The Payson wrestling team receives the first place trophy after winning the state team title in the 5A State Boys Wrestling Tournament at Wasatch High School in Heber on Thursday, February 18, 2021.
Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald
Maple Mountain wrestler Brock Morris (right) takes on Payson wrestler Layne Shepherd in the 126-pound class final at the 5A State Boys Wrestling Tournament at Wasatch High School in Heber on Thursday, February 18, 2021 .
Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald
Pleasant Grove wrestling head coach Brock Moore (second from right) joins the squad in celebrating after winning the state title in the 6A State Boys Wrestling Tournament at Corner Canyon High School in Draper on Friday February 19, 2021.
Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald
Westlake rookie Celeste Detoles (right) takes on Pleasant Grove Sr. Bryton Moore in the 120-pound class final at the 6A State Girls Wrestling Tournament in Saratoga Springs on Monday, February 15, 2021.
Jared Lloyd, Daily Herald
Sage Mortimer, of the American Leadership Academy, holds up one leg of Kierstien Bush, of Bonneville, during the Utah All-Star Dual on Tuesday, Jan.9, 2018, at the UCCU Center in Orem. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald
Isaac Hale, Daily Herald
Utah Valley sophomore Taylor LaMont has his arm raised by an official after winning the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December 2017. LaMont will then travel to Slovakia to compete in his sixth Greco-Roman World Championship. consecutive in September.
Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com
It was another fabulous year for wrestling in Utah County.
It wasn’t just at the high school level, as Utah Valley had its best result in the NCAA tournament.
Here are the ten best wrestling stories in Utah County in 2021:
10. The return of duels in the fight against cancer
After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Wrestling Against Cancer Duals have returned with new twists and turns. Two schools, Provo and Westlake, hosted the event and there were a total of 10 girls and six boys. Money was raised to help two families struggling with cancer and Westlake came out on top with a 3-0 record in both boys and girls.
9. Record crowd for UVU wrestling
The University of Utah Valley welcomed fellow Big 12 Oklahoma State to a record crowd at the UCCU event center. More than 3,600 fans showed up to cheer on the Wolverines, but the home side were shut out by the No.3-ranked Cowboys 37-0 as several Wolverine wrestlers missed the game with injuries.
8. Time change
State high school tournaments have withstood certain trends, good and bad. For the first time since the 1980s, Timpview put several wrestlers in the state final as Conner Morris and Cael Richardson won silver medals. Timpview’s sister school Provo was blanked in the state tournament for the first time since 1989, and Wasatch failed to crown an individual state champion for the first time in the same period. . Three wrestlers seeking their fourth state title were turned down, but Mountain View asked twin brothers to take the state from Eli and Radi Stafford. Both were named Utah Valley Wrestlers of the Year by the Daily Herald.
7. LaMont’s successes
Taylor LaMont had a big year in wrestling. The former quadruple state champion for Maple Mountain and Wolverine junior redshirt not only achieved All-American status at the NCAA wrestling tournament, but he also finished fifth at the U23 World Championships and participated in the Olympic trials in Greco-Roman. catch.
6. Newcomers shine
As states shut down high school athletics due to COVID-19, many high-performance preparation wrestlers have moved to Utah and have made an impact. Alex Emmer of Pleasant Grove, who wrestled in New Mexico, won the 138-pound title for the Vikings against teammate Koda DeAtley, who moved to Utah from Maryland. Washington native Israel Gonzalez also had a strong season placing fourth in State 6A. Emmer graduated but DeAtley and Gonzalez remain forces in the Viking program. Many other programs were also the lucky recipients of moves that were hungry for competitive opportunities but found competitive opportunities in Utah.
5. Mortimer sets the bar high
This has been a banner year for Sage Mortimer of American Leadership. She easily landed a women’s state title and was named Utah Girls’ Wrestler of the Year. Mortimer was also invited to wrestle in the Jordan Burroughs undercard matches against David Taylor where she won. In an all-star playoff event, she beat the 3A State Champion boy wrestler at 106 pounds. She then had the chance to participate in the Olympic trials, one of two high school girls to do so. While Mortimer began her varsity career at King University this winter, she was previously named the National Wrestling Coaches Association Wrestler of the Month (for November) and was recently named American Wrestler of the Week, the first female wrestler to win. both these distinctions.
4. Adjustments to Pandemic Forces
COVID-19 has also forced some interesting schedule changes. Some fixtures at the start of the 2020-21 schedule were canceled altogether and some had to change the formats in one-day business and change the media types to meet the five games per day. This included the state tournaments, which were moved to high schools instead of the Utah Valley UCCU Event Center.
Corner Canyon hosted the 6A State Tournament while Wasatch hosted the 5A State Tournament. The Ross Brunson All-Star Dual and Rockwell Rumble have continued and adapted to meet the challenges of COVID-19.
The All-Star Dual completed three different time sessions starting mid-afternoon and continuing throughout the evening to help keep the crowd size down. Telos hosted the event instead of the Utah Valley UCCU Event Center.
Additionally, some weight classes had a mini-tournament where some wrestlers had multiple matches in a format change which was nice for the fans. Wasatch’s River Wardle established himself as the winner of the 138-pound category.
The Rockwell Rumble also moved from the UCCU Event Center to the Provo Convention Center and wrestled on the Sunday and Monday of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Holiday Weekend. No team score was kept as it did This was not a UHSAA sanctioned event. The tournament drew fewer wrestlers from Utah than in recent years, but that was offset by a large number of outstanding out-of-state wrestlers eager to compete.
3. Girls get their own championships
The wrestling girls held their first official UHSAA sanctioned state championships. Girls’ programs have been divided into three categories. Westlake won the State 6A title where the tournament was held at their school. The 1A, 2A, 3A and 5A combined and Mountain View hosted this state tournament won by Maple Mountain. Mountain Crest won the 4A tournament.
2. UVU has a record year
Utah Valley enjoyed incredible success in the 2021 NCAA wrestling tournament, finishing 21st in the tag team race and crowning two All-Americans to Taylor LaMont (fifth place) and Demetrius Romero (sixth place). It was the first time in the program’s history that the school had multiple All-Americans and multiple semi-finalists. Four Wolverines participated in the NCAA tournament. Romero entered the tournament undefeated by winning the Big 12 Championship.
1. Payson and Pleasant Grove Obtain State Titles
Payson and Pleasant Grove won gold trophies at the 5A and 6A Boys State Championships, respectively. Payson had an individual state champion (Aaron Garcia) but placed 14 wrestlers while Pleasant Grove crowned three individual champions (Alex Emmer, Ted Johnson and Wyatt Dawe) and had 12 placers. It was the 10th state title for Vikings head coach Brock Moore, placing him second in state history as a head coach.
Note: Last week it was reported that women’s wrestling has three standings for the 2021-22 season. However, there will be four classifications for women’s wrestling, as 4A, 5A and 6A will have their own stand-alone classifications, while 1A, 2A and 3A will combine for one classification.