ROY — There was a Mustang stampede in the Region 5 wrestling tournament Thursday night, and these thoroughbreds of the mats galloped all the way to the league championship.
Mountain Crest High wrestlers claimed three individual crowns and took second place in eight other weight divisions to capture the region title at Roy High.
The Mustangs, who qualified 19 wrestlers in all for next week's 4A state championship meet, piled up 408.5 points to power their way past perennial league champion Box Elder, which wound up second with 344.5.
Logan was third with 198 points; Roy finished fourth with 155.5; and Sky View was fifth with 121.5, followed by Ogden (32) and Bonneville (4).
Mountain Crest got individual titles from Karther Knight at 113 pounds, Trevor Lowe at 120 and Mason Kendrick at 145, while the Mustangs' second-place finishers included Riley "Bo" Labrum (106 pounds), Jaden Mayers (126), Mitchell Egbert (138), Jordan Wengreen (152), TyRell Fredrickson (160), Tyrone Grantham (182), Andrew Anderson (220) and Jacob Fiefia (285).
With eight other wrestlers taking third place in their respective weight classes, Mountain Crest managed to hold off a strong challenge by Box Elder, which claimed five individual crowns, and Logan, which won four titles of its own.
"It's great," Mountain Crest coach Guy Burdett said of his team's region title. "We want to get ready for state next week; I mean, that's what really matters.
"All year we've won as a team. ... It's evident; we bring 28 kids here, and 26 kids place in the top six, and that's a pretty amazing statistic. And the 19 that are gonna go to state all placed in the top three, so that one round we won every match.
"It was a little discouraging in the finals, because we had 11 in the finals and only three champions," he said."But we only were favored to win in five of those and we had one injury out of that group."
Kendrick, the 145-pound champion, survived a tough 3-1 battle with Roy's Tyson Stander to capture his third region title in four years. Kendrick, a senior who improved his season record to 41-6, also won league titles as a freshman and sophomore before losing in the Region 5 finals last year as a junior.
His first-period takedown proved to be the difference in Thursday's title match.
"I took (Stander) down early in the match and I rode him out," Kendrick said. "I was trying to work for that tilt, but he was staying strong but I rode him out and he finally escaped. And then we just battled it out on our feet. It was tough.
"He's a good kid; there's no doubt about it. Just to win that match just makes me really happy, especially to beat one of those kinds of kids, because he's a good kid."
Lowe, the league's 120-pound champion, is Kendrick's cousin — "It's always nice having two family members win," Kendrick said — and taking home the league's team title was a nice accomplishment after the Mustangs finished second last year.
"That makes me feel good," Kendrick said. "It shows that we came here to wrestle; I mean, we took care of business, and now we have to work hard for one more week and then hopefully win the state tournament. That's what we're shooting for. I think it's gonna be close and could go either way."
Lowe, a junior, took his title in dominant fashion, winning by technical fall over Box Elder's Dylan Thompson, 17-2, to run his season record to 39-7. Knight, a sophomore, notched a first-period pin over Box Elder's Chance Hardy, winning in 1:40 to improve his own season mark to 35-9.
Logan freshman Raynger Keckler took the 106-pound title, scoring a takedown in each period on his way to a 6-0 victory over the Mustangs' Labrum in the finals. Keckler, now 35-2 on the season, was named the outstanding wrestler in the lower weight divisions.
The outstanding wrestler award in the upper weight classes went to Box Elder's Matt Williams, who outlasted the Mustangs' Wengreen in an overtime thriller that wasn't decided until Williams scored a sudden victory, 4-3, with an escape in the third extra period.
"It was pretty intense, pretty exciting," Williams said of the best match of the night. "It's a battle every time we face each other. We went triple-overtime earlier this year and I won that one 3-2. He's a great wrestler; he's got a lot of talent.
"I condition real hard, and that's what it's for is those kind of matches. I wasn't feeling too bad; I had a little bit left in the tank."
For Williams, now 42-1 in what has been a near-perfect senior season for him, it was his first region championship after falling in the finals in each of the previous two years.
"This is the first one I've won, and there's nothing better," he said. "It feels great."
Looking ahead to next week's state tournament, Williams feels like he and the Bees have a shot at making some noise.
"I feel good about my chances, but there's a lot of tough kids there so we'll have to go down there and we'll have to wrestle smart and wrestle hard, and we'll see what happens down there," he said.
"As far as our team goes, Mountain Crest and Maple Mountain both have got a lot of good wrestlers. But we feel good about the group we've got and we'll go down there and give 'em all we've got."
The Bees' other first-place finishers were junior Kyle Smith, who took the 126-pound title with a 10-4 victory over Mountain Crest's Jaden Mayers; senior Teagan Hubbard, who ran his season record to 37-7 with a tight 4-3 decision over Mountain Crest's Mitchell Egbert; senior Breckin Gunter, who raised his own impressive record to 41-1 this season by pinning Logan's Andy Thompson at 3:09 of the second period; and senior Schafer Lange (34-9), who claimed the 220-pound crown by rallying from a 2-1 deficit entering the third period for a 6-2 decision over Mountain Crest's Andrew Anderson.
After Keckler, Logan's other three league champions all came in the higher weights, where senior Kyle Weekes (35-6) took the 160-pound title over Mountain Crest's TyRell Fredrickson, 4-2, with a takedown in overtime; junior Jake Neick (24-8), who scored a late takedown of his own against Box Elder's Peter Gerlach to claim the 170-pound crown with a 4-2 decision; and senior Jake Wylie (32-8), who took the 182-pound title back to Cache Valley when Mountain Crest's Tyrone Grantham was forced to withdraw in the first period after suffering a dislocated shoulder.
Roy High had a pair of region champions, as sophomore Connor Kirkland (32-9) captured the 132-pound crown thanks to a last-second escape that gave him a dramatic 3-2 victory over Sky View's Eric Hansen, whose coaches disputed the decision; and junior Damian Trujillo (23-10), who used a couple of escapes to edge Mountain Crest's Jacob Fiefia, 2-0, in the 285-pound finale.
While Mountain Crest won't be favored to win the state championship, Coach Burdett is hoping his kids can continue to do great things next week.
"It's gonna be the classic battle of team against stars," he said. "Maple Mountain is bringing 13 wrestlers, but they could have seven kids in the finals. And we're not favored to be in the finals, maybe in only one or two. Yet we have great depth, so we may end up with 10 thirds.
"We have got to keep winning matches that we're not supposed to win. We've been doing that all year, and we need to do it next week. If we can do that, we'll be in the mix."
REGION 5 WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Thursday at Roy High School
1. Mountain Crest, 408.5; 2. Box Elder, 344.5; 3. Logan, 198; 4. Roy, 155.5; 5. Sky View, 121.5; 6. Ogden, 32; 7. Bonneville, 4.
Outstanding wrestler, lower weights — Raynger Keckler (L), 106 pounds; upper weights — Matt Williams (B.E.), 152 pounds.
(Top four finishers in each weight division advance to 4A state championships)
106 pounds — Raynger Keckler (L) dec. Riley Labrum (M.C.), 6-0 (1st and 2nd place); Jace Tilley (B.E.) won by fall over Jacob Holbrook (B.E.), 1:51 (3rd and 4th place).
113 — Karther Knight (M.C.) won by fall over Chance Hardy (B.E.), 1:40 (1st and 2nd place); Bryson Balls (M.C.) dec. Trenton Archuleta (L), 4-3 (3rd and 4th place).
120 — Trevor Lowe (M.C.) won by technical fall over Dylan Thompson (B.E.), 17-2 (1st and 2nd place); Coleman Thacker (S.V.) dec. Rylee Green (B.E.), 4-3 (3rd and 4th place).
126 — Kyle Smith (B.E.) dec. Jaden Mayers (M.C.), 10-4 (1st and 2nd place); Conner Wengreen (M.C.) dec. Andrew Donaldson (B.E.), 7-1 (3rd and 4th place).
132 — Connor Kirkland (R) dec. Eric Hansen (S.V.), 3-2 (1st and 2nd place); Jake Hopkins (M.C.) dec. Jaden Jensen (B.E.), 7-1 (3rd and 4th place).
138 — Teagan Hubbard (B.E.) dec. Mitchell Egbert (B.E.), 4-3 (1st and 2nd place); Caden Kirkland (R) won by major decision over Landon Misustin (L), 10-1 (3rd and 4th place).
145 — Mason Kendrick (M.C.) dec. Tyson Stander (R), 3-1 (1st and 2nd place); Denton Grange (M.C.) dec. Thomas Thacker (S.V.), 5-2 (3rd and 4th place).
152 — Matt Williams (B.E.) dec. Jordan Wengreen (M.C.), 4-3 (OT), (1st and 2nd place); Matt Mott (L) dec. Zach Sakurada (R), 6-3 (3rd and 4th place).
160 — Kyle Weekes (L) dec. TyRell Fredrickson (M.C.), 4-2 (OT), (1st and 2nd place); Collin White (M.C.) dec. Matt McKinnson (B.E.), 5-4 (3rd and 4th place).
170 — Jake Neick (L) dec. Peter Gerlach (B.E.), 4-2 (1st and 2nd place); Sirrell Hall (M.C.) won by fall over Kamron Stocking (R), 1:57 (3rd and 4th place).
182 — Jake Wylie (L) won by injury forfeit over Tyrone Grantham (M.C.), 1st period (1st and 2nd place); Ross McMullin (S.V.) won by fall over Robert Nunes (R), 4:18 (3rd and 4th place).Comment on this story
195 — Breckin Gunter (B.E.) won by fall over Andy Thompson (L), 3:09 (1st and 2nd place); Tim Syndergaard (M.C.) won by fall over Nate Fisher (B.E.), 3:31 (3rd and 4th place).
220 — Schafer Lange (B.E.) dec. Andrew Anderson (M.C.), 6-2 (1st and 2nd place); Bryan Sakurada (R) dec. Casey Coe (L), 3-1 (3rd and 4th place).
285 — Damian Trujillo (R) dec. Jacob Fiefia (M.C.), 2-0 (1st and 2nd place); Breckin Wright (M.C.) dec. Riley Taylor (B.E.), 6-4 (3rd and 4th place).