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Libby 4th in wrestling extravaganza

by Western News
| March 10, 2009 12:00 AM

In an impressive display that puts youth wrestling in the spotlight and brings in bucks to the community, 621 grapplers took to the mats on Saturday in Libby for the annual Kootenai Klassic.

Along with another 150 pee-wee wrestlers, parents and siblings, the Little Guy wrestling event attracted roughly 3,500 people.

“It’s probably the second- or third-largest wrestling tournament in the state,” said Vic Crace of the Libby Wrestling Club, coordinator of the event. “It’s huge that we bring them in here. Every year, we host and it’s our No. 1 fundraiser – our only fundraiser really.”

The Libby team put on a good showing with a fourth-place finish in the standings. The local club crowned six individual champions – Owen Cook, Zac Crace, Josh Bowers, Eric Thrift, Mitch Haugen and Austin Bailey.

Crace and Haugen are undefeated within their divisions this season. Crace wrestles in the Middle 90 division while Haugen competes in Junior 119s.

Cook won the beginning 55A division, Bowers was tops at Middle 147, Thrift took first at Middle 166 and Bailey conquered Junior 145.

One of the most interesting and inspirational storylines of the tournament involved Bowers, one of the local club’s top wrestlers before suffering serious injuries in an accident.

“Josh is in his first year back … two years ago, he was in a boating accident and shattered both of his legs,” Crace said. “He has metal plates in his legs … he’s the champion.”

Libby wrestlers who finished as runners-up included Tanner Wood (Beg 70B), Dylan Koehler (Beg 85B), Kody Bailey (Nov 124), Johnny Davidson (Mid 80), Isaiah Sickler (Mid 85), Garret Chapel (Mid 100), Michael Miller (Mid 105), Cody Barrick (Mid 130) and Gunner Moe (Jun 160).

The sizeable gate from the tournament helps the Little Guy program cover the various expenses, including participation in out-of-town events. On Tuesday this week, the club was scheduled to go to Thompson Falls for a tournament and on Wednesday, the junior high team will head to Evergreen in Kalispell for another event.

Then on Saturday, the whole team will go to Superior for the Valley Tournament – an event that Crace likened to a district tournament. The top four finishers in the beginner (ages 7-8) and novice (9-10) divisions will move on to the Inter-Valley tournament along with the top eight middles (11-12) and all of the juniors (13-14). Out of that tournament, which will be staged at Thompson Falls, qualifiers will then participate in the Western Montana Championships on March 28 at Columbia Falls.

Columbia Falls won the team title race with 140 points. Libby placed fourth with 97 points.

The Western Montana Little Guy Wrestling Program was established in 1975 to promote benefits of the sport to children.

Kootenai Klassic

Saturday at Libby

Team Scoring

1, Columbia Falls 140; 2, Team Real Life 130; 3, Eureka 99; 4, Libby 97; 5, Kalispell 71; 6, Evergreen 47; 7 (tie), Mission 35; 7 (tie), Bonners Ferry 35; 9, Sandpoint 31; 10, Noxon 25; 11, Thompson Falls 23; 12, Bigfork 21; 13, Plains 20; 14, Whitefish 13; 15, Trout Creek 6.

Libby Results

Beg 45 – 5, Dillon Yeadon.

Beg 50A – 7, Trista Stingley.

Beg 50B – 7, Tyler Serna.

Beg 55A – 1, Owen Cook; 5, Jeffery Offenbecker. Also participating, Clay Benefield, Nalyn Parrish, Ryan Goodman.

Beg 55B – 3, Colten Clemons; 4, Zack Morrison. Also participating, Sebastian Sanders, Alex Svendsbye, Donavon Herb.

Beg 60A – 7, David Patterson. Also participating, Ethan Beck.

Beg 60B – 4, Trey Thompson. Also participating, Walker Mills.

Beg 65A – 5, Thomas Allen. Also participating, Trent Anderson.

Beg 65B – Participating, Dylan Jaworski.

Beg 70A – 5, Charlie Redifer.

Beg 70B – 2, Tanner Wood. Also participating, Tim Lundstrom.

Beg 75 – 5, Tucker Schatz.

Beg 85A – 4, Kaleb Boyd; 5, Kevin Cox.

Beg 85B – 2, Dylan Koehler.

Beg 95 – 4, Cooper Carlberg.

Nov 60 – 4, Lane Young.

Nov 70 – 4, Daniel Miller.

Nov 75A – Participating, John Doubek, Tylor Doubek.

Nov 75B – Participating, Annie Berget.

Nov 80A – Participating, Aaron Harberts.

Nov 85 – 5, Brayden Thom.

Nov 90 – 4, Dylan Parrish.

Nov 110 – Participant, Mickenzy Beard.

Nov 124 – 2, Kody Bailey.

Mid 75 – Participating, Dylan Roby, Cody Willison.

Mid 80 – 2, Johnny Davidson.

Mid 85 – 2, Isaiah Sickler. Also participating, Dominic Voorhies. Also participating, Sydnee Ehlenfeldt.

Mid 90 – 1, Zach Crace.

Mid 95 – 4, Tyler Badertscher.

Mid 100 – 2, Garret Chapel.

Mid 105 – 2, Michael Miller.

Mid 130 – 2, Cody Barrick.

Mid 147 – 1, Josh Bowers; 5, Michael Curtis. Also participating, Michael Dennison.

Mid 166 – 1, Eric Thrift. Also participating, Josh Mcgoughn.

Jun 100 – 4, Levi Erickson.

Jun 119 – 1, Mitch Haugen.

Jun 125 – 3, Christian Dewine. Also participating, Josh Massey.

Jun 130 – 5, Aundre Condit.

Jun 145 – 1, Austin Bailey.

Jun 160 – 2, Gunner Moe.

Note: Beg–Beginner; Nov–Novice; Mid–Middle; Jun–Junior.