High school wrestling: Pleasant Grove cruises to 5A divisional victory

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6 2014 11:00 p.m. MST

SANDY — Pleasant Grove took an important step toward winning its fourth-straight 5A state championship Thursday night.

The Vikings dominated the 5A divisional A qualifier at Jordan High School, easily winning the team title while qualifying 22 wrestlers to next week’s state tournament at the Maverik Center.

“This is big to us. It’s not our main goal, but we came in with the mentality just like every tournament: Do our best, wrestle our hardest — all three periods, all we can go,” said Pleasant Grove’s T.J. Wind. “State is our peak. That’s when Pleasant Grove peaks. You’ll see it.”

Pleasant Grove advanced 10 wrestlers to Thursday’s finals, ultimately winning eight, including four by pin.

“It’s good to win this tournament by a lot of points and a get a lot of kids into the tournament. I think we got 22 kids in and the max you can get is 28, so I think we did pretty dang good,” said Pleasant Grove's Kyson Levin.

Pleasant Grove finished with 487 points to win the meet, followed by Herriman with 319, Jordan at 233.5 and Bingham with 233.

Herriman qualified 18 wrestlers for the 5A state tournament, while host Jordan qualified 14.

Pleasant Grove wrestlers Levin (113 pounds), Landon Gates (138), Austin Taylor (220) and Zachary Dawe (285) all pinned their opponents in their title matches, and Levin, Taylor and Dawe pinned all their opponents throughout the meet.

Levin wasn’t particularly pleased with how he wrestled prior to picking up the second-period pin, but the junior vowed to be more focused at state next week as he seeks his third individual state title.

“That was kind of a weak match for me. I didn’t really go out there that confident, but I’ll be ready for state,” he said.

Pleasant Grove’s other individual champs were Nelson Jones (106), Ben Anderson (120), Bailey Carlson (160) and Wind (170).

Jones and Anderson won their matches comfortably, while Carlson beat Herriman’s Kenner French in overtime and Wind narrowly beat Herriman’s Shane French, 9-7.

“French is a tough opponent, good defensively. I just wrestled smart and felt like I got them in the end,” said Wind, a defending state champ.

A pair of West High wrestlers denied Pleasant Grove a 10 for 10 sweep in the finals. Trailing Pleasant Grove’s Josh Anderson by two in the waning seconds of their 160-pound match, Zach Colangelo recorded a takedown with 0.6 seconds remaining to send the match into overtime, where he eventually prevailed.

Teammate Will Lang had a much easier time against Pleasant Grove’s Marcos Garcia, winning his 182-pound match 7-1.

The other four individual winners were Viewmont’s David Kim (126), Herriman’s Jaron Jensen (132), Jordan’s Tayler Johnson (145) and Bingham’s Nick Heninger (195).

Heninger beat defending state champ Clay Moss 1-0 in a tightly contested match to claim the top seed heading into state.

“Clay and I used to be wrestling partners back in little league. He’s definitely athletic. Our matches are always battling back and forth,” said Heninger, who added that he fully expects to wrestle his old little league wrestling buddy again at state.

Team scores

1. Pleasant Grove, 487; 2. Herriman, 319; 3. Jordan, 233.5; 4. Bingham, 233; 5. Viewmont, 202; 6. Weber, 185.5; 7. Copper Hills, 162; 8. Lone Peak, 113; 9. West, 112; 10. Riverton, 107.