BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
BOUNTIFUL — The Layton Lancers wrestling team is one of the strongest contenders in 5A, having finished inside the top 10 after last year’s 5A state tournament.
After Saturday’s action concluded at the Viewmont Invitational wrestling tournament, the Lancers proved that they are one of the best teams in the state. They won the tournament with a team score of 225.5, more than 11 points better than Mountain Crest, a perennial 4A contender.
Aiding in the victory for Layton were Andrew Astle at 120 pounds and Ken Astle at 145 pounds. The brothers ended up winning individual titles. The Lancers had nine total grapplers finish the tournament in the top six.
Other than the Astle brothers, Cade Wilson (132 pounds), Davis Marriott (152 pounds), Colton Marshall (160 pounds), Stetson Jones (170 pounds), Landon Brown (195 pounds), Atlas Armstrong (220 pounds) and Jesus Avina (285 pounds) finished in the top six. Brown and Marshall finished second by dropping their respective championship matches, and Marriott won his final match to place third.
Andrew Astle, 11-1 so far this season, started his tournament by pinning Logan’s Chris Woodworth, then getting a 9-0 major decision over Box Elder’s Andrew Donaldson. After winning a close 3-1 battle with Bracken Lovell of Delta, Astle beat Viewmont’s Tanner Luke in order to face another Vikings wrestler, Devin Porschatis.
Astle pinned Porschatis for the individual title in a back and forth match.
Ken Astle, a 145-pounder, won his weight class by pinning three of his four opponents during the weekend. The senior entered the tournament 9-1 overall before the tournament began. He pinned Alex Graham of Viewmont and scored a technical fall over Murray’s Taylor Ashton. After pinning Colton Simpson of Salem Hills to move to the semifinals, Astle pinned Delta’s Morgan Bogue in order to face Jordan Wengreen of Mountain Crest.
Just over three minutes into the match, Astle pinned Wengreen for the individual title.
Marshall’s road to the finals included three matches that went all three rounds. The junior won decisions of 13-2, 7-2 and 11-4 in his first four matches. Going up against Evanston, Wyo. wrestler Brayton Sanders. Marshall took the senior to the third round before getting pinned with less than 40 seconds to go in the match.
Brown’s road to the finals wasn’t an easy one either. The junior had to battle through the bracket with a few ranked wrestlers to get to the final match. After pinning Emery’s George Sorenson in his first match, Brown also pinned Hunter Angel at the 2:44 mark to move to the semifinals.
Brown went the distance against Mountain Crest’s Arrington Evans before losing to Delta’s Alex Martin in a 3-2 battle.
Marriott’s initial pair of matches ended quickly when he pinned East’s Julio Martinez and Westlake’s Jason Avery in less than one minute each. However, Marriott’s semifinal appearance didn’t go as well. The junior was pinned in the second period to fall to the consolation bracket.
He bounced back by winning a 7-3 decision over Mountain View’s Scott Stokes, then beat Evanston, Wyo. wrestler Batista Covolo to finish in third place.
Wilson, Jones and Armstrong each finished fourth in the 132, 170, and 220-pound brackets, and Avina finished sixth for the Lancers at 285 pounds.
Among the 26 schools with grapplers in the tournament, host Viewmont finished seventh with a score of 118.5 points, and Davis finished 10th with 90 points. Northridge and Bountiful finished 13th and 14th, respectively.
Mountain Crest, Millard, Delta and Evanston round out the top five finishers.