The Mortimer siblings made their statement at the 3A state wrestling tournament. They also helped American Leadership Academy (ALA) make a statement that its program might make some waves in the not-so-distant future.
Quenton Mortimer took home the gold in the 126-pound division with an 11-3 major decision victory over South Sevier’s Triston Fillmore. Meanwhile, his younger sister Sage Mortimer (106 pounds), just a freshman, became the first female wrestler to place in the 3A state tourney since Uintah’s Candace Workman in 2008. Sage was pinned by Richfield’s Denim Torgersen, the eventual state champion, in the semifinals but she bounced back to win one of her next two matches Saturday to claim fourth place.
“It feels good (being a state champion)” said Quenton Mortimer. “I put in a lot of hard work in practice and extra work after practice. I did what I needed to do.”
Though Sage fell short of her goal of being a state champion, she was happy for her brother, though both admitted they like to give each other a rough time here and there.
“I’m real proud of him,” she said.
With the efforts of the Mortimers and other state placers Justyn Mitchell (fourth at 160), Cash Canto (sixth at 106), and James Burton (sixth at 195), ALA cracked the top 10 finishing ninth in the 16-team field. This solid performance came after ALA reinstated its program after a two-year hiatus. Quenton Mortimer became the school’s second-ever state champion.
In regards to the Mortimers, Eagle head coach Tucker Ray had high praises.
“I’ve worked with Quenton for eight years. He has put in his time and showed a lot of leadership,” Ray said.
“Sage has a great opportunity and looks to make the 2024 Olympics as one of her goals. She has great technique and ability and makes up for some lack of physical strength,” added Ray.
Juab ran away with the 3A team championship scoring 304.5 points and crowning five individual champions. Delta was way back, pointing 224.5.
Taking state for Juab were Connor Ingram (113), Gentry Warner (132), Cade Bowring (138), Joey Aagard (160) and Talon Mangelson (195). It was Warner’s third state title and Aagard’s second.
Morgan’s Chase Trussell completed a perfect season at 54-0 and won his third state title.
4A notes: Utah County schools crowned four individual state champions. Cole Jensen (106) and Wyatt Monroe (182) took state for Payson, which finished third as a team, while Justin Martin (170) won a title for Salem Hills as did Cooper Legas (195) for Orem.
Legas was taxed to the limit in his two matches as he had to defeat two top-notch opponents in Canyon View’s Tyler Haley in the semifinals and Byron Andersen of Desert Hills in the finals. Haley placed second last year while Anderson was a returning state champion. Haley also had defeated Legas earlier in the year at The Rumble.
“I won the matches for sure because of my takedowns,” said Legas. “When Tyler (Haley) beat me at The Rumble I couldn’t get off the bottom. This time I chose neutral (instead of bottom).”
In the match against Haley, it was tied 5-5 when Legas took Haley down to his back with less than 30 seconds remaining to win 10-5. Against Anderson, Legas gave up an early takedown but secured three takedowns of his own later in the match and held off the Thunder grappler to win 7-5.
For Legas, it was his third state title in three different sports. Last year, Legas took state in the javelin while in the fall he led the Tigers at quarterback to the football crown. But there was one state title that was definitely the most difficult.
“This one is the hardest one by far,” Legas said.
Martin dominated for the Skyhawks winning three of his four bouts by fall including a first-round pin over Uintah’s Tanner Moon. For his efforts, Martin was named as the upper weight outstanding wrestler.
Jensen of Payson won his title defeating Bonneville’s Austin Bush by an 18-8 major decision while his teammate Monroe pinned all of his four foes including his finals opponent Jace Gunnell of Mountain Crest in the second period.
While Payson (188) did crack the top three, four Utah County schools altogether cracked the top 10 as Salem Hills (84.5), Spanish Fork (73.5), and Orem (64) finished seventh, eighth, and 10th respectively. Mountain View (46.5) was 14th while Lehi was 26th in the 26-team field with two points.
2A/1A notes: Altamont (244) outlasted North Summit (240) for the 2A state title while Monticello crushed the 1A field with 252 points, with Panguitch taking second at 142.
For complete team and individual results go to www.trackwrestling.com.