This past weekend was all about dual meet “state tournaments.” Though, there isn’t an official Utah High School Activities Association-sponsored dual meet state tournament, four classifications (2A, 3A, 5A and 6A) each had an unofficial dual meet state tournament.
Mountain View hosted the 5A tournament while American Fork hosted the 6A meet. The 2A and 3A tournaments were held at the Sevier Event Center in Richfield.
Payson won the 5A Duals beating Box Elder 47-24 in the championship match.
The anticipated rematch between Payson and Wasatch didn’t happen as Box Elder defeated Wasatch in the semifinals. A big reason for that was Wasatch’s top four returning wrestlers went out-of-state to compete in the Doc Buchanan tournament in California.
Wasatch still had enough quality to win all but one of the dual meets but not enough depth to get past Box Elder, the team that placed second to the Wasps last year in 5A, in the semifinals.
In the dual with the Bees, Payson got wins by Jason Butler (160 pounds), Tucker Naccarato (170), Louis Williams (195), Trevor Guzman (220), Cole Jensen (120), Layne Shepherd (126), Deegan Palmer (132), Trey Hiatt (138), and Trevor Frank (145).
Jensen, Shepherd, Palmer, Butler, Naccarato and Williams all went undefeated for the Lions on the weekend. Williams got a big win against Farmington’s Jacob Anderson, who placed third in 5A last season while Shepherd claimed a tough 4-2 decision against Wood Cross’ returning state placer Colton Erickson. And Palmer defeated Parker Frasure of Farmington, a state champion from two seasons previous, in a thrilling 10-8 bout.
Payson went 6-0 on the weekend defeating Timpview, Cottonwood, Springville, Woods Cross, Farmington and finally Box Elder. The Lions shut out Cottonwood, 83-0.
While Wasatch placed third beating Farmington in the consolation championship, Mountain View topped Maple Mountain for fifth, while Salem Hills finished seventh by defeating Woods Cross in its final match.
Springville and Spanish Fork went 3-3 and tangled in a good dual in the Silver Bracket (teams 9-15) where the Red Devils won 39-34.
Another great dual was held between Provo and Orem in the Bronze Bracket (teams 16-22) where after 14 bouts, the two teams found themselves tied at 42-42. But Provo was declared the winner on criteria. Timpview competed in the tourney and Cael Richardson (220) went undefeated while his team finished 1-5 overall with a 42-27 win over Orem along the way. Lehi was 2-4 in its duals picking up a 42-33 win against Spanish Fork Friday night.
There were a total of 19 5A schools that competed but three other independent teams made up of wrestlers from participating schools also took part. Wyatt Hone of Payson wrestled for one of these independent teams at 132 pounds and went unblemished on the weekend in six bouts.
American Leadership Academy (ALA) finished fourth at the 3A Duals, while Maeser Prep (1-8 in its duals) was 15th in the 16 schools that participated.
ALA went 6-3 over the weekend, including an exciting come-from-behind victory over Emery, 42-39, which allowed the Eagles to advance to the top pool. Trailing 39-24, Juan Lugo (285), Sage Mortimer (106) and Skyler Rasmussen (113) all won by pin to help the Eagles surge past the Spartans. Lukus Carillo (126), Hyrum Morley (145), Cale Miner (160), and Justyn Mitchell (195) also won by pin to assist ALA’s cause.
Juab easily won the 3A Duals going 9-0 while Morgan edged Delta 34-32 to secure second place. North Summit won the 2A Duals while Beaver took home the silver trophy.
Riverton was the surprise winner of the 6A Duals going 9-0 over two days. Only eight schools participated as Pleasant Grove and Skyridge put in two teams. Westlake placed second, Pleasant Grove third, Skyridge fourth while American Fork was seventh.
However, all four schools went without some of their best wrestlers.
The Thunder were missing two-time state champion Jacob Finlinson as well as Anthony Stockwell. Pleasant Grove had four of its top wrestlers competing in the Doc Buchanan tournament. Skyridge battled without returning state silver medalist Joshua Milward and returning state placer Braden Rex while the Bartholomew brothers (Isaac and Nathan) didn’t suit up for American Fork. So with the most intact team, Riverton was able to best the field.
Westlake, Pleasant Grove, and Skyridge all went 7-2 beating each other while also losing to the Silverwolves. Westlake was declared second place by criteria with Pleasant Grove and Skyridge finishing third and fourth respectively. American Fork placed seventh with a 3-6 mark.
Skyridge became the latest Utah team to tie the national scoring record for a dual meet (14 weight classes). Payson did it just before the holiday break. And it was the second time for Falcon head coach Lyle Mangum who accomplished the feat over 10 seasons ago leading Lone Peak.
Skyridge blanked Cyprus 84-0 at the 6A Duals winning eight matches by pin go go along with six forfeits. The winning grapplers for Skyridge in order were Mahkgi Smith (145), Zachary Alvord (152), James Hornberger (160), Tyler Rose (170), Loyal Holm (182), Matt Tayler (195), Ilaiasi Tukuafu (220), Brenner Healy (285), Easton Josie (106), Hunter Bown (113), Lance Roberts (120), Colby Robertson (126), Colby Heaton (132), and Hadley Cowan (138).
In the last dual meet of 2019, Wasatch whipped Viewmont 48-31. The two schools have established a bit of a rivalry as Viewmont was the last 5A team not named Wasatch to win the title. The two programs are also linked by Hall of Fame coach Steve Sanderson as Sanderson actually began his coaching career at Viewmont before going to Wasatch for the first of two stints beginning in the mid 1980’s where he won eight state titles as a coach.