There weren’t many surprises when it came to the team successes at last week’s divisionals.
Pleasant Grove, Payson and Wasatch won their respective 6A and 5A divisional meets that were held Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.
Meanwhile Fremont won the other 6A divisional meet where American Fork and Lone Peak both competed.
The 3A and 4A Divisional meets were Friday and Saturday as ALA battled in the 3A Divisional A meet and Cedar Valley in the 4A Divisional tournament. The top eight wrestlers from each divisional move on to the state tournament.
Here’s a look at what happened:
5A Divisional A
Payson lapped the field at the Divisional A tourney hosted by Woods Cross and qualified a whopping total of 24 grapplers to the state tournament with another two in the alternate position.
The Lions were so dominant with both their varsity and JV squads that in three weight classes, the Lions put both wrestlers in the championship finals.
At 106 pounds top-seeded Aaron Garcia beat his teammate Cash Steele to win the title. At 120 pounds Ethan Boulton, also the top seed, bested his teammate Colton Theobald 6-3 to take home the gold medal. And at 132 pounds Deegan Palmer took care of business from his No. 1 seed by downing fellow Lion grappler Ryan Bullough 12-6 in the championship final.
Layne Shepherd (126 pounds) climbed to the top of the podium as did Layne Osborn (152) and Tate Christensen (195). Osborn did it from his fourth seed as he upset the No 1 seed Rylan Stevens of Mountain Ridge 12-6 in the semifinals and then beat No. 2 seed Chandler Thompson of Murray 7-6 in an exciting championship bout.
Eduardo Cabrera (113), Trevor Frank (145), Landon Shurtleff (160), and Jeff Durrant (285) all earned silver medals for Payson as the Lions put an incredible 13 wrestlers through to the championship round.
Plenty of other Utah Valley wrestlers shined in this divisional as Mountain View had three wrestlers win titles with Gable Stoddard (113), Radi Stafford (182) and Chris Esparza (285). Stafford beat Timpview’s Conner Morris 3-1 by earning a takedown late in the third round. Stafford’s twin brother Elijah placed second at 220 pounds losing by major decision 14-6 to Timpview’s Cael Richardson. Salem Hills’ Luke DeGraffenreid placed second at 138 pounds.
Payson scored a whopping 555.5 points to easily outpace second place Mountain View (289.5) and third place Mountain Ridge (241.5). Lehi (179) finished seventh, Salem Hills (166.5) was eighth, Timpview (69) was tenth, Orem (64) was 11th and Provo (30.5) 14th in the 15-team Divisional A field.
5A Divisional B
Host Wasatch (427.5) used its depth to overcome the star power of Box Elder (394).
The Wasps crowned just one champion with River Wardle (138) but had enough wrestlers place in high enough positions to beat the Bees, who actually crowned six champions in the divisional.
Parker Hayes (113), Heath Clyde (120), Austin Kelly (126), Ryder Robinson (132), Noah Roylance (145), Charlie Fassold (152), and Mason Hulme (220) all placed second for the Wasps.
Spanish Fork’s Clayton Orton, from his third seed, beat top-seeded Roylance to claim the gold medal. Springville had two wrestlers reach the championship finals in Andrew Weakley (138) and freshman sensation Tevita Valeti (160), who from his third seed upset Wasatch’s Christian Slack by pin in the semifinals.
Maple Mountain crowned two champions with Brock Morris (126) and Andrew Jensen (182), as Jensen defeated Timpanogos’ Corbin Carlson in the championship finals.
In the team race the Golden Eagles finished fourth with 221 points while Timpanogos was fifth with 189.5 points edging out Spanish Fork, which pointed 186.5. Springville (151.5) was behind Spanish Fork in eighth place as a total of 14 teams competed in the Divisional B meet.
6A Divisional A
Westlake hosted the Divisional A tournament but watched region rival Pleasant Grove top the competition as the Vikings will take a 6A record 26 wrestlers to the state meet with another two in the alternate position.
Pleasant Grove scored 574.5 points as Westlake pointed 353.5 for second place. Skyridge also competed in this divisional and placed fourth behind Davis (326) with 241 points. A total of 13 teams took to the mats.
Pleasant Grove got gold medal performances from Jacob Carson (113), Israel Gonzalez (120), Max Benson (126), Alex Emmer (138), and Wyatt Dawe (285). Silver medals were earned by Chase Armistead (126), Koda DeAtley (138), Zeke Kelley (152), Gabriel Yocum (195) and Kort Wilkinson (285).
Westlake’s Breydon Robison (106) outpointed teammate Parker Ballantyne 6-0 in a battle of fabulous freshmen grapplers to win a title. Westlake’s Jacob Finlinson (138) will seek his fourth state title but lost to West’s Drew Lang 4-2 in the divisional final. The two battled last year at the state meet for the 126-pound title with the Thunder grappler prevailing in overtime. Finlinson’s teammate Tucker Butler also placed second at 145 pounds.
Skyridge had three champions as brothers Mahkyi (160) and Cayaen Smith (160) won titles, as did Joshua Milward at 145 pounds, who pinned Westlake’s Butler in the second round.
6A Divisional B
Fremont captured the Divisional B tournament hosted by Syracuse in a thrilling finish.
The Silverwolves trailed Layton by a mere half-point going into the final bout of the night. But Kelton Gold (285) pinned Lone Peak’s James Schofield in the first round to start the Silverwolf celebration. But the fourth-seeded Schofield had a brilliant tournament upsetting the top seed Vikita Tausinga of Granger in the semifinals.
Schofield’s teammate Cooper Mumford (220) won his weight class actually defeating Fremont’s Nolan Kiser 4-2 to add more suspense to the tournament.
The Knights finished fifth place overall in the 13-team divisional with 174 points. American Fork also competed and finished sixth with 153 points.
Wade Mecham (106) and Dallan Hunsaker (120) finished second for the Cavemen with the latter losing to Layton’s Quade Smith in a battle of returning state champions.
American Leadership Academy (ALA) finished third at the 3A Divisional A tourney hosted by Juab Friday and Saturday. The home team finished first while Morgan was second. A total of nine teams competed. Emery won the Divisional B tourney.
Andrew Fox (106) pinned down a title as his ALA teammates Lukus Carrillo (138), Cale Miner (160) and Justyn Mitchell (195) placed second.
At the 4A Divisional A tournament Cedar Valley placed 11th out of 11 teams and qualified two wrestlers to the state meet with 106-pounders Braden Balmforth (5th) and Kadan Davis (8th). Mountain Crest won the divisional handily while Uintah was victorious in the Divisional B tournament.
Nearly 600 girl wrestlers are expected to compete at the state tournaments. The Utah High School Activities Association divided the competitors into three classifications with approximately 200 girls in each one.
The 4A and 6A will have their own classifications and Westlake will host the 6A meet on Monday, Feb. 15. The 4A tournament will be held alongside the boy’s tournament at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield on Saturday, Feb. 20. Girls in 5A programs will compete with other female wrestlers in the 1A, 2A and 3A classifications with that state meet to be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Mountain View High School.
Westlake looks to be the favorite in the 6A meet while Mountain Crest looks strong in 4A. Maple Mountain appears to be the team to beat in the 1A-3A, 5A meet.