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Graham takes 1st in division at Rocky Mtn.

| January 19, 2009 11:00 PM

The Western News

Move over, Jake, now Justin has a Rocky Mountain championship of his own.

Libby High School senior Justin Graham took first place in the 215-pound weight class on Saturday at the Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic in Missoula. Graham’s medal comes two years after his brother Jake’s title at the same tournament.

“Justin is ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll and he got to see No. 2 and No. 3 this weekend,” Coach Jay Graham said. “So, as far as the Rocky, that was a real positive.”

Graham took a 10-4 decision over Havre’s Paul Jensen in the finals.

Graham opened with a pin over Hamilton’s Paul Donaldson in 3:49. He followed that up with pin over Josiah Clairmont of Polson in 2:51. In the quarterfinals, Graham won by pin yet again, this time in just 1:03 over Bentley Alsup of Sentinel.

On day two, Graham reached the finals by defeating Mead’s Jacob Trotter, 7-2.

Libby’s Kyle Sweedman placed third at 152 pounds. Sweedman took a 4-2 decision over Johnny Peregrina of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, an opponent he had lost to on day one.

Coach Graham pointed out the efforts of freshmen Kyle Leir and Tate Wilson. Both defeated seeded wrestlers on the first day with Leir knocking out the No. 5 seed at 125 and Wilson beating the No. 4 seed at 130.

Flathead won the tournament with 269 points. The Kalispell school took the Rocky Mountain team title for the fourth straight year.

For those eliminated on day one, a sister tournament called the John Fisher was held at Big Sky. Libby sent seven wrestlers and had three finish in first place – Cody Elliott, Kody Berget and Dean Willey. Brandin Mills placed third and Charlie Berget took fourth.

“Even for the ones that lost, there are three things that we want them to be – hard-nosed, aggressive and offensive,” Coach Graham said. “We had some kids that lost and were a little down but I told them that it was a real positive weekend.”

The Greenchain tuned up for the tournament with a dual against what seems to be an unbeatable squad out of Ronan. The Chiefs are unbeaten in duals this season and got their 12th straight after downing Libby on Thursday, 51-31.

Each school won three weight divisions by forfeit. Libby did not put wrestlers on the mat at 105, 112 and 119 while Ronan forfeited at 171, 215 and heavyweight. Of the nine matches that materialized, Ronan won six – five of those on pins.

Libby’s victories came at 135, 140 and 152. Cody Elliott pinned Alex Greenfield in 1:49 at 135. Dylan Berget decisioned Bryce Greenfield, 4-2, at 140. And Sweedman took a 10-2 decision over Tyler Wheeler at 152.

The Greenchain heads to the State A Duals Tournament on Friday and Saturday at Belgrade. Then early next week, Libby will host its first wrestling action since early December when Columbia Falls pays a visit.

In off-the-mat news, senior Seth Wright was supposed to see a neurologist on Monday. Wright has not seen action in a couple of weeks but has been practicing with the junior varsity.

Rocky Mountain Classic

Jan. 16-17

at Sentinel HS, Missoula

Team Scoring

1, Flathead 269; 2, Havre 246; 3, University High 155; 4, Central Valley 146.5; 5, Bozeman 137.5; 6, Coeur d’Alene High 136; 7, Mead 133; 8, Great Falls 126; 9, Glacier 124; 10, Ronan 103; 11, Sentinel 101; 12, C.M. Russell 96.5; 13, Frenchtown 83; 14, Clarkston 81.5; 15, Polson 77; 16, Ferris 73; 17, Libby 72; 18, Corvallis 69.5; 19, Hamilton 56; 20, West Valley 55; 21, Bonners Ferry 49; 22, Lake City 43; 23, Columbia Falls 39; 24, Butte 33; 25, Big Sky 24; 26, Hellgate 20.5; 27, Superior 13.5; 28, Whitefish 9.

Libby Results

125 – Kyle Leir (2-2) dec. Konzal, West Valley, 4-1; dec. Edminster, Mead, 3-1 (OT); lost by tech. fall to Demo, Bozeman, 17-2; lost by dec. to Lester, University, 6-3.

130 – Tate Wilson (2-2) dec. Hiett, Sentinel, 13-8; pinned Conklin, Bonners Ferry, 5:08; pinned by Howard, Coeur d’Alene, 1:39; lost by maj. dec. to Gannon, West Valley, 13-0.

135 – Cody Elliott (0-2) pinned by Beaman, Flathead, 4:52; pinned by Moyer, Big Sky, 4:00.

140 – Dylan Berget (0-2) pinned by Nordahl, Flathead, 3:08; pinned by Farry, Polson, 2:58.

145 – Charlie Berget (0-2) pinned by Olson, Havre, 1:57; pinned by Inderland, Frenchtown, 4:02.

152 – Kyle Sweedman (5-1) dec. St. John, Hellgate, 4-3; lost to Peregrina, Coeur d’Alene, 4-0; dec. Schaub, Havre, 12-5; dec. Coulson, Ferris, 4-3; pinned Beeler, Central Valley, 2:39; dec. Peregrina, Coeur d’Alene, 4-2 (third place).

160 – Kody Berget (2-2) pinned Orr, Big Sky, 1:00; pinned by Cheff, Ronan, 4:12; pinned Heigel, Bonners Ferry, 2:51; pinned by Bond, Mead, 1:56.

171 – Dean Willey (1-2) pinned by Krapas, Coeur d’Alene, 5:55; pinned Kotka, Butte, 0:32; pinned by Stratton, Central Valley, 0:43.

189 – Evan O’Brien (1-2) pinned by Franchi, Flathead, 0:33; pinned Mead, Hellgate, 1:24; pinned by Fisher, Frenchtown, 1:49.

215 – Justin Graham (5-0) pinned Donaldson, Hamilton, 3:49; pinned Clairmont, Polson, 2:51; pinned Alsup, Sentinel, 1:03; dec. Trotter, Mead, 7-2; dec. Paul Jensen, Havre, 10-4 (championship).

Hwt – Brandin Mills (0-2) lost by dec. to Horn, Glacier, 5-1; pinned by Comito, Mead, 2:24.

John Fisher Tournament

Jan. 17

at Big Sky HS, Missoula

135 – Cody Elliott (4-0) pinned Coniglio-Caruth, Polson JV, 1:12; pinned Jessop, Corvallis, 3:22; dec. Moyer, Big Sky, 4-2 (OT); dec. Waid, Havre JV, 6-3 (championship).

140 – Dylan Berget (1-2) lost by dec. to Williams, Corvallis, 10-2; dec. McMillon, Big Sky, 12-8; lost by dec. to Plevel, Columbia Falls, 3-2.

145 – Charlie Berget (3-2) pinned Schweitzer, Bozeman, 1:09; dec. Inderland, Frenchtown, 3-1; lost by dec. to Heibert, University, 4-2; pinned Zeybetetkin, Hellgate, 0:59; dec. Wichman, Great Falls, 2-0 (fourth).

160 – Kody Berget (4-0) pinned Kotka, Butte, 0:23; tech. fall over Fairbanks, University, 15-0; dec. Hall, Lake City, 11-6; Bartram, Great Falls, 10-3 (championship).

171 – Dean Willey (4-0) pinned Masters, Hamilton, 2:41; dec. Olean, Hellgate, 5-4; pinned Cottrell, Frenchtown, 1:27; Watson, West Valley, 2-1 (championship).

189 – Evan O’Brien (2-2) lost by dec. to Kidges, Corvallis, 5-4; dec. Messer, Polson JV, 9-6; dec. Mead, Hellgate, 10-0; pinned by Creveung, Sentinal, 0:35.

Hwt – Brandin Mills (3-1) dec. Schilling, Sentinel, 4-2 (OT); lost by dec. to Hass, Butte, 2-1; pinned Cowley, Bonners Ferry, 0:16; dec. Schilling, Sentinel, 6-5 (third).