With two weeks remaining in the regular season, Patrick Hutchins feels good about where his team is sitting. Manhattan’s first-year coach noted his team turned a corner over the weekend at the Choteau Classic.
For the first time the Tigers placed in the top 10 in the tournament as a team, and three grapplers finished in the top four. Manhattan scored 68 points, while Glasgow, St. Ignatius/Charlo, and Townsend were the top three teams with 173, 114.5, and 114 points, respectively.
“It was a great weekend for the team. The guys really seemed to have turned a corner at Choteau,” said Hutchins. “We definitely fixed some things that we saw (at last week’s tournament) at Cut Bank, but the biggest difference was our mentality.”
Colton Siphakis posted a 3-1 record at 145 pounds. He notched a pair of pins, including one in the semifinals against St. Ignatius/Charlo’s Isaac DuMontier, before losing the finals to Conrad’s Ron Barnhill 9-6.
Forrest Fairbanks and Garritt Weeda placed third and fourth, respectively, at 138 and 160. Fairbanks notched a 3-1 victory against Townsend’s Easton Held in the consolation match to finish with a 5-1 record, while Weeda lost in the consolation match to Malta/Whitewater’s Callan Mears by fall to finish 4-2 on the weekend.
“Coltin Siphakis is wrestling the best we have seen from him yet. He defeated two of the top five ranked guys in the state at 145 on his way to a second place finish, and proved that he is going to be a contender at state,” said Hutchins “Forrest Fairbanks and Garrit Weeda continue to perform well and placed third and fourth respectively.”
Three Forks also competed in the tournament and finished 24th with 25 points. Jesse Eide and Domanic LaBonte each placed third at 152 and 205, respectively. Will McDonnell added a sixth place finish at 103.
Eide posted a 3-1 record with his lone loss coming in the semifinals to Florence-Carlton’s Zack Dixon by fall. He pinned St. Ignatius/Charlo’s Christian Smith in the consolation match.
LaBonte also finished 3-1 following a quarterfinal loss to Florence-Carlton’s Jared Pallo. He beat Townsend’s Dawson Stevens in the consolation match.
Both Manhattan and Three Forks will compete in the B/C Duals Jan. 24-25 in Great Falls.
“We will be in Great Falls for the B/C duals this weekend and then we have two weeks of practices to get everything polished for the divisional tournament,” said Hutchins.