Timpview’s Cael Richardson is making history Tuesday night as the first Thunderbird wrestler ever to compete in the Dollamur All-Star Dual.
“It feels really good (to have a chance to compete in the all-star dual),” said Richardson. “I actually set a goal last year to get selected for this and it’s cool to see the hard work paying off.”
The latest incarnation of the All-Star Dual started in 2001 and it took 19 years for Timpview to land a grappler in one of the state’s most prestigious events.
“It’s pretty special to be the first guy (from Timpview to be picked), but I also have to focus on state.”
Timpview hasn’t exactly been known as a wrestling juggernaut and twice has dropped its program. In fact, Cael’s brother Creed, who played football for Timpview, actually wrestled in the All-Star Dual but he did so wearing a Provo High singlet, because in 2011, Timpview didn’t have a wrestling program. Now nine years later, Richardson looks to make history by both competing in the All-Star Dual and being a serious contender for a state title.
Timpview hasn’t had an individual state title winner since Aaron Hunt pulled off the feat in 1989. They might have had one in Mark Skousen in 1992, but much like Richardson’s older brother Creed, he had to go to Provo to compete when the school dropped the program. Skousen then won the 152-pound title for the Bulldog program.
Richardson has a rich family tradition in the sport. His oldest brother Brock took second in state, while his two other older brothers Jordan and Jared were state champions in Idaho. Then the family relocated to Utah where two other older brothers Creed and Nathan were state placers. Creed actually placed in state both in Idaho and Utah. Like Cael, all of his brother excelled in football and four of his siblings have played for BYU.
Richardson brings in a 27-4 overall record and recently won the Pine View Invitational. He also placed second at the Skyhawk Showdown and Capitol City Classic and placed third at the Christmas Clash. At the Christmas Clash he avenged one of his losses, that to SauTafisi of East, who will actually represent the wildcard team and be the first Leopard wrestler to take part in the event. Last year Richardson placed third in the 5A state meet where Tafisi was fourth.
Richardson, a junior, will have a huge task taking on senior Blake Mangelson of Juab, who placed second in 3A state last season. Mangelson brings in an unblemished record of 36-0 and will be one of seven Wasp wrestlers competing Tuesday.
“I know it will be a tough match (with Mangelson) but the kind of match you want as you prepare for state,” Richardson noted.
And it should be noted that Richardson isn’t the only good thing going for Timpview wrestling these days.
Chase Biggs (170 pounds) also won the Pine View Invitational and Conner Morris (182) took home the gold at the Capitol City Classic while placing second at both the Skyhawk Showdown and at Pine View. David Fox, also at 182 pounds, is winning some key matches for Timpview as he placed second at the Capitol City Classic and third at Pine View. Timpview is also hoping for the return of Isaac Nelson (195) from a leg injury. Nelson won two matches at the 5A state tournament last year.
Provo’s Jimmy Tomasi (285) will be the first Bulldog to compete in the All-Star Dual since Cael Richardson’s brother Creed.
Tomasi will be just the sixth Provo Bulldog grappler to compete in the dual. Tomasi will represent the wildcard team as Box Elder’s Kellen Collier will be the 5A representative. Collier beat Tomasi at the 5A Duals and stands as the top challenger to Tomasi as hopes to repeat as a state champion. Tomasi will wrestle Weston Warr of Fremont who owns two victories over Collier and placed fourth last season in 6A.
The defending 5A state champions Wasatch Wasps will have four wrestlers in the event.
River Wardle (132), Sammy Heywood (138) and Stockton O’Brien (145) will represent the 5A team while Deklan Kelly (126) will grapple for the wildcard team.
The 5A team will further be bolstered by Payson’s Cole Jensen (120), Wyatt Hone (126) and Tucker Naccarato (170). Timpanogos’ Elijah Kratzer will add more muscle to this team battling at 195 pounds.
Pleasant Grove will provide a pair of wrestlers for the 6A team (Oakley Ridge at 145 pounds and Jake Richardson at 170 pounds) while Jacob Finlinson (126) and Anthony Stockwell (220) will also represent the 6A team. American Fork’s Dallan Hunsaker will also take to the mats for the 6A team at 106 pounds.
Maple Mountain’s Brock Morris (113) and Skyridge’s Hadley Cowan (138) will join Provo’s Tomasi and Wasatch’s Kelly on the wildcard team.
Each classification has its own team except for the 1A and 2A which combines for a team. For both the purposes of symmetry and to feature other outstanding individual wrestlers, a wildcard team was created. Last year the 5A team came out on top while the wildcard team actually took second place.
This year’s All-Star Dual will feature 49 total matches, seven of which will be girls matches.
Four Utah County girls will take part with Sage Mortimer (ALA), Lizzie Shunn (Westlake), Abi Archibald (Maple Mountain) and Sarah Plucker (who attends American Fork but wrestles for the Westlake Girls Club team).
Interestingly enough, the Archibald vs. Plucker girl’s bout will be the only intra-county match despite the fact that there are Utah Valley wrestlers in four different classifications battling it out Tuesday.
The All-Star Dual will also feature some junior high boys and girls matches at 5 p.m. with the high school matches slated to start at 6:30 p.m. Entry fee for the event is $10 and proceeds go to support the Utah Valley wrestling team. The matches will also be broadcast live through Track Wrestling and further information about this event can be found at the USA Wrestling Utah web page, www.wrestleutah.com.