip’s Trevin Bradley (26-14) in his opening match at state. Bradley was third at the Eastern Divisional.

Wyatt Elwell (152) took seventh in his division, going 2-2 before earning a major decision (13-0) win over Noa Stevens of Thompson Falls in the 7th-place match.

Elwell will take on Brodie Ober (19-5) of Great Falls Central in the opening round at state. Ober was second at the Eastern Divisional.

Diego Rodriguez (113) went 2-3 to earn 10th in his division and will face Eureka’s Timothy Schmidt (39-3) in the first round at state. Schmidt was first at the Western Divisional.

Michael McCarty (138) went 4-3 to take 10th in his division and will face Levi Wagner (34-5) of Three Forks in the opening round at state. Wagner was first at the Western Divisional.

Felix Zambergs (205 went 3-3 to take 10th in his division and will face Whitehall’s Leo Scafani (34-5) in the opening round at state. Scafani was first at the Western Divisional.

Nathan Close went 3-3 and advanced to the fifth round of the consolation bracket before being eliminated by Conrad’s Tommy King.

Also picking up single victories for the Vikings were Connor Melton (103), Devin Victor (132) and Dane Carlsen.