High school wrestling: Youthful Maple Mountain edges field to win Region 8 championship

Published: Saturday, Feb. 1 2014 8:00 p.m. MST

PROVO — As expected, Maple Mountain won the Region 8 wrestling championship Saturday at Timpview High. Perhaps less expected, however, was the relative razor-thin margin the Golden Eagles had over what proved to be stout competition.

Maple Mountain, with its 342.5 team points, just squeezed past both Salem Hills (331.5) and Wasatch (316) for the championship.

“It’s a tough region and give these teams credit. There’s a lot of great wrestlers here in this region,” said Maple Mountain coach Justin Judkins. “We have a young team this year and I’m proud of how the young guys stepped up.”

The Golden Eagles ruled the lower-weight divisions — taking first in the five weight divisions spanning 113 to 138 pounds, along with the 152- and 170-pound weight divisions. Leading the way was defending state champion Taylor LaMont, who took down Salem Hills’ Hunter Warren.

Other standouts for the region champs included freshman Ryan Hansen, who defeated teammate Marshall Curtis for the 120-pound championship with a 14-9 decision, and Tanner Cox, who made quick work of Spanish Fork’s James Wright for the 113-pound championship — pinning him just 1:49 into the match.

Other champions for Maple Mountain included Trent Kelly (126 pounds), Johnny O’Hearon (138), Brooks Robinson (152) and undefeated Kimball Bastion in the 170-pound class.

“We have a lot of good guys we expected a lot from going in, and they delivered,” Judkins said. “I think a big key for us was the younger guys, guys we didn’t know what we’d get from who really stepped up, a lot of second-year guys — unseeded guys like Jacob Biesinger, who really wrestled well and took second in the 285 weight.”

Taking down Biesinger for the 285-pound crown was Provo’s Dylan Thomas, who was also named the tournament’s most outstanding performer, along with Springville’s Zach Hansen.

“I’ve been working so hard and that work paid off,” Thomas said. “It’s a great honor because it’s such a great region, but I won’t enjoy it for long. Winning a state championship is my goal and it’s back to work immediately after this to get that goal.”

Hansen defeated Spanish Fork’s John Leilua with a 5-1 decision to win the 220-weight region championship.

“I wasn’t expecting to be named most outstanding wrestler, but it’s a great honor because I really think this is the toughest region in the state,” Hansen said. “It’s been a tough year overcoming some injuries, so this is really satisfying for me.”

Winning the tournament’s most outstanding coach award was Salem Hills’ T.J. Brindley. The Skyhawks won just one weight championship (Jacob Armstrong, 160 pounds), but placed second four times and third on another four occasions.

Wasatch placed second five times with Jake McNaughton (195) and Corbin Smith (106) winning the team's two individual championships.

Region 8 Wrestling Championships

At Springville High School

Team results

1. Maple Mountain, 342.5; 2. Salem Hills, 331.5; 3. Wasatch, 316; 4. Spanish Fork, 264.5; 5. Provo, 102; 6. Springville, 82; 7. Timpview, 54.

Individual results

106 — 1. Corbin Smith, Wasatch; 2. Braiden Parker, Wasatch; 3. Talon Rasmussen, Salem Hills; 4. Austin Davis, Salem Hills; 5. Schafer Heiner, Provo; 6. Braedin May, Spanish Fork.