montana state finals

Welcome to the Montana State Finals home page. Here, you’ll find a short preview just looking at the returning state champions and how their brackets stack up this weekend. I’ll also have a recap of sorts, and whatever else I can gather up from the weekend out there in the great state of Montana.

2024 Montana State Preview Featuring Returning State Champions


  • 2023
  • 103 | Makael Aguayo | Billings West 
  • 113 | Zach Morse | Billings West
  • 120 | Keyan Hernandez | Billings West
  • 126 | Mason Gutenberger | Belgrade 


  • 2024
  • 120 | Zach Morse | Billings West
  • 126 | Keyan Hernandez | Billings West
  • 126 | Mason Gutenberger | Belgrade
  • 132 | Makael Aguayo | Billings West


With 2 state champions from last year in the same 126 bracket, you’d think that would be the best bracket in the state. Maybe it is as I’m not deep into the strength of Montana wrestling. But I can also tell you that Hernandez is undefeated while Gutenberger has 3 losses on the season to Hernandez, the most recent being 15-1.

I don’t even know how these brackets are seeded but I know that the wrestler at the top of this one is Diesel Thompson who I’m guessing is related to Anders Thompson (only nationally ranked wrestler from Montana who oddly wasn’t a state champion last year). Gutenberger has a 5-3 win over Thompson this season. 

It looks like the winner of Gutenberger and Thompson should get Hernandez and Hernandez is the odds on favorite to come out with another state title.

At 120, it looks like another 3 horse race and maybe a tighter battle between this group. If the top seed is freshman Hunter Arriaga of Flathead, another freshman Chris Grossman of Billings Skyview beat him this season. And then Morse just beat Grossman to come into this weekend’s finals with the best win of his season I’d say. 

The biggest obstacle for Morse this season was Cael Floerchinger, losing all 3 matches against him. But those were at 113 and that’s where Floerchinger is this weekend. Morse also suffered a loss to Talan Trettin but that appears to be an upset and he’ll have an early chance to avenge that one.

I think I’d favor Grossman here, but you can’t count out the championship pedigree of Morse against the top of the weight who are freshmen.

Finally, Makael Auayo is up at 132. One of his losses was to Diesel Thompson, and we know he’s at a lower weight. Then he also lost to Tristan Vladic, but then beat him in the most recent 2 matches, the last one being 9-0. Have to favor him should they wrestle a 4th time. Then finally, Cale Nedens, but Hardin is a A school. Having said all this, it looks like Aguayo should be a finalist and I might say that the 3 best wrestlers at this weight all come from the Eastern Division. However, David Grossman was disqualified and not in the state bracket. That means the top bracket finalist is probably Tristan Vladic.



  • 2023
  • 113 | Logan Barnes | Beaverhead County
  • 120 | Broy Ketterling | Lockwood
  • 126 | Cole Krutzfeldt | Lockwood
  • 132 | Reece Graves | Sidney
  • 138 | Tristan Stygles | Havre
  • 205 | Jace DeShazer | Libby
  • 285 | Holden Meged | Custer County


  • 2024
  • 120 | Cole Rogers | Three Forks
  • 126 | Cole Krutzfeldt | Lockwood
  • 138 | Brody Ketterling | Lockwood
  • 145 | Tristan Stygles | Havre
  • 145 | Reece Graves | Sidney
  • 205 | Jace DeShazer | Libby
  • 285 | Holden Meged | Custer County


I don’t know this for a fact, but it looks like Logan Barnes suffered a season ending injury so won’t be in the mix to defend his state title from last year. In the A 120 bracket, it looks like the favorite will be Cole Rogers of Three Forks whose only loss was to Grossman that’s up in AA.

Without knowing the state very well, I believe Three Forks made a move up from B/C to A. That puts Cole Rogers up here this year after winning the B/C state title at 120 last year.

I would say Krutzfeldt is a more than solid favorite in the 126 bracket. His only losses were to Keyan Hernandez (competes in AA) and someone from Wyoming.

At 138, you’d have to call Ketterling a long shot to repeat here. He has a loss to Isaac Beardsley of Custer County, and finished 4th in the Eastern Division. That means he also took a loss to Nate Hill who is in this field. Even though both of those guys are in the bottom half of the bracket, Ketterling will still have to contend with Eastern runner up, Brody Keysor just to make the finals.

Reece Graves has to be considered a big favorite at 145 to repeat this weekend. He’s the Eastern Division champion, where Stygles finished 4th. His only losses were to the same kid from Wyoming. Needless to say, he isn’t in the bracket.

With the very little information I have about Montana wrestling, I’m calling Jace DeShazer the biggest favorite I’ve come across so far.

Ok I lied. Maybe it’s Holden Meged.



  • 2023
  • 103 | Baylor Burton | Huntley Project
  • 113 | Tim Schmidt | Lincoln County
  • 120 | Cole Rogers | Three Forks
  • 132 | Riley Davis | Baker
  • 170 | Max Hannum | Thompson Falls


  • 2024
  • 120 | Baylor Burton | Huntley Project
  • 120 | Tim Schmidt | Lincoln County
  • 132 | Riley Davis | Baker
  • 182 | Max Hannum | Thompson Falls


Ok so the B/C 120 bracket has 2 returning state champions. With Rogers being the winner at the weight, you might have favored him but they’re up a level. So we’re left with Schmidt and Burton and they were the Western and Eastern Division champions respectively. 

We have a 1-0 season result between them to give us an insight into how that might go in a rematch. That was a win for Burton. Schmidt also lost to Dylan Mikesall who is on his half of the bracket. So it might not even be a Burton Schmidt rematch in the finals if Mikesall can repeat that effort.

It does appear that between the top 2 seeds at 132, Riley Davis has had the better season is my pick to win this bracket once again. His biggest challenge will be in the finals against Sloan Giles, a freshman from Fairfield.

At 182, Max Hannum is probably the slight favorite but this one might be the most anticipated finals of the ones I’ve looked at (brackets involving a 2023 state champion). The 2 seed, or what I would call the 2 seed, is the Western runner up, McCoy Banner of Fairlfield.

These two are 1-1 on the season, trading a pair of 1 point wins. Hannum won the most recent, in the Western finals, but this appears to be a toss up, truly.

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