OREM--In the ultra-competitive sport of wrestling, achieving top honors is no easy feat. Both Viewmont and Woods Cross held their own at last weeks’ state tournaments, held on the campus of Utah Valley University.
Individually, Davis High’s Trenton Dunn earned a fifth-place finish as well.
The Vikings had some top individual showings, helping the team place sixth in the 5A bracket. Viewmont finished with 125 points, just two points behind fifth-place American Fork. Layton took home the 5A crown with 259.5 points.
Viewmont head coach Brandon Ripplinger has raved all season about Shion Abe, William Money and Collin Smith. The trio didn’t disappoint at the state tournament.
Abe, a junior, has dominated all year, amassing an impressing 41-1 record. He continued his strong showing at state, winning all his meets all the way to the championship match. Abe started his title run with a win by fall in 1:32. Then, in the quarterfinals, he scored a 3-0 decision, followed by a 9-1 win in the semifinals. In the final, he outlasted Pleasant Grove’s Derek Fisher, 7-6, in the 132-weight class.
Meanwhile, in the 152-pound class, Smith made his way past first-found, quarterfinal and semifinal opponents until he met his match in the finals against Brighton’s Brayden Stevens, where he lost 7-2. Smith entered the tournament with a 31-7 regular season record. In the tournament, he won his first three matches by fall in 2:24 and then by decisions of 6-5 and 8-4.
“Collin Smith is another great story,” Ripplinger said. “This was really only his second full year wrestling, and to be a state finalist after two years of wrestling is pretty incredible. I think it speaks to how hard Collin works and how much he loves this sport. He is one of the quiet leaders on the team, but his work ethic and his wrestling style are loud.”
Money competed in the 195 class as the No. 1 seed in his weight class, having gone 33-6 on the year. Money won his first two matches by fall, before winning in the semifinals 4-2. He fell in the championship in a narrow 2-1 decision.
“[Money] had a great season as well,” Ripplinger said. “He was in the finals of every tournament we attended. He was an All-star meet champion, a Viewmont Invitational champion and a Divisional champion. Taylor ("T-Money") is an incredible wrestler with a big style. His shots are dangerous, and he is a bonus point machine. He is a great, kid and he will be one to watch again next year.
Ripplinger is already excited for next season, noting that 11 of his state 15 state qualifiers will return for the 2017–18 campaign.
“All of our state placers return next year,” he said.
Woods Cross placed 10th on the 4A side with 57.5 points. The Wildcats also had some notable individual showings.
In the 106-pound class, Thomas Gordy entered as the No. 4 seed. He had a regular season match record of 37-8. Gordy won his first match by fall in 3:07. After losing in the quarterfinals, he won a pair of consolation round matches and ended up placing fifth.
Ben Harden was the second seed in the 138-pound class, having gone 37-6 on the year. Harden won by technical fall in his first-round match and then took care of his quarterfinals opponent 9-3. He fell in the semifinals 8-2 and then won in the consolation bracket 10-7 to advance to the third-place match. There, Harden won by technical fall.
Brandon Ehlers was the fifth seed in the 170-pound weight class. He had a record of 26-13 during the regular season. Ehlers picked up an opening round win with a 5-1 decision but lost in the quarterfinals by fall in 1:47. In the consolation bracket, Ehlers picked up a victory by fall to stay alive, but his season came to a close while trying to advance to the third-place match.
Another Wildcat wrestler, 182-pound competitor Brady Peters won a first-round match, 10-4, but could advance farther, suffering back-to-back losses. Jose Zagal also reached state. The 132-pound competitor went 0-2 in the tournament after going 20-11 during the regular season.
Davis High senior Trendon Dunn came in fifth in the 160-lb. weight division at the 5A state championships Feb. 8-9 at Utah Valley University.
“I am proud of Trendon and his fight and determination,” head coach Bo Roundy said. “He exhibited tremendous resolve in his fight for fifth place.”
Dunn defeated Westlake’s Micah Butler, Layton’s Teige Lovell and Fremont’s Brayden Mark and lost to Bingham’s Mason Christiansen on his way to a consolation semifinal match, where he lost a close one to Layton’s Cole Faust. He then turned around to defeat Fremont’s Davian Hendrix to finish in fifth place.
Parker Coffey (113 lbs.), Daniel Waddoups (145), Dalton Adams (182) and Cambridge Bingham (285) also competed at the tournament for Davis.
“The team overall is young and struggled to place the other four wrestlers we took to state,” Roundy said.
Roundy said Waddoups “had commanding leads against two opponents that ending up pinning him at the end of the third period, thus losing an opportunity for him to place.” The junior defeated Northridge’s Brennon Duffy but lost to Herriman’s Carson Bowdren and Syracuse’s Kelby Kendall.
Coffey lost to American Fork’s Rhett Miners and Brighton’s Anthonee Ouk, Adams lost to Herriman’s Tristan Carman and Viewont’s Andrew Hacking and Bingham lost to Jordan’s Heneli Avendano and Syracuse’s Kaden Montano in their state tournament matches.
“Davis High wrestling has work to do and we are committed to improving,” Roundy said.
The Bountiful High wrestling program qualified six wrestlers for the 4A state tournament this season, which is the most in five years.
Senior Jace Scott, juniors Austin Hayes-Carter, Morgan Fultz and Jonathan Hansen and sophomores Hunter Brown and Camden Castleberry represented the Braves on the mat Feb. 8-9 at Utah Valley University.
Hayes-Carter, competing in the 182-lb. division, lost to Box Elder’s Harrison Johnson before defeating Noah Zenger, of Olympus in the consolation bracket. He then lost to Skyline’s Moses Coker.
Hansen, wrestling at 120 lbs., lost to Box Elder’s Austin Bingham before defeating Alta’s John Lyon. In that consolation round, he lost to Skyridge’s Colby Eastmond.
Scott wrestled at 220 lbs. and lost to Hillcrest’s Keala Mahe and Skyridge’s Benjamin Read.
Brown, wrestling at 152 lbs., lost to Salem Hills’ Merrell Morley and Maple Mountain’s Stetson Shuman.
Fultz lost to Noah Patterson, of Salem Hills, in the 126-lb. bracket and then lost to Salem Hills’ Caleb Macdonald.
Castleberry, competing at 106 lbs., lost to Payson’s Jacob Ethridge and Highland’s Jason Lovato.
“We are a good young team with a lot of young wrestlers and a lot of underclassmen that participated in the state tournament,” Weaver said.
The Braves “struggled the second half of the season,” according to Weaver, but also finished out the year as a top-12 finisher in the 4A State Dual Tournament the end of January.