The 10th Annual Wrestling Against Cancer Duals held last Tuesday had a few historical moments.
The 2019 version had a record number of teams (11) and duals (12), and it also featured a girl’s dual between Westlake and an independent team made up of female wrestlers from other schools as well as a father vs. son coaching son match-up when Lyle Mangum (Skyridge) coached against Salem Hills, led by his son Blake.
“It was a good fun dual between Salem Hills and us,” said Falcon head coach Lyle Mangum who had high praises for his son as a coach. “Blake is one of the best technicians in the west and has wrestled and trained with world caliber coaches and wrestlers. He watches a ton of film and can teach in a way kids understand. They (Salem Hills) will be very successful.”
Skyridge (and father) won the dual 55-28, but that was not the best part of the dual for the elder Mangum.
“My little granddaughter running across the mat to hug Blake was a highlight I won’t forget.”
Skyridge wrestled in three duals and went 2-1 as besides downing Salem Hills, the Falcons bested West 54-27 but dropped its match against Layton, the 6A runner-up from last season, 40-34.
Skyridge did lead the Lancers 34-29 going into the last three bouts but Layton got two pins and a decision to leap past the Falcons.
Hunter Bown (113 pounds), Hadley Cowan (138/145), Braden Rex (145/152), and James Hornberger (170) did win all three of their bouts for the Falcons.
Westlake had a very successful night going 2-0 in its varsity duals while its girl’s team, led by Lizzie Shun’s hard fought victory over American Leadership Academy’s (ALA) Oliva Carrillo, won 36-27.
In its varsity meet, Thunder two-time state champion Jacob Finlinson (132) won his match by pin over returning state placer Cooper Cox of Maple Mountain as the Thunder defeated the Golden Eagles 49-27.
The match featured two teams that placed fifth in the 6A and 5A respectively last season, but the 6A Thunder controlled the action winning nine of 14 bouts against Maple Mountain.
Westlake also defeated Salem Hills 43-27.
In a battle of returning state placers, Westlake’s Trent Taylor doubled up Salem Hills’ Heston Wood 8-4 in a match at 160 pounds. Going 2-0 on the night for the Thunder were D’Baggio Castro (120), Jace Brower (126), and Tucker Butler (138) while Finlinson and Taylor only wrestled once for the deep Thunder program.
“Overall, I was happy with how my boys stepped up to the challenge, said Westlake head coach Cody Burdett. “We put a lot of guys on their backs and scored a lot of points. I was disappointed in the number of times we got pinned. It’s unacceptable and something we will improve.”
Burdett was also pleased with the other aspects of the event including the fundraising efforts and the girl’s dual.
I was very happy to be here supporting Abel (Hervias),” stated Burdett. “We appreciate what this event has done to fight cancer and we are proud to have been apart of it since I’ve started coaching nine years ago. And especially this year for a wrestler like Abel coming from our Westlake youth program.”
“Westlake was proud to represent at the Cancer Duals with our very own girls’ team. I believe this was the first girls vs girls dual that has never been done before in the state of Utah,” added Burdett. “Our girls are fighting for legitimacy. We are advocating for the state to create girls-sanctioned wrestling so girls won’t need to wrestle against boys any more. This event was a signal that they are ready. This was more than just wrestling, more than just winning. It was about providing an avenue for young girls to physically compete against their equals.”
Though the girls were matched up against girls where possible, they weren’t prohibited in representing their teams in the varsity event, and one female wrestler (ALA’s Sage Mortimer) wrestled twice against the boys at 113 pounds and won both of her matches by pin, though her team fell short twice on Tuesday night.
Mountain View had a stellar night going 3-0 as the Bruins defeated Maple Mountain (39-30), American Leadership Academy (48-26) and Riverton (44-30).
Mountain View was led by twin brothers Radi (182) and Elijah (195) Stafford. Elijah went 3-0 and defeated American Leadership Academy’s (ALA) Justyn Mitchell, a two-time returning state placer for the Eagles, by pin. Radi went 2-1 Tuesday night losing narrowly (13-10) to Andrew Jensen, a returning state placer from Maple Mountain in perhaps the event’s most exciting bout.
Cody Burr (120), Aaron Hyatt (138) and Hunter Chariton (152) were 3-0 for the Bruins.
In other duals, Salem Hills slipped past ALA 44-30, Provo topped Timpview 41-30 but was roughed up by Riverton, 60-15.
After the Wrestling Against Cancer Duals on Tuesday, both Provo and Skyridge traveled north the next morning to compete at the Davis Duals. Skyridge went 4-1 in its five duals while Provo was 1-4.
And in other dual meet action from last week, American Fork topped Spanish Fork 44-33 in the “Battle of the Forks.”
The dual meet features two brothers that coach against each other as Eric Spencer is the head coach at American Fork while younger brother Kip leads Spanish Fork. Winners of each individual bout get a trophy while a traveling trophy goes to the team winner. The match also features a “halftime break” with some entertaining games for the fans.
And in their first ever meet as a school, Maeser Prep dropped a dual against Utah Military Academy 42-24 on Wednesday.