BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
BOUNTIFUL — Viewmont grappler Tanner Luke received a rare honor after competing in the Rocky Mountain Nationals tournament last weekend in Denver, Colo.
After finishing the tournament in second place, the Vikings’ senior earned All-American honors for the second year in a row, finishing off a high school wrestling career that will hopefully lead to further success.
“It’s an honor being awarded an All-American for the second year in a row,” said Luke. “Last year I finished fourth, so this is my second year earning All-American honors. It helps my reputation and the reputation Utah is gaining in wrestling as a whole.”
Luke, along with teammates Alex Graham, Taylor Porath and David Kim, were part of a Utah team that placed fourth overall among 300 teams. Luke’s bracket included eventual champion Levi Maes and two time state champion Gresh Jones and Dakota Leach.
Luke lost the championship match to Maes in the 120-pound bracket, but beat Jones in order to place second overall in his weight class.
All three of his teammates also wrestled well, placing in the top 24 in their respective weight classes.
For Luke, the tournament was a fun one, he said. Finishing second was simply icing on the cake.
“The tournament is such a fun tournament to go to,” he said. “I’m originally from Colorado, so being able to go back to my home state and give them a show was fun. There were over 2,500 wrestlers there with 19 mats spread out all over the arena, so there was a lot of action.”
Utah United, the team Luke was on, placed fourth with 143.5 points as a team, something Luke said he was proud to be a part of.
“It’s fun to represent Utah,” he said, “and having a great performance from our team shows what our coaches, both on the national and high school level, are capable of.”
Now with the tournament behind him, Luke is hoping he’ll get accepted to one of two schools.
According to Luke, Stanford has been recruiting him for some time, and Duke was recently sent some videos and grades from Viewmont. He’s currently hoping one of those two schools will pick him up and allow him to wrestle for four more years.
In addition to his All-American finish, Luke was voted most outstanding wrestler at a recent banquet held at the high school, and was given the Viking award for his accomplishments.
“(The tournament) shows what 14 years of hard work I’ve put into this sport,” he said.