MISSOULA – Kip Pumnea’s runner-up finish led four Butte High wrestlers onto the podium Saturday in the final rounds of the annual Jug Beck Rocky Mountain Classic high school wrestling tournament at Sentinel High’s Spartan Gym.
Pumnea scored a 4-minute, 31-second pin over Spokane contestant Braxton Smith of Mead High in the semifinals of the 132-pound weight class, then lost to reigning state Class AA champ Teegan Vasquez of Kalispell Glacier on a 1:14 pin in the championship round.
The Bulldogs placed eighth in the team standings with 109.5 points. Defending Class AA state champion Flathead of Kalispell won the tournament with 233 points while Billings West was second with 217.5 and Havre third with 159.5. Great Falls High finished in fourth place with 152 while Sheridan, Wyoming was fifth with 134.5, Belgrade sixth with 134 and Mead seventh with 123.
Butte High’s other place-winners were Zach Tierney, third in the 285-pound limit weight class, Keegan Hunt eighth at 103 pounds and Trey Hansen eighth at 160.
Tierney pinned Hudson Wiens of Bozeman in 2:35 in the consolation final. It was Tierney’s second win over Wiens in the tournament. Tierney reached the semifinals but suffered a 5:09 pin to Brendyn Whiteman of Browning. Tierney bounced back in the consolation rounds and outpointed Chandon Vulles of Superior 9-6 to reach the third-place match.
Hunt lost on a 3:43 pin to Austin Courville of Ronan in their seventh-place bout. He got into the place-winnings round with a 39-second pin over Kaysic Lundquist of Mead.
Blaise Cronk of Columbia Falls defeated Hansen 9-1 in their seventh-place bout. Hansen advanced to it with a 10-5 decision over Henry Bennetts of Whitefish.
Butte High 152-pounder Will Stepan won a tough 5-4 consolation-round decision on Friday. The bout result was omitted from an earlier report. Saturday saw 138-pounder Reid Whitlock and 205-pounder Cohen Grunhuvd come up a round short of a place-winnings. Also, non-placing consolation wins were posted by Ryder McEwen at 113 pounds, Colter Espelin at 120 and Grady Winston at 126.
The Bulldogs are scheduled for home dual meets this week against Missoula Hellgate on Tuesday and Helena Capital on Thursday. Both are Western AA Conference meets set to be in the old Butte High gym. Matches are to start at 6 p.m.