By Josh McFadden Clipper sportswriter
OREM–Viewmont head wrestling coach Brandon Ripplinger knew that Class 5A would be a challenge this season. But he also knew he had the talent and depth to compete with the best teams in the state. He was certainly right. The Vikings won the 5A state title, scoring 310 points during the two-day tournament, held Feb. 9 and 10 at Utah Valley University in Orem. Viewmont won the championship by a wide margin; second-place Wasatch, a perennial state power, scored 248.5 points as a team. Maple Mountain was a distant third with 181 points. In the sport of wrestling, the more athletes your team can qualify for the state, the better chance you have of racking up the points and moving up in the standings. The Vikings had a number of standout performers at state. In the 106-pound weight class, Parker Frasure completed an unblemished season by winning a state title. He went 33-0 during the regular season and won all four of his state tournament matches. In fact, Frasure won all of his matches in lopsided fashion, scoring two wins by fall (in 55 seconds and in 1:35) and two more by decisions. In the championship match, he beat Preston Blotter of Wasatch 6-0. Collin Smith was another big winner at state. The 170-pounder won three matches by fall to advance to the championship round. There, he narrowly lost to Zackary Johnson of Maple Mountain, 11-9. Karson Rees, at 120 pounds, finished second. Though he was ranked second in his division entering the tournament, he advanced all the way to the championship match before losing to Garrett Ricks of Box Elder 12-2. Jeremey Evans also came in second at the tournament. In the 132-pound weight class, he won by fall (in just 22 seconds) in his first match and by technical fall in the quarterfinals. Evans then advanced to the championship with an 11-3 victory. Stockton O’Brien, of Wasatch, defeated him in the final match 10-6. A third Viking, 285-pound Andrew Bargeron, won a state title. He won by fall in the first round and in the quarterfinals. He then rounded out his championship run with a pair of close matches: a 2-0 decision in the semifinals and a 2-1 win in the championship over Jonathan Johnson of Highland. Shion Abe, a defending state champion, came up just short this time around in the 138-pound class. He cruised to the championship round with three wins by fall, all in less than three minutes. Wasatch’s Zak Kohler edged him 8-7 for the title. In the 145-pound division, Lorrince Essig placed third. He won his first two matches by fall but couldn’t overcome Holland Knudsen of Timpanogos in the semifinals. In the third-place match, he Jack Lang of West by the count of 2-0. The Vikings were well represented in the 160-pound weight class. Jackson Coyle placed third, and teammate Joshua Kim came in sixth. Meanwhile, in the 1882-pound division, Cameron Brown completed a successful season by finishing third. He beat Cameron Brown, of Woods Cross, 13-1 in the third-place match. Viewmont had two more placers in the 195-pound weight class. Taylor Money, who was an impressive 37-2 during the regular season, had little trouble getting to the final round. There, he fell to DJ Cohen from Wasatch, 7-4, to finish in second place. Duncan Pupura finished fifth in the 195-pound division. Jackson Strong rounded up Viewmont’s scoring by finishing sixth in the 220-pound class.