BOUNTIFUL — When you’re in the finals of one of the most competitive wrestling tournaments in the state and you’re ahead by one-point, logic would tell you to not allow your opponent to have a free one-point escape to tie the match.
But if you’re Viewmont senior defending state champion Danner Kjar, it makes all the sense in the world.
“I am confident in my ability to take people down,” Kjar said moments after beating Corrich Knight of Mountain Crest 8-4 in the finals of the Viewmont Invitational Saturday night.
“I didn’t want to be on the mat with the chance of getting caught in some weird position,” Kjar said. “I know I can take people down so it’s better for me to be on my feet.”
Kjar turned a 2-2 tie entering the third round into an impressive win by taking down Corrich three times in the third round. The final two takedowns were after Kjar allowed his opponent to go free.
Kjar remains undefeated.
“I want to finish the year with the state title and an undefeated season,” he said. “It’s important. It’s a goal I’ve had set.”
Danner is the last of the Kjar sons and has been as stellar as his siblings, Luke, Adam and Ben.
“It’s good to have them because they teach me a lot,” Kjar said. “I don’t mind the pressure.”
Mountain Crest got a bit of revenge after Kjar won as Mustang All-American Raider Lofthouse edged Viking Mitch Rasmussen in the final at 152.
“The match showed me I have to be more confident out there,” Rasmussen said after the 3-2 loss. “There are things I need to work on and get better.”
Tate Wansgaard was the third Viking in the finals and was pinned in the second round by Millard High’s Thomas Kesler.
“I was wrestling well,” Wansgaard said. “I felt real good and then I made a mistake and he caught me.”
“This was the first time I’ve been in the finals of a big tournament so it has given me more confidence about what I can do this year.”
Davis High’s Brett Naylor’s match was one of the most exciting finals of the evening as he dropped a hard-fought 3-1 match to Zac Loveless of Payson, the defending state champion.
Trailing by two points with time running out Naylor nearly pulled off a two-point reversal which would have put the match into overtime.
“I wasn’t aggressive in the finals,” Naylor said. “I felt like I was letting him control things.”
Naylor is hoping for another shot at Loveless.
“I hope to see him at the Rocky Mountain Rumble later in the season,” Naylor said.
Layton High’s Derek Thomas was the other Davis County winner pinning his opponent in impressive fashion.
“Derek is a good one,” Layton coach John Fagar said.
The Viewmont Invitational included 24 teams from Utah and Wyoming.