Braves grapplers take second in duals at Best of the West

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PASCO, Wash., – The Flathead wrestling team won four duals before falling in the championship match to take second place at the Best of the West duals event in Pasco, Wash., on Friday.

The Braves began the day with wins of 59-15 over Ellensburg (WA), 77-6 over Southridge (WA), and 45-27 over Tahoma (WA).

Flathead edged the third-ranked team in Washington, Chiawana, 36-34 to reach the championship dual, where they fell 50-23 to Newberg, the second-ranked team in Oregon.

“It was a great day, I’m very proud of how our kids improved,” Flathead coach Jeff Thompson said.

Thompson was especially happy with Tanner Russell’s performance. Russell went 5-0 at 170 pounds, winning three matchs by pin and two by technical fall.

“He’s a great team leader, and he gets better every single match,” Thompson said.

Cole Eastwood also went 5-0, getting a pin in all his matches at 106.

“He will be a threat at 103 pounds when we get back in the state of Montana,” Thompson said.

Fin Nadeau (132) had a strong performance, losing a tight 8-5 decision to Tahoma’s Austin Michalski but winning his other four matches, including a pin in the championship. Zaybin Stewart (160) also went 4-1 and racked up four pins.

The Braves will be back on the mat today in Pasco for the individual event, starting at 9 a.m.

“What a great way to start the first half [of the season],” Thompson said. He said the team will get four days off after today “to get our bodies recovered physically and emotionally.”

Championship Round 1

Flathead 59, Ellensburg (WA) 15

106 – Cole Eastwood, F, pinned Sawyer Townsend, 3:01; 113 – Damian Naldret, F, won by forfeit; 120 – Christian Davis, E, dec. Asher Kemppainen, 6-3; 126 – Brendan Barnes, F, won by forfeit; 132 – Fin Nadeau, F, dec. Cooper Lanning, C, 8-4; 138 – Cole Weaver, E, pinned Dominic Battello, 4:33; 145 – Jaden MacNeil, F, dec. Dean Child, C, 8-4; 152 – Bo Meyer, F, pinned Richard Wellington, 2:20; 160 – Zaybin Stewart, F, pinned Corgan Smith, :20; 170 – Tanner Russell, F, won by technical fall over Brandon Malelrgaard, 15-0; 182 – Henry Rinehart, E, pinned Paxton Boyce, 3:19; 195 – Ross Calhoon, F, won by forfeit; 220 – Sebastian Koch, F, won by forfeit; 285 – Michael Downing, F, pinned Joseph Peterson, :42.

Pool A quarterfinal

Flathead 77, Southridge (WA) 6

106 – Cole Eastwood, F, pinned Thui Htoo, 3:27; 113 – Damian Naldret, F, won by technical fall over Soe Moe Hlat, 17-0; 120 – Dillon Yeadon, F, won by pin, 2:59; 126 – Brendan Barnes, F, pinned Jacob Williams, 4:13; 132 – Fin Nadeau, F, pinned Xavier Ruiz, :33; 138 – Dominic Battello, F, pinned Knyaw Shee, 1:42; 145 – Jaden MacNeil, F, pinned Jordan Tobery, :32; 152 – Bo Meyer, F, pinned Jacob Tobery, 1:42; 160 – Zaybin Stewart, F, pinned Brian Sims, :45; 170 – Tanner Russell, F, pinned Ryan Staywook, :48; 182 – Paxton Boyce, F, pinned Cody Hudson, 1:38; 195 – Jevon Johnson, S, pinned Ross Calhoon, 1:13; 220 – Sebastian Koch, F, won by forfeit; 285 – Aydan Prieto, F, pinned Carlitos Morales, :37.

Pool A semifinal

Flathead 45, Tahoma (WA) 27

106 – Cole Eastwood, F, pinned Drew Lavigne, :23; 113 – Carter Clark, T, NA ; 120 – Asher Kemppainen, F, dec. Braydon Hanson, 6-3; 126 – Brendan Barnes, F, pinned Devan Martin, 4:00; 132 – Austin Michalski, T, dec. Fin Nadeau, 8-5; 138 – Steele Starren, T, pinned Dominic Battello, 1:27; 145 – Jaden MacNeil, F, pinned Nicholas Hulitt, :44; 152 – Bo Meyer, F, pinned Hunter Kagen, 4:59; 160 – Zaybin Stewart, F, pinned Spencer Bergsma, 1:19; 170 – Tanner Russell, F, pinned Kaleb Magee, :47; 182 – Michael Gasper, T, pinned Paxton Boyce, 3:34; 195 – Gage Dress, T, pinned Ross Calhoon, 1:38; 220 – Sebastian Koch, F, pinned Levi Kovacs, :45; 285 – J.P. Phemps, T, pinned Aydan Prieto, 5:06.

Pool A first place match

Flathead 36, Chiawana (WA) 34

106 – Cole Eastwood, F, pinned Davian Martinez, 1:04; 113 – Aiden Chavez, C, over Damian Naldret, DQ; 120 – Asher Kemppainen, F, dec. Lance Stover, 8-3; 126 – Darion Johnson, C, dec. Brendan Barnes, 4-0; 132 – Fin Nadeau, F, dec. Kobe Santoyo, 3-1; 138 – Jaden MacNeil, F, pinned EJ Martinez, 1:22; 145 – Robby Vaughn, C, won by forfeit; 152 – Bo Meyer, F, pinned Xavyr Anderson, 2:48; 160 – Riley Cissne, C, maj. dec. Zaybin Stewart, 14-6; 170 - Tanner Russell, F, pinned Victor Silva, 3:19; 182 – Tyson Stover, C, pinned Paxton Boyce, 5:47; 195 – Cayetano Talavera, C, dec. Ross Calhoon, 3-0; 220 – Sebastian Koch, F, pinned Deonte Muse, 1:21; 285 – Colby Blasdel, C, pinned Michael Downing, 3:09.

Championship

Newberg (OR) 50, Flathead 23

106 – Cole Eastwood, F, pinned Malaki Amaya, 1:57; 113 – Nicky Olmstead, N, pinned Damian Naldret, 120 – 1:31; 120 – Ayden Garver, N, pinned Asher Kemppainen, 2:45; 126 – Christopher Strange, N, major dec. Brendan Barnes, 11-3; 132 – Fin Nadeau, F, pinned Charlie Evans, 3:33; 138 – Micah Worthington, N, dec. Jaden MacNeil, 8-7; 145 – Joey Moody, N, won by forfeit; 152 – Jonah Worthington, N, dec. Bo Meyer, 7-4; 160 – Zaybin Stewart, F, pinned Gavin Korkeakoski, 1:52; 170 – Tanner Russell, F, won by technical fall, Braden Baxter, 17-2; 182 – Oliver Myers, N, major dec. Paxton Boyce, 10-0; 195 – Jordan Beaudry, N, pinned Ross Calhoon, 2:00; 220 – Hunter James, N, pinned Sebastian Koch, 1:04; 285 – Connor O’Bryan, N, pinned Aydan Prieto, :45.

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