Prep wrestling: Annual All-Star Classic hits the mats Tuesday at UVU
Ravell Call, Deseret News
OREM — A night that high school wrestling fans in Utah look forward to all year long is almost here.
Many of the state's best wrestlers from 5A to 1A will square off in the 13th annual All-Star Classic this Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Utah Valley University.
The 3A All-Stars won the event last year, snapping a three-year winning streak for the 5A All-Stars.
A total of 36 matches will be contested on three mats, but only 28 will count towards the team standings. There will eight additional matches to entire wrestling fans — six wild-card matches and two feature matches.
Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation president Ross Brunson has been a part of every All-Star Classic over the past dozen years, and he believes the tweak in format might make this the best year yet.
"I'm probably even a little more excited this year cause we have some fine extra matches that we're going to be showing," said Brunson. "In years past, we haven't done those types of things."
One of those two featured matches is the last of the evening, pitting Maple Mountain's Grant LaMont vs. Box Elder's Rasten Yeates. Recognized as arguably the two best wrestlers in Utah, LaMont wrestles at 152 pounds while Yeates wrestles at 160. LaMont has agreed to wrestle up a weight for the featured match. Both are two-time state champs.
The other featured match kicks off the festivities with Spanish Fork's Branson Ashworth taking on Payson's Jed Mellen at 138 pounds.
Maple Mountain, the defending 4A champion, has the most wrestlers participating in the all-star meet with eight.
Brunson said that with the talent on Maple Mountain's team along with Box Elder, the 4A All-Stars are the clear favorite in this year's event.
A third featured match will be held during the middle of the meet, but unlike the other two, it counts in the team standings because it features wrestlers from different classifications — Alta's Matt Findlay vs. Cedar's Dusty Hone. Both are juniors and both are two-time state champs.
All proceeds go to support the wrestling program at Utah Valley University, and Brunson estimates that the Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation has raised close to $300,000 over the past 13 years.
Here's a rundown of all 38 matches this Tuesday at UVU:
James Wright (Spanish Fork) vs. Ben Anderson (Pleasant Grove)
Kyle Evans (Beaver) vs. Logan Swallow (Clearfield)
Brady Farnsworth (Altamont) vs. Taylor LaMont (Maple Mountain)
Cobe Berrett (Canyon View) vs. Brock George (Syracuse)
Joe Mondragon (Desert Hills) vs. Britain Carter (Maple Mountain)
Nick Sorensen (Millard) vs. Andrew Astle (Layton)
Dusty Hone (Cedar) vs. Matt Findlay (Alta)
Kameron Fowles (Manti) vs. Brady Dart (Mountain Crest)
Garrett Sweat (Wasatch) vs. Bronson Young (Pleasant Grove)
Chase Kelly (Millard) vs. Shand Hardy (Box Elder)
Landon Knutzen (Maple Mountain) vs. Zane Rich (Syracuse)