WEST VALLEY CITY — As Monticello’s Brandon Musselman approached the mat, he knew just how tight the 1A title race was and he knew exactly what he needed to do to stretch his team's lead.
Mussleman jumped out of the gates with intensity and determination, defeating Bryce Valley’s Adam Platt to claim the individual state title in the 138-pound division while also helping the Buckaroos extend their lead over four-time defending state champion Altamont.
“I think (my match) really motivated us. This is the year that everyone wants it and it’s the best chance we have. It’s really pushing everyone,” Mussleman said. “It just proves how hard we work. All of these tough tournaments we go to are finally paying off. I mean, he’s (Platt) a great wrestler. He’s really good at staying off his back and he came to wrestle.”
Altamont was chipping away at Monticello’s lead all afternoon, but with the way the Buckaroos performed in their championship matches, they calmly secured the 1A state title Saturday night with a 205-180.5 win over the Longhorns at the Maverik Center.
In one of the most interesting matches of the state tournament, Monticello’s Hunter Bowring found himself in an early 4-2 deficit, but he dug deep and came out on top of Piute’s Austin Trapp to claim the 126-pound individual title.
“I think mostly, it just shows that I refuse to lose. He came out ready to go, and I did what I could to come back and win,” Bowring said. “He’s (Trapp) a really tough kid. I was impressed. He came out ready to go on fire, and it took me a little while to get going. But it just shows that we have bonded together and that we want it. It’s been a long time since we have won it, and we really want it.”
Prior to this weekend, the Altamont Longhorns had completely dominated Class 1A. With the win, Monticello officially put an end to the Longhorns’ four-year streak atop the 1A class and has made a name for itself.
“I am really proud of them because they have really pulled together the last few weeks,” Monticello coach Kent Adair said. “They really wanted this and they worked hard for it and got it, so I’m really proud of ‘em.”
Altamont’s Michael Rylee Foy went head-to-head and knocked off Monticello’s Eric Anderson in the 170-pound division to help the Longhorns stay within striking distance, but the Buckaroos’ four individual champions and five other top-three finishers were too much for the four-time defending champs.
Monticello’s Austin Wilcox (182) continued his dominance in 1A in his last year of high school wrestling, as he captured his third individual title to help power the Buckaroos to the state title.
“It’s about stinkin’ time. We’ve been second to them the last two years and both of them have been really close. This year we really had people step up,” added Adair. “I hate to single anybody out on this team, because they all did great. We had some kids that obviously stepped up higher than kids who we expected to win, but everybody had to do their job.”
1A wrestling championships
At the Maverik Center
1A state championship team results: 1. Monticello, 205.0; 2. Altamont, 180.5; 3. Wayne, 123.5; 4. Duchesne, 117.0; 5. Rich, 93.0; 6. Piute, 89.0; 7. Panguitch, 80.0; 8. Bryce Valley, 54.0; 9. Milford, 49.0; 10. Telos Academy, 22.0; 10. White Horse, 22.0; 12. Escalante, 13.0; 13. Diamond Ranch, 8.0; 14. Monument Valley, 7.0
1A individual state championship results
106 — Championship: David VanTassell, Duchesne def. Jade Holm, Milford (Dec. 6-2). Third place: Kehl Bradbury, Wayne def. Wesley Kota Powell, Duchesne (Dec. 5-2).
113 — Championship: Tanner Jeffery, Wayne def. Kellen Mooney, Panguitch (Dec. 2-1). Third place: Matthew Taylor, Duchesne def. Quade Fautin, Piute (Fall 2:29).
120 — Championship: Brady Farnsworth, Altamont def. Chance Weahkee, Monticello (Dec. 10-5). Third place: Shandon Bradford, Monticello def. Hayden Ivie, Duchesne (Fall 4:06).
126 — Championship: Hunter Bowring, Monticello def. Austin Trapp, Piute (Fall 5:04). Third place: Austin Atwood, Altamont def. Braiden Clayburn, Duchesne (Fall 0:00).
132 — Championship: Peter Cucinotti, Telos Academy def. Zack Allen, Piute (Dec. 16-14). Third place: Dailyn Warren, Monticello def. Cache Kielbasa, Duchesne (Fall 4:21).
138 — Championship: Brandon Mussleman, Monticello def. Adam Platt, Bryce Valley (Fall 2:46). Third place: Drake Knight, Altamont def. McClane Summarell, Duchesne (Dec. 11-7).
145 — Championship: Preston Stephenson, Wayne def. Benton Erickson, Piute (MD-8-0). Third place: Domanik Stansfield, Altamont def. Trace Torgerson, Escalante (Fall 3:51).
152 — Championship: Cole Eldredge, Monticello def. Jayden Coburn, Piute (Fall 1:01). Third place: Max Smith, Panguitch def. Justin Hunt, Wayne (Fall 1:17).
160 — Championship: Derrik Thompson, Altamont def. Dakota Clark, Rich (Dec. 7-2). Third place: Ryan Lee, Wayne def. Trenton Pearson, Milford (SV-1 6-4).
170 — Championship: Michael Rylee Foy, Altamont def. Eric Anderson, Monticello (Fall 1:07). Third place: Kelton Cropper, Wayne def. Colter Wright, Milford (MD 12-3).
182 — Championship: Austin Wilcox, Monticello def. Shaydon Summarell, Duchesne (Fall 0:52). Third place: Josh Rose, Bryce Valley def. Ryley Smith, Rich (Fall 1:39).
195 — Championship: Jake Giles, Monticello def. Jacob Terry, Rich (Fall 1:44). Third place: Brandon Lansing, White Horse def. Tony Brown, Altamont (Fall 1:46).
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220 — Championship: Rowdy Josie, Panguitch def. Mason Huffaker, Rich (Dec. 5-0). Third place: Cody Mitchell, Altamont def. Isak Pei, Wayne (Fall 2:42).
285 — Championship: Hawkan Cornia, Rich def. Talon Gines, Altamont (Fall 3:50). Third place: Parker Knudsen, Monticello def. Jayden Thompson, Duchesne (Fall 2:34).
Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications, and has been a part-time sports reporter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724