The Capital High wrestling team is sitting in eighth-place with 82.5 points after the first day of the 40th annual CMR Holiday Classic Wrestling Tournament in Great Falls.

Bozeman leads the 54-team tourney with 126 points, followed by Great Falls High, three points back in second with 123. Helena is sitting 18th with 54.5 points.

Four local AA grapplers – three from Helena and one from Capital – went unbeaten on the day to reach Saturday’s semifinals round. Bengals Isaac Romero, Austin Murphy and Devin Crawford each won their quarterfinals bouts, while Seth Jensen is representing the Bruins in the semis.

Romero posted a pin and a decision at 113 pounds, before beating Tayt Rogers (Bozeman) 9-2 in the quarters. Murphy pinned his first two opponents in a combined time of less than two minutes, and then achieved a 17-0 technical fall over Austin Nelson (Columbia Falls) to reach the semis at 120. Crawford, a 138-pounder, registered two pins, prior to decisioning Dougie Swanson (Big Sky) 4-0.

Romero, the last year's State champion, and Crawford, have yet to taste defeat, as both junior grapplers improved to 11-0. Murphy is 10-1 with eight pins.

Jensen, another junior, beat all three of his foes to reach the finals. The Bruins co-captain lifted his season mark to 12-1 (nine pins), flattening Jensen Poirier (Great Falls JV) in 4:49 during his last match of the day.

There are seven other CHS grapplers still alive in the wrestlebacks, consisting of Travis Schulte at 145 pounds, Nolan Dulaney at 126, freshman Noah Kovick at 132, Lee Lambrecht at 138, Chance Lee at 170, Zane McCormick at 182 and heavyweight Justin Jenks.

Kovick opened his career with nine consecutive wins before suffering his first loss during Friday’s third round, and now stands at 10-1.

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Jefferson High leads the Elkhorn area Class B teams in the tourney in 21st place with 48 points. Townsend is sitting 25th with 42 points.

Panther grapplers still alive are Emma Brown (103), Michael Mitchell (113), Cody St. Clair (120), Brett Hale (170), Nick Workman (205) and heavyweight Nathan Rasch.

The Bulldogs in the wrestlebacks are Easton Held (126), Kameron Rauser (152), Kyle Spritzer (170) and Justin Denton (182).

Curt Synness is on Twitter @curtsynness_IR and can be reached at curt.synness@lee.net or curt52synness@gmail.com

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