Manhattan and Three Forks’ wrestling teams competed in the Cut Bank Booster Invitational over the weekend, and the teams combined to have four grapplers place.
Three of those were from Manhattan, which placed 12th among 29 teams with 89 points.
“We found a lot of success at the Cut Bank Invitational,” Manhattan coach Patrick Hutchins said. “It was our first time at the Cut Bank tournament, so I don’t have much of a benchmark to compare to. But we were in the top 10 teams for a while before dropping to our 12th place finish.”
Havre won the tournament with 211 points, while Fergus was second with 196.5. Whitehall rounded out the top three with 146.5 points.
Manhattan advanced three wrestlers to Day 2 of the tournament and Forrest Fairbanks, Garrit Weeda, and Cyrus Richardson placed fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively, at 138, 160 and 160 pounds.
Fairbanks finished with a 5-2 record following a first round loss to Havre’s Kale VanCampen. He bounced back with five consecutive victories in the consolation bracket before losing in the third place match to Cut Bank’s Matthew Larson in a close 4-2 decision.
Weeda reached the semifinals before losing to Fergus’ Duane Otto. He then lost in the consolation semifinals before pinning Richardson in the fifth place match to finish with a 4-2 record.
Richardson notched four wins in the consolation bracket following a first round loss, and then was pinned in the consolation semifinals before falling to Weeda. He finished with a 4-3 record.
Overall, all eight of Manhattan’s wrestlers posted at least one win on the weekend.
“We won some important divisional matches and we are right on the cusp of getting the win in those really close match ups,” said Hutchins. “After this weekend we think we know what we need to do to win those close ones next time. We are probably going to have an opportunity to put that theory to the test next week in Fairfield (at a mixer) and Choteau.”
Three Forks, led by Levi Wagner, finished 22nd with 44 points. Wagner placed sixth after reaching the quarterfinals at 132.
Bryon Hay (160) and Will McDonnell were the only other Wolves to notch at least two wins.
Both teams will compete in mixers Thursday before competing in the Choteau Invitational Jan. 17-18.