High school wrestling: Mountain Crest rises to the top of 4A wrestling

By Bruce Smith

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 15 2014 10:35 p.m. MST

Payton Mair of Wasatch falls backward as Kimball Bastian of Maple Mountain goes in for a two-point takedown in their 170-pound 4A match during the state wrestling tournament at the Maverik Center in West Valley on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014.

Matt Gade, Deseret News

WEST VALLEY CITY — The celebration started early for Mountain Crest's wrestling team Saturday.

An almost sleepless night led to a very successful morning, and the Mustangs pulled ahead of two-time defending champion Maple Mountain and went on to win the 4A state wrestling tournament.

By the start of the finals, Mountain Crest had turned a five-point deficit into a 30-point lead. The Mustangs tried to keep the team festivities confined to the Maverik Center's south concourse, but after Jordan Wengreen took the gold medal at 152 pounds, the smiles were abundant and the season-long diets over.

The only thing missing was the Gatorade shower.

“That was something else, wasn’t it?” said Mountain Crest coach Guy Burdett. “We didn’t have a lot of superstars, but we got a lot of second, third and fourth places. For us, it was truly a team effort.”

If the team had a star, though, it was Wengreen. He led Matt Williams of Box Elder most of the way, but a penalty in the final minute tied the score. Finally, with just 13 seconds left, he recorded a two-point takedown.

The win sent Mountain Crest fans into a frenzy, but it was nothing compared to Wengreen’s response. He hugged everyone he could immediately following the win and the crowd watching couldn’t help but appreciate his ecstasy.

“I was really excited,” said Wengreen, who has been accepted by the Air Force Academy. “Before the match, when I realized we had won, I started crying. But then the coaches told me I had to ‘face up.’ I didn’t want it to go to overtime. I wanted to get it done right there.”

The team win gave Mountain Crest its fifth wrestling state title in the school’s 30-year history and the first since 2008. The Mustangs finished with 226 points, followed by Maple Mountain (217), Wasatch (163), Box Elder (142) and Salem Hills (110.5). When the finals started, it was apparent that the only way Maple Mountain could retain its title was if its six athletes still remaining pinned their opponents and Mountain Crest’s two entrants were defeated.

Maple Mountain did its part. All of the Golden Eagles’ entrants — Tanner Cox, Ryan Hansen, Trent Kelly, Taylor LaMont, Johnny O’Hearon and Kimball Bastian — won gold medals. Most won in impressive fashion. LaMont, in fact, picked up extra points for his pin. Bastian didn’t get a pin, but put the finishing touch on a 59-0 season with a 9-0 victory at 170 pounds.

“They were really the team with the stars,” said Burdett. “You can’t compete against that. You just have to do what you do best.”

For Mountain Crest, it was its depth. Besides Wengreen’s win, the Mustangs got a second-place finish from Riley Labrum. Three others earned third-place honors. They also had four athletes finish in fourth place, two more in fifth and one in sixth.

All together, that added up to just enough points.

Other highlights Saturday included Breckin Gunter of Box Elder, who won his second state championship with a convincing win at 195 pounds. Brandon Ashworth of Spanish Fork finished a great year with a commanding win at 145 pounds. And Micah Ngatuvai ended his season with another pin. In fact, all of Ngatuvai’s wins at the state meet finished that way.

Class 4A wrestling championships


At the Maverik Center