Bulldog wrestlers place three at state tourney
The Hardin Bulldog wrestling team placed three and took seventh place overall at the state tournament in Billings last weekend.
Friday, the first day of the tournament, was a good day for the team according to Head Coach Travis Kreiger.
“We wrestled well for the most part on Friday,” he said. “At one point, we were in the top five.”
Taking second place for Hardin was Connor Murdock at 182. Murdock lost to Sidney’s Cody Christian. At the Eastern A Divisional Tournament Feb. 7, he defeated Christian for the Eastern A title.
In first round action Murdock pinned Corvallis’s Jake Sanders in 39 seconds and in the quarterfinals had a 15-3 major decision over Belgrade’s Raven Cunningham.
On Saturday, Murdock pinned Havre’s Jordan Schroeder in 5:33 and going to the championship round.
According to Kreiger, Murdock by far is one of the top wrestlers in the state, in any class.
“He had a great year and I’m proud of him,” he said.
Placing third for Hardin was Brenden Roan who at 120 who pinned Frenchtown’s Cody Warner in 4:12.
Roan in the first round pinned Browning’s Emmitt Augare in 39 seconds, lost to Dillon’s Kohltin Starkel in the quarterfinals and decisioned Corvallis’s Paul Allsop in a close 7-6 match.
On Saturday, Roan in the consolation quarterfinals, pinned Dylan Stewart of Havre in 3:40, moving him into the consolation semifinals where he pinned Keegan Kennelly, also of Havre, in 3:58 sending him to the third fourth place round.
“In the second period of the third place match, Roan reversed him and took control,” Kreiger said. “It was one of the most outstanding matches of the tournament.”
Placing sixth for the Bulldogs was Eric LaFontaine who lost to Cameron Brown of Polson.
On his way to his sixth place finish, he won his first round against Brandon Rockwell of Belgrade with a pin in 40 seconds and pinned Anaconda’s Thomas Moore in 3:00.
On Saturday, LaFontaine lost to Caleb Birdwell of Lewistown, sending him into the consolation semifinals and into the fifth-sixth round.
Kreiger also pointed out Kreece Robinson and Grant Scalpcane.
“The progress both have made is just outstanding,” he said.
Kreiger pointed out they started the 2014-15 season young and without a lot of varsity experience.
“Hardin took 10 wrestlers to state and every one of them got a win. It was a good year for the kids,” said Kreiger. “Everyone made progress and I’m excited about next year.”