Wrestling rewind: Athletes compete for region titles, get ready for divisionals
Tournament action was light as teams prepared for their divisional tournaments coming up this weekend, but there were some big dual meets where region titles were decided.
Boys Wrestling: When Utah prep wrestling went to divisional tournaments to determine qualifying for the state tournament, region titles were decided by dual meets. This past week the Region 4, 8 and 9 titles came down to the final dual meets of the season to determine their champions. And all of the meets were exciting affairs decided by just one single point.
Westlake won the Region 4 title going on the road to defeat Pleasant Grove 30-29. And the meet had plenty of drama as each team lost team points for participant misconduct.
The action started at 106 pounds and Westlake shot out to a 13-0 lead as Corbyn Robison (106 pounds), Keagan Pitcher (113) and Korbin Chuchran (120) all won their bouts. Pitcher won his match with a first period pin. But during that stretch of matches Westlake was docked a team point for flagrant misconduct and the Thunder lead lessened a bit to 12-0.
Pleasant Grove’s Jacob Carson (126) won by pin while his teammate Devyn Greenland (132) won by decision to make the score 12-9 in favor of Westlake.
The Thunder would take control winning the next five matches as Josh Fish (138), Curtis Borge (144), Brayden Robison (150), Kaizen DeToles (157) and Bryton Harding (165) all won their matches. Harding’s 6-5 win over Jose Calderon was an important turning point as it gave Westlake a commanding 30-9 lead.
The Vikings did win the last four bouts starting off with a pin by Jake Closson (175). But when Hunter Gillman (190) won his match by decision 9-7, there was a team point deduction, and all of a sudden Pleasant Grove’s chances to win the dual were now mathematically eliminated though Trevyn Gates (215) and Ray Griffin (285) won their matches by pin.
Westlake head coach Jeff Newby thought the environment made the dual meet a memorable one for the fans.
“The atmosphere was one of the best I’ve ever seen for a high school dual meet,” Newby said. “The wrestlers wrestled hard for both sides and made it fun for all involved.”
Newby said the victory over the 5-time defending state champions was an important stepping stone for the Thunder program.
“It’s always fun to win a big dual like that and definitely helps grow the expectations we have for our program,” Newby said. “Our program is still growing and becoming better each year. We are excited for the future of Westlake wrestling.”
The Lehi at Mountain View Region 8 showdown didn’t have any less drama as the Pioneers won 39-38.
Lehi led 39-35 going into the meet’s last match at 150 pounds that featured a bout between two wrestlers that placed at The Rockwell Rumble.
Mountain View’s Tyler Blevins did win the exciting match 2-1 against Ammon Cannon, but since he didn’t win by pin or technical fall, the Bruins fell short by a single point.
The matches started at 157 pounds and Mountain View shot out to a 6-0 lead thanks to a pin by Kevin Weekes.
But Lehi scored a huge upset win when Hayden Johnson pinned Landon Shumway at 165 points to knot the score at 6-6.
Mountain View retook the lead 12-6 when Isaac McGee won by pin at 175 pounds but Lehi flexed its muscles with its powerful upper weight wrestlers as Will McCleary (190), Cole Eldredge (215) and Isaac Terrell (285) all won by pin.
With the Pioneers leading 24-12 as the matches turned the corner back to the light weights, the Pioneers tacked on two more pins by Anthony Eav (106) and Kenneth Fink (113) to extend their lead to 36-12.
Mountain View’s Glade Harman (120) broke the Pioneer momentum a bit with a technical fall win but Lehi’s Gunnar Richins won a critical match at 126 pounds by a single point over Sirius Cummings 4-3 to give Lehi a 39-17 team lead.
Mountain View’s Oakley Shumway (132), Mason Grow (138) and Cody Burr (144) all won by pin to cut the Lehi lead to 39-35 setting up the last match of the night where the Bruin wrestler Blevins did win, but not by pin or a big enough margin which left the Pioneers triumphant.
In Region 9 Wasatch prevailed over Spanish Fork 37-36 and the Dons lost a team point for coach’s misconduct that proved critical in the outcome.
Wasatch hosted the meet and got wins by Beau Frentheway (120), Ben Kohler (126), Austin Kelly (132), Ryder Robinson (138), Bryson Lloyd (150), Henry Hansen (157) and Patrick Winegar (165). Lloyd’s 8-5 win over Spanish Fork’s Ryker Olson was the meet’s closest bout as all the other matches were won by pin, technical fall or major decision. Spanish Fork’s Preston Graver (190) did win by forfeit. Other victorious Don wrestlers were Brody Vogelsberg (106), Karson Shelley (113), Junior Wetzel (144), Hyrum King (175), Luke Graver (215) and Grant Barney (285).
In other dual meet action of the week, Payson whipped Wasatch 51-21 in a non-league tilt while in another non-region dual meet Orem and Provo tied at 33-33 with Orem winning the tiebreaker for having more forfeit victories. Lone Peak and Skyridge also tied 39-39 with Lone Peak winning by criteria with the most first points scored. Other results had Payson pummeling Tooele 76-6, Timpanogos topping Orem 52-23, Lone Peak defeating American Fork 45-29, Corner Canyon crushing Skyridge 54-22, Cedar Valley jolting Jordan 64-12, Pleasant Grove cruising past Corner Canyon 41-28, while Westlake doubled up American Fork 46-23.
At the High Country Classic hosted and won by South Summit, Pleasant Grove, Timpanogos and Wasatch did send wrestlers though many of their top varsity wrestlers sat out the event.
Wasatch’s Farrell Burman (106) and Henry Hanssen (157) won titles as did Pleasant Grove’s Hunter Gillman (175) and Timpanogos’ Eli Bonyata (190).
Girls Wrestling: While the Thunder boys won a stirring dual meet against Pleasant Grove, the girls had an easier time with their Viking foes dispatching Pleasant Grove 66-12.
Winning wrestlers for Westlake were Ashlyn Ballantyne (100), Aubriana Wadley (105), Ella Arnold (115), Ashley Cannon (125), Alissa Lafterty (135), Hailey Piig (140), Emmy Finlinson (145), Sarah Johnson (155), Lizzie Raleigh (170), O’dessa Laititi (190) and Keilikki Nau Rarick (235). Pleasant Grove got victories from Hallie Hansen (110), Ariana Bustamante (120), and Ava Krebs (130).
The Thunder also defeated Mountain Crest 44-39 in a battle between the returning 6A and 4A state champions.
Kara Williamson (110), Cannon (125), Lafferty (135), Piig (140), Finlinson (145), Raleigh (170), Laititi (195) and Rarick (235) all picked up wins for the Thunder.
At the Lady Templar tournament hosted by Manti, Wasatch was fifth and Tintic 12th in the 18-team field. Uintah easily won the tournament while Stansbury was second. Wasatch’s Laynee Bonner (130) and Tintic’s Addison Kriegh (170) won silver medals.
Four girl teams battled at the High Country Classic hosted by South Summit and Pleasant Grove was the top team. The tourney used weight groupings instead of predetermined weight divisions to maximize competitive opportunities. Hallie Hanen, Ariana Bustamante, Ava Krebs, Anna Camry Carlos, and Emillya Peters climbed to the top of the podium for the Vikings.