OREM — Blood, sweat and tears. As cliche as the phrase has become, it perfectly described the Utah All-Star Classic wrestling tournament at Utah Valley University on Tuesday night.
The tournament, which was prolonged by the large amount of injury time needed to address bloody noses, lips and brows, featured players leaving every last surge they had on the mats. It also featured surprising upsets, which not surprisingly left many who were defeated in tears.
Indeed, the annual tournament that features the premier wrestlers from all five classifications lived up to the hype. When all 36 matches had finished, the 4A classification, which entered as massive favorites behind powerhouse programs Maple Mountain and Box Elder, claimed top spot with a final tally of 36 points. Defending champion 3A tied with 5A for second place with 26 points apiece. The hybrid pairing of 1A/2A finished with 15 total points.
In the headlining battle between Maple Mountain’s Grant LaMont, commonly considered the top grappler in the state, and Box Elder’s Rasten Yeates went down to the wire. LaMont (152 pounds) agreed to wrestle in the higher weight classification (160 pounds) to face Yeates, and the decision proved worthy when he raised his arm victoriously with an 8-4 decision in the final match.
Another feature pairing matched Alta superstar Matt Findlay and Cedar superstar Dusty Hone — known competitive rivals and both two-time defending state champions. Findlay burst from the opening horn and cruised to a relatively easy win. If not for a late takedown in the third period, Findlay would have won the match in a landslide, but he ultimately claimed a 7-4 decision.
“That was the tiebreaker match,” Findlay said. “He was my only loss last year. I went 49-1 and then I beat him later in the season at nationals. We both have a lot of supporters in our background and there’s been some talk going and it felt good to put him down in what I felt was in a convincing manor.”
That battle was one of three featured matches throughout the night, but because it was the only one that paired wrestlers from different classifications, it was the only one to officially count for scoring purposes. The added pressure didn’t faze Findlay.
“I think I would have used to” worry about the added pressure, Findlay said. “I noticed that if I go out there nervous I screw myself up. I have to go out there totally relaxed and totally confident in myself. I didn’t feel any pressure. If I go out there and wrestle out there as hard as I can, win or lose, then I’ll feel good. That was not a perfect match for me."
Findlay, despite the rivalry, had nothing but high praise for Hone.
“That’s how you have to beat that kid,” he said. “He’s obviously really good on top — the best in the state on top in my opinion. He’s an incredible rider. I knew I had to beat him on my feet. I scrambled well. I moved well and took it to him. I had some nice shots and got the win.”
Utah All-Star Classic
Kyle Evans (Beaver) def. Logan Swallow (Clearfield), dec., 7-4
Taylor LaMont (Maple Mountain) def. Brady Farnsworth (Altamont), pin, 2:45
Britain Carter (Maple Mountain) def. Joe Mondragon (Desert Hills), maj, 8-0
Brady Dart (Mountain Crest) def. Kameron Fowles (Manti), dec. 7-0
Shand Hardy (Box Elder) def. Chase Kelly (Millard), maj, 11-2
Landon Knutzen (Maple Mountain) def. Zane Rich (Syracuse), dec, 9-4
McKay Parrish def. Kolby Lloyd (Cedar), dec, 8-5
Ken Astle (Layton) def. Jesse Carlisle (Maple Mountain), maj, 13-2
Jacob Armstrong (Salem Hills) def. Zach Prince (Hurricane), dec, 9-4
Brenden Sorenson (North Sevier) def. Will Kilpack (Alta), pin, 5:01
Kimball Bastian (Maple Mountain) def. Colton Marshalll (Layton), maj, 9-1
StevenWelsh (Union) def. Will Lang (West), dec, 9-2
Nick Sorenson (Box Elder) def. Kyle Foy (Altamont), dec, 5-1
Zach Coffman (Tooele) def. Josh Searle (Maple Mountain), dec, 3-2
Don Fullmer (Millard) def. Devon Childress (Weber), dec, 6-0
Jon Wixom (Maple Mountain) def. Colton Grossaint (Kearns), dec, 7-0
Camerson Willamson (Cedar) def. Jadon Ross (Richfield), dec, 3-0
Brandon Dennison (Pleasant Grove) def. Joe Flores (Box Elder), TB-1 3-2
Jeremy Aleman (Millard) def. Daniel Bulloch (Hurricane), dec, 6-3
Zach Dawe (Pleasant Grove) def. Dallas Howard (Murray), dec, 10-3
Featured matches (non-team scoring)
132 — Jed Mellen (Payson) def. Branson Ashworth (Spanish Fork), dec, 5-0
160 — Grant LaMont (Maple Mountain) def. Rasten Yeates (Box Elder), dec, 8-4
Wild-card Matches (non-team scoring)
113 — Kyson Levin (Pleasant Grove) def. Chandler Strand (Herriman), SV-1, 11-9
126 — Antonio Meikel (Kearns) def. Dominic Kunder (Bear River), maj, 10-2
145 — Bridger Cutler (Pleasant Grove) def. Dalton Harmon (Juab), pin, 2:24
182 — Jake Tolman (Box Elder) def. Clay Moss (Jordan), dec, 6-3
195 — Breckin Gunter (Box Elder) def. Nick Heninger (Bingham), dec, 3-1
220 — Roy Nash (Taylorsville) def. Micah Ngatuvai (Mountain View), dec, 7-0
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