Local grapplers earn hardware at Ted Kato

Jan. 24—Local wrestlers continued their impressive, winning ways at yet another area wrestling event.

Along the way, wrestlers from Superior, Plains/Hot Springs and Thompson Falls amassed a respectable haul of first place medals and other hardware during the Ted Kato Invitational at Thompson Falls High School this past Saturday.

A total of 16 teams and 138 wrestlers attended the prestigious annual meet, which is named in honor of a long-time area wrestling legend.

Sandpoint, Idaho won the team title with 170.5 points, while another Idaho school, Priest River, finished second.

Third place went to the co-op Plains/Hot Springs (PHS) squad, which racked up 129 points, while Superior, which had three individual weight class champions, finished fifth in the team chase with 100 points.

The area's other wrestling school, Thompson Falls, was eighth with 80.5 points.

Most teams have just one or two meets left before the Divisional tournaments begin the first weekend of February. The B-C Divisional, which will include Thompson Falls, PHS and Superior, will be held this February 2-3 in Shelby. The State all-class meet is the following weekend in Billings (Feb 9-10).

Plains/Hot Springs had just one individual champion, Gavin Schrenk, but the Savage Horsemen's depth was instrumental in their third place team finish.

Schrenk, wrestling at 126 pounds, won the class with a 7-5 decision over Cascade's Cole Standley. Schrenk, a junior, improved his season record to 18-5 with the win.

Superior, meanwhile, got individual titles from heavyweight Jaxson Green, Lucas Kovalsky and Turner Milender.

Green, who has been having an outstanding season, won the 285-pound category with a fall over Shannon Stuart (Darby) in 1:31 of their championship match. The win boosted Green, who has won several other area invitationals this year, to 22-7 in this, his senior year.

Kovalsky, one of head coach Charlie Crabb's seniors on the otherwise young team, took home first place in the 152-pound category. Kovalsky pinned Priest River wrestler Caeden McLaimtaig at the 4:19 mark of their title bout. The fall improved Kovalsky to 31-7 on the year.

The Bobcats other first place award went to freshman Turner Milender who won the 160-class via a medical forfeit (injury to opponent). He also has been a multiple event champion this year for Superior, the defending State Class C champions.

Thompson Falls 103 pound eighth grader Weston Block continued his impressive rookie showing this year with his victory in the 103 pound division at Ted Kato.

Block lifted his season record to 16-6 with the win.

The Blue Hawks also got a second place finish from defending state champion Max Hannum, who is also playing varsity basketball this year, at 182 pounds. Hannum lost a hard-fought match with Fairfield's McCoy Banner in their title contest. McCoy is now 19-2 on the year, while Hannum, a senior, is 24-4.

Other local top four finishers included PHS: Cody West (third, 126 pounds); John Waterbury (third, 152); David Chapman, second 170); Brenden Vanderwall (third 170) and Gabe Rasmussen, fourth 182). Superior: Jaden Hughes (fourth, 205).

Several area teams are involved in "mixers" this coming week. Thompson Falls will also take part in the Whitefish Duals this Friday (Jan 26), and Plains/Hot Springs, along with Superior, entered in the Mission Invitational this Saturday (Jan 27).

Superior 205-pound wrestler Jaden Hughes (left) takes control during a match at this past weekend's Ted Kato Invitational wrestling meet in Thompson Falls. (Photo by Kami Milender)

Superior 152-pounder Lucas Kovalsky (top) on his way to winning the 152-pound category at this past weekend's Ted Kato Invitational in Thompson Falls. (Photo by Kami Milender)

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