OREM Trailing by 13.5 points going into the championship round, Mountain Crest expected to have to win all five of its championship matches and hope that Box Elder would stumble in its three championship bouts in Friday's state 4A wrestling tournament.
"I thought we would have to be perfect," said Mountain Crest cach Davie Swensen.
The Mustangs did win all five of their championship matches while the Bees dropped its three, allowing Mountain Crest to edge Box Elder 232.5 to 223.0 in one of the closest 4-A team races in recent memory.
Payson was a respectable third with 191.0 points. Dixie finished fourth with 131.5 points just ahead of Roy (124.5) and Pine View (121.5).
"I give Box Elder a lot of credit," stated Swensen. "We are blessed to have them in our region. They push us to get better. We seem to see them week after week, tournament after tournament."
Mountain Crest's Perfect Storm started out at 103 pounds where Zabinidi Smethurst won a hard fought 2-1 decision over Murray's Kevin Sierer.
The heroics continued as Raider Lofthouse overcame a six-point deficit to beat Roy's Wyatt Ray. In the last minute of the third round Lofthouse secured an escape and then threw Ray to his back on a five-point move to tie up the match. Then in the overtime Lofthouse obtained the winning takedown.
The brother tandem of Jarrett and Jake Morrill kept the Mustangs rolling with victories at 125 and 130 pounds. Morrill avenged his loss to Roy's Wyatt Ray in the Region finals with a solid 8-2 win.
Jake had an easier time dominating Dixie's Stan Elton 15-2. These two wins propelled Mountain Crest to the lead which it never relinquished.
Tooele's Monte Schmalhaus defeated Box Elder's Kolby Williamson in overtime 4-2 at 152 pounds and this combined with Mountain Crest's Ethen Lofthouse pin of Box Elder's Jaron Jensen at 160 pounds sealed the state title for the Mustangs.
"I actually get more nervous for my brother (Raider) than I do for myself," related the junior who won his third straight title. "The team title means a lot more to me than the individual title because when we win everybody gets to celebrate."
For Box Elder Coach Mike Ripplinger, the night was bittersweet. Box Elder fell short of its goal of taking state but his son Brandon won a state title as the Head Coach for 5-A Viewmont. "I'm real happy for him," said Ripplinger.
Springville's son Chamberalin secured his fourth state title and the Outstanding Wrestler award for the lower weight divisions. Chamberlain defeated Pine View's Matt McDonald to cap off a perfect 42-0 campaign.
"It was real fun," said Chamberlain of his historic journey. "A lot of people don't know the work it takes. I watch a lot of film and I'm always working on my techniques to get better." Next up for Chamberlain will be the Senior Nationals in March.
Matt Brown of Cyprus won the 145 pound state title to win his third state title.
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The Pirate senior pinned Payson's Colton Cannon in the first round. "It's been a lot of pressure but a lot of fun," expressed Brown. "It's been a great ride." It was indeed a banner night for Brown as was recognized at the start of the finals as an Academic All-State wrestler as well as being named as the Outstanding Wrestler in the upper weight divisions.
Dixie won two state titles as Tanner Torres and Nate Carter won at 171 and 189 pounds. It was Carter's second straight title. Other champions were Highland's Mike Phetvitay at 119 pounds, Payson's McCade Ford at 135 pounds, Sky View's Jared Frederickson at 215 pounds and Snow Canyon's Kason Gubler at 285 pounds.