Honestly every Pleasant Grove kid here is in better shape than anyone down there. I know that if it goes in the third period I will win, so does every other Pleasant Grove kid. —Pleasant Grove wrestler Kyson Levin
WEST VALLEY CITY — Not long after winning his third straight 5A individual state title, Pleasant Grove wrestler Kyson Levin could be seen walking the concourse of the Maverik Center clutching a big ice cream waffle cone and a soda.
The junior said it was his first ice cream cone since wrestling started, and he can’t wait for many more, saying with a big smile, “It’s unhealthy things for the next while.”
Levin certainly earned the junk food reward as he gutted out an 11-9 victory over Syracuse’s Brock George for the 113-pound title, one of five individual victories for the Vikings, who easily captured their fourth-straight 5A team championship.
Levin was one of three Pleasant Grove lower-weights wrestlers to hold off an opponent late in the match, and he said it’s no coincidence.
“Honestly every Pleasant Grove kid here is in better shape than anyone down there. I know that if it goes in the third period I will win, so does every other Pleasant Grove kid,” said Levin.
Teammate Nelson Jones opened the meet by holding off American Fork’s Cameron Hunsaker 4-2 for the 106-pound title. After Levin did the same to George — who was attended to four times for blood time — Ben Anderson followed by winning his second straight title by pulling away from Fremont’s Dallin Dalton late for the 8-4 win at 120 pounds.
“It all goes back to coaching. We don’t really condition. We do a certain kind of conditioning that most coaches probably don’t do, and that’s what gets us on top,” said Levin.
After Brock Moore led Pleasant Grove to a fourth straight title Saturday, it’s tough to argue with the results.
Pleasant Grove won the 5A title with a commanding 269.5 points, with Layton finishing second with 163.5 and Syracuse in third with 141.
Along with Jones, Levin and Anderson, Pleasant Grove’s other individual champs were TJ Wind (170) and Zach Dawe (285), who both ended their careers as two-time champs.
Repeat champions was the theme of Saturday’s 5A state tournament, with 7 of 8 defending champs prevailing.
Highlighting the repeat winners was Alta’s Matt Findlay, who beat Layton’s Oscar Rodriguez 22-7 to win the 138-pound title, his fourth individual championship.
“It’s just unreal. It’s something I’ve dreamed about for so long, worked for so long,” said Findlay. “To be healthy for four years and ready to go, every year has been a challenge, every year somebody has pushed me.”
After winning his fourth title, Findlay couldn’t help but reflect on his unlikely freshman year. He was an underdog in the semifinals to West Jordan’s Kyler Machan at 103 pounds, but he rallied to win 9-8 despite trailing the entire match.
“I can remember being so ecstatic,” said Findlay, who became the 28th wrestler in state history to win four individual titles.
Other repeat champs on Saturday were Layton’s Andrew Astle (120), Syracuse’s Teague Vigil (145) and Taylorsville’s Roy Nash (220) — who wrapped up his second undefeated season with a 37-0 record.
The only defending champ who didn’t win was Jordan’s Clay Moss at 195 pounds. He led Bingham’s Nick Heninger 3-2 with just seconds remaining, but Heninger recorded a takedown with two seconds remaining, which the refs ultimately determined was a legal takedown, for the 4-3 win.
“The past couple tournaments, and especially this one and this match, every time we’d start wrestling and go back to the middle, I’d just think, ‘I’ve got this. I want this more than that guy does right there,’” said Heninger. “I’m just very blessed.”
Other individual champs were Layton’s Colton Marshall (152), Herriman’s Kenner French (160) and Davis’ Wyatt Koelling (182).
At Maverik Center
Final team scores
1. Pleasant Grove, 269.5; 2. Layton, 163.5; 3. Syracuse, 141; 4. Jordan, 118.5; 5. Herriman, 108.5; 6. Bingham, 100; 7. Davis, 82; 8. American Fork, 68; 9. Fremont, 57; 10. Viewmont, 56.5.
106 — Championship — Nelson Jones, Pleasant Grove def. Cameron Hunsaker, American Fork, 4-2; 3. Kade Evans, Davis; 4. Bryce Brimhall, Syracuse; 5. Tanner Benedict, Layton; 6. Taylor Porath, Viewmont.
113 — Championship — Kyson Levin, Pleasant Grove def. Brock George, Syracuse, 11-9; 3. Braxton Ocana, Layton; 4. Heston Woolsey, Weber; 5. Keagan Sanchez, Jordan; 6. Isaiah Mejia, Westlake.
120 — Championship — Ben Anderson, Pleasant Grove def. Dallin Denton, Fremont, 8-4.; 3. Colton Berger, Syracuse; 4. Ryan Winger, Viewmont; 5. Jacob Knapp, Cottonwood; 8. Cole Kendall, Weber.
126 — Championship — Andrew Astle, Layton def. Jackson Wilson, American Fork, 8-4; 3. Jake Barton, Bingham; 4. Morgan Turner, Copper Hills; 5. Stanton Wiser, Weber; 6. David Kim, Viewmont.
132 — Championship — Jaydon Rogers, Fremont def. Andrew Bartholomew, American Fork, 5-3; 3. Jaron Jensen, Herriman; 4. Joey Day, Jordan; 5. Jordan McRae, Bingham; 6. Zane Peterson, Fremont.
138 — Championship — Matt Findlay, Alta def. Oscar Rodriguez, Layton, 22-7; 3. Tony Trujillo, Herriman; 4. Andy Larsen, Lone Peak; 5. Landon Gates, Pleasant Grove; 6. Dalton Rice, Lehi.
145 — Championship — Teague Vigil, Syracuse def. Jacob Naylor, Davis, 3-2; 3. Jed Diederich, Cottonwood; 4. Tayler Johnson, Jordan; 5. Kaden Sperry, Pleasant Grove; 6. Jordan Jaramillo, Layton.
152 — Championship — Colton Marshall, Layton def. Zach Colangelo, West, 4-3; 3. Josh Anderson, Pleasant Grove; 4. Garrett Hoyt, Weber; 5. Luke Davis, Brighton; 6. Tyler Krepps, Syracuse.
160 — Championship — Kenner French, Herriman def. Bailey Carlson, Pleasant Grove, 7-3; 3. Trevor Lampe, Jordan; 4. Spencer Hansen, Westlake; 5. Cole Johnson, Lone Peak; 6. Koy Wilkinson, Pleasant Grove.
170 — Championship — TJ Wind, Pleasant Grove def. Sean Marchant, Syracuse, 9-5; 3. Raul Cervantes, Jordan; 4. Shane French, Herriman; 5. Ryan Hoyne, Jordan; 6. Jed Murri, Westlake.Comment on this story
182 — Championship — Wyatt Koelling, Davis def. Will Lang, West, 8-5; 3. Marcos Garcia, Pleasant Grove; 4. Nate Naylor, Bingham; 5. Jordan Bagwell, Viewmont; 6. Rhett Speth, Jordan.
195 — Championship — Nick Heninger, Bingham def. Clay Moss, Jordan, 4-3; 3. Landon Brown, Layton; 4. Simeon Page, Riverton; 5. Brayden Nuffer, Taylorsville; 6. Connor Taylor, Davis.
220 — Championship — Roy Nash, Taylorsville def. Aspen Naylor, Syracuse, 21-6; 3. Trevor Pappas, Layton; 4. Austin Taylor, Pleasant Grove; 5. Deryke Terrell, Lehi; Chaz Gray, Northridge.
285 — Championship — Zach Dawe, Pleasant Grove def. Brackin Stringham, Lehi, 5-1; 3. Dalton Mortensen, Granger; 4. Austin Bunkall, Bingham; 5. Nick Giles, Brighton; 6. Jesus Avina, Layton.