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Wrestling Against Cancer Duals expanding for 2021

By Brian E. Preece - Herald Correspondent | Nov 23, 2021

Brian E. Preece, Special to the Daily Herald

Olivia Carrillo of ALA (left) battles Lizzie Shunn (right) of Westlake in the girl's dual at the Wrestling Against Cancer Duals on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.

Last year, Governor Gary Herbert put a two-week moratorium on winter sports. It did have an impact on some early-season events causing them to be postponed or canceled altogether.

And that’s what happened to the Wrestling Against Cancer Duals.

But this year, it’s go ahead full steam and this year’s incarnation will feature more girl duals and competition at two different sites.

Provo has been the traditional host of this event and will still have four dual meets, but the bulk of the competition will be held at Westlake High School. Westlake will have 12 duals total, nine girl duals and three boy duals. Provo will have four duals, three of them which will be between boys teams and one girls dual. Varsity action will begin today at 5:00 p.m.

The 2021 Wrestling Against Cancer Duals has attracted some top talent in both the boys and girl ranks at both the team and individual level.

The girl duals will feature the returning team champions from last year with Westlake (6A), Mountain Crest (4A) and Maple Mountain (1A-3A, 5A).

Westlake boasts returning state champions Jamie Barton, Celeste Detoles, Lizzie Shunn, and Emmy Finlinson. Maple Mountain has returning state champion Morgan Honsvick and returning finalists Donna Wright and Nya Seiuli. Springville brings back returning state champion Hotaia Valeti and runner-up Valery Ethington. Mountain View returns Zarieh Power, who placed second in state last year.

Billy Cox, who coached Maple Mountain to the 1A-3A, 5A state title last year, will now lead the Juab wrestling program. Juab has been a juggernaut in 3A boys wrestling and hopes to do the same in the girls and has around a dozen girls on its team currently. His daughter Hailey Corona will take the helm as head coach of the Golden Eagle girls program.

Westlake has also seen a coaching change as Cody Burdett, the longtime boy’s coach, will now head the girls team, while former Box Elder 4-time state champion and Utah Valley wrestler Jeff Newby will take the helm of the boys program.

Mountain Crest has so many girl wrestlers that they will enter two teams in the Wrestling Against Cancer Duals and Westlake also has a sizable squad with over 30 female participants.

The boys will feature 6A powerhouses Layton and Westlake and 4A prohibitive favorite Mountain Crest, and all will wrestle each other at the Westlake site. At Provo, Mountain View, Riverton and Skyridge will battle, along with the host school. Mountain View and

Skyridge look to be top five teams in the 5A and 6A respectively, while Riverton has a solid line-up.

There should be an opportunity to see several returning state champions and finalists including Brayden Robison (Westlake), Joshua Millward (Skyridge), Jace Lemons (Layton), Gable Stoddard (Mountain View), along with several from Mountain Crest such as Easton Evans, Elijah Larsen, and brothers Cooper and Gabe Sanders. Gabe Sanders is a 2-time state champion and 3-time finalist, while Millward is a 3-time finalist and returning state champion.

It should be noted that Trey Thompson, grandson of former Payson head coach Ric Thompson, who inspired this event and died just days before the inaugural competition in 2010, wrestles for Westlake.

The event is raising money for two individuals battling cancer.

Provo assistant football coach Kevin Norman and five year-old Zion Zollinger will be the focus of this year’s charitable efforts and will be recognized at the duals held at Provo High School.

The Utah County wrestling community is mourning the death of Fred Rowland who passed away Saturday. Rowland was 84 years-old.

Rowland started his coaching career at West High School and won the school’s only state title in wrestling in 1969. Rowland moved on to Orem High School and the Tigers won the state title in 1976. When Mountain View opened up in 1980 he moved there and led the Bruins to a second place finish in 1982. Rowland is only one of three Utah prep wrestling coaches to win state titles at two different schools, and the only coach in Utah prep wrestling history to coach three different schools that finished first or second in state competition.

Even after officially retiring as a teacher, Rowland lent his expertise to many and served as an assistant coach at Jordan, Mountain View and Spanish Fork high schools coaching well into his 70s. Rowland was inducted in both the Utah Sports Hall of Fame and the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Wrestling Against Cancer Duals Itinerary

Provo High School

5:15 p.m.

Mat 1 (West Mat) Skyridge vs. Mountain View (boys)

Mat 2 (Center Mat) Springville vs. Mountain View (girls)

6:30 p.m.

Mat 1 (West Mat) Riverton vs. Mountain View (boys)

Mat 2 (Center Mat) Skyridge vs. Provo (boys)

Westlake High School

5 p.m.

Mat 1:Westlake vs Canyon View/American Fork /North Sevier (girls)

Mat 2: Maple Mountain vs Riverton/Bonneville (girls)

Mat 3: Juab vs Mountain Crest 1 (girls)

Mat 4: Mountain Crest vs. Westlake (boys)

6:15 p.m.

Mat 1 Westlake vs Maple Mountain (girls)

Mat 2 Mountain Crest 2 vs Layton (girls)

Mat 3 Ogden/Hillcrest vs Juab (girls)

Mat 4 Mountain Crest vs Layton (boys)

7:30 p.m.

Mat 1 Mountain Crest 1 vs Westlake (girls)

Mat 2 Canyon View/AF/Sevier vs Ogden/Hillcrest (girls)

Mat 3 Mountain Crest 2 vs Riverton/Bonneville (girls)

Mat 4 Layton vs Westlake (boys)

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