Dogs send 15 to semifinals at Western AA Seeding

MISSOULA — More than half of Butte High’s boys advanced to the semifinals of the Western AA Seeding wrestling tournament Friday at Missoula Big Sky.

When action resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday, the Bulldogs will have 15 of their 24 wrestlers in the final four. All of Butte High’s grapplers are still alive in the tournament, which is a qualifier for next week’s All-Class State Tournament in Billings.

At 132 pounds, Bulldogs Kip Pumnea and Will Stepan will face each other in a semifinal match. That is the only semifinal featuring Butte High teammates. At several weights, the Bulldogs have wrestlers in the semifinals on different ends of the bracket.

Other Bulldogs in the final four are Aden Kleinhenz and Reed Whitlock at 103; Grady Winston and Trey Whitlock at 113; Cole Worley and Kyler Raiha at 120, Karson Pumnea at 126; Trey Hansen and Maverick McEwen at 145; Connor Konda at 152; Gavin Vetter at 160; Aiden Cuchine at 170; and Mason Christian at 182.

Bulldogs still in the hunt on the consolation side are Gunnar Yelenich at 126; Deryk Averyt and Bryton Hardesty at 138; Kale Sonsberg at 152; Morgan McClernan at 160; Riley Downey at 170; Jake Bailey at 182; Cohen Grunhuvd at 205; and Kade Schleeman at 285.

The top eight wrestlers in each weight class move on to Billings.

“We’re in a good spot so far,” Butte High coach Cory Johnston said. “We have to finish tomorrow. It’s not enough to just qualify, we need to finish as high as possible at each weight.”

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