Chinook & Harlem Grapplers Wrestle Well; Heading to State
February 7, 2024
The Chinook and Harlem boys and girls wrestling teams were back in action this past Friday and Saturday. The Sugarbeeters and Wildcats were in Wolf Point competing at the North-East Divisional. The 'Beeter girls wrestled well, sending all three girls to state this weekend. Sophomore Emma Klingaman won the 126-pound title. The Lady Cats shined as well; sophomore Cyla Adams claimed the girls 114 crown, and had multiple podium finishes as well. The 'Beeter boys and Wildcats had a tougher go of things; Harlem senior Leon Champaign finished fifth at 152. Three other Wildcats finished seventh. The Sugarbeeter boys had eighth grader Hayden Berreth and freshman Walter Schoen each finish fourth in their respective weight classes, while other 'Beeters also earned podium spots.
On the girls' side, it was Klingaman and Adams that shined through. Adams carried an 18-8 record into the tournament and rolled through the competition where she pinned her first two opponents before earning an 8-6 decision over Chinook sophomore Bailey Billmayer to claim the 114-pound weight class. Sophomore Emma Klingaman entered the tournament with a 37-8 record with the majority by pinfall. Saturday, she captured gold. Klingaman went 3-0, winning all three matches by pinfall, including the chipper. Klingaman defeated Ashlyn Kistenmacher of Shepherd by pinfall at 3:27.
Chinook junior Grace Buck wrestled her way to a second-place finish at 107 pounds and brought a 29-7 record into the tournament. Buck fell to Poplar's Escarcenga Angelina (25-1) by tech fall in the chipper. Harlem Senior Katelyn Johnson finished 2nd at 132 pounds, going 3-1 in the tournament. She is advancing to the State Championship Meet for the fourth year in a row. Lady Cat freshman Jara Wilson wrestled her way to third place at 165 pounds. Wilson brought an 18-14 record into the match and defeated teammate Kehtsin Stiffarm by pin. Lady Cat Junior Ihte' Stiffarm finished fourth at 152. The last qualifier for the Lady Cats was Sophomore Janessa Whiteplume at 235 pounds, finishing 1-2 to win fourth.
Chinook eighth grader Hayden Berreth entered the tournament with a 25-18 record and held his own against kids three grades ahead of him. At the Northeast divisional, Berreth went 4-2 with three wins by pinfall. Berreth fell in the 120-pound consolation by a 7-6 decision to Jordan Niles of Huntley Project. 'Beeter freshman Walter Schoen began the tournament with a 30-17 record. On Saturday, Schoen wrestled his way to the consolation final where he fell by decision to Kai Heck from Colstrip. Schoen has now qualified for state as both an eighth grader and a freshman.
'Beeter sophomore Owen Davies entered the tournament with a 27-17 record. On Saturday, Davies went 3-2, winning his final match by pinfall. Chinook freshman Julian Powell also will be headed to the state tournament after finishing 6th at 285. Powell entered the tournament with a 24-14 record and added a pair of pins at the divisional tournament.
Chinook Head Coach Ben Stroh reflected on his team's effort in Wolf Point: "Grace, Bailey, Emma, Walter, Hayden, Owen, and Julian qualified for state. Good job to the boys who qualified for state. They wrestled hard all weekend, but if they plan on getting on the podium at state, they are going to have to start upsetting some of those better guys. We constantly beat certain people, but to accomplish their goals, it is time to step up and beat some people they haven't beat before.
When talking about the 'Beeter girls, Stroh was feeling pretty good, "The girls wrestled amazingly. We came up short in a couple of matches. However, their individual performances were quite impressive. Emma came out to battle and wasn't messing around by pinning her girl in the championship who was 30-0 before her loss to Emma."
Harlem Head Coach Jon Baker was very proud of his wrestlers over the weekend. "It was a wild ride. Overall, both teams performed well. Upsets and victories alike, the adrenaline and struggle were very real. Proud of all the wrestlers and their efforts. Nobody backed away from the fight, win or lose. They completed their journey, finishing with a feeling of accomplishment without regrets. Several podium finishes in the boys' team made for a good weekend. I saw the best mental game in the boys' performance yet. They seemed more focused on finishing the moves and keeping their nerves at bay. Trusting the process and showing their strengths. Again, very proud of the boys. The girls brought home team hardware again this year along with their own personal accessories. A lot of big matches this weekend. Hard fights to stay alive and advance. The girls showed up again to cause a ruckus in other attempts. Showing amazing growth from rookie to vet. I saw so much drive from the girls' team, they were focused and had a plan. I am overjoyed with their progress this season and look forward to this weekend to finish strong with some podium finishes. Their mindset is right, and most are peaking at just the right time. To the wrestlers whose season has ended, I'm proud of all of you, thank you for being coachable and never backing down. For those of you that are heading to state this weekend, let's finish strong and shoot for that high spot on the podium! "Let's SKODEN". Let's go Harlem!!"
The All-Class Girls and Boys will be held this Thursday through Saturday in the Rim Rock Auto Arena at the Metra sports complex in Billings. Good luck to all of our Blaine County student athletes.