High school wrestling: Pleasant Grove dynasty marches on with sixth straight 5A title
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
OREM — Ben Anderson needed only 54 seconds for his dream to become a reality on Thursday night.
The Pleasant Grove senior joined an elite group of four-time individual state champs when he pinned American Fork’s Porter Johnson in less than a minute during the finale of the 5A state wrestling tournament at UVU.
“It feels unbelievable. It’s everything I worked for, it’s everything I dreamed it would be. I worked so hard starting as a freshman. I had one goal, and that was to be a four-time state champion. And it feels amazing to go out and accomplish such a great goal,” said Anderson, a Duke University commit whose first title as a freshman came at 106 pounds.
And just like with Anderson’s previous three titles, he paired it with another Pleasant Grove team title. The extremely deep Vikings rolled to their sixth straight 5A state championship and finished with three individual champs and 12 state placers.
Pleasant Grove won comfortably with 258.5 points, followed by second-place Herriman with 156 points. American Fork (108), Layton (104) and Fremont (94.5) rounded out the 5A top five.
“It’s one thing to be a four-time state champion, but when you’re doing it with your team too it makes it all the better,” said Anderson.
Along with Anderson, there were several other multi-state champions crowned Thursday. Davis senior Wyatt Koelling capped his career with his third straight individual title by edging Herriman’s Shane French 4-3 in the 195-pound final.
“I wanted a little bit more of an exciting match, (it was) a little bit low scoring. I feel like I did everything I needed to. I took lots of shots. I was on offense the whole time, did everything I could,” said Koelling, who will wrestle collegiately at Missouri. “I won, didn’t exactly win how I wanted to, but still a three-time state champ, pretty happy about that.”
Three other seniors finished as two-time champs, American Fork’s Cameron Hunsaker (132), Herriman’s Jaron Jensen (145) and Pleasant Grove’s Koy Wilkinson (170). Jensen finishes the season with a 47-2 record.
Riverton’s Simeon Page denied Herriman’s Wade French an opportunity to join the two-time club by winning in overtime.
One of the more exciting finishes of the night was at 120 pounds between Bingham’s Coby Vandertoolen and Layton’s Tanner Benedict — both runners-up last year.
Benedict seemed to be in good shape leading 8-2 late in the second period, but in a flash everything changed.
“I knew I was down more than a takedown. I had to get a five-point move so I just got an escape and worked for a throw,” said Vandertoolen.
Vandertoolen flipped Benedict on his back with about a dozen seconds left in the second period, but it wasn’t until a split second before the end of the period that the ref slapped the mat for the pin and the individual title.
“Happy it went my way this time,” said Vandertoolen.
Hunter’s Antonio Ruiz had a dramatic finish to his 126-pound win over Brighton’s Brayden Stevens. After holding on for the 7-6 victory, he had to be carried off the mat by his coach with a sprained ankle.
Roy's Connor Kirkland finished the season with a perfect 37-0 record by winning the state title at 182 pounds.
Other champions were Fremont’s Tayton Bennett (106), Layton’s Terrell Barraclough (113), Viewmont’s Ryan Winger (138), Bingham’s Cole Moody (160) and Pleasant Grove’s Walker Wolfgramm (285).
Moody edged Viewmont's Curtis Smith in overtime, 3-1, to finish the season with a 42-2 record.
1. Pleasant Grove, 258.5; 2. Herriman, 156; 3. American Fork, 108; 4. Layton, 104; 5. Fremont, 94.5; 6. Davis, 90; 7. Viewmont, 85.5; 8. Riverton, 81.
106 — Championship: Tayton Bennett, Fremont def. Dalton Stutzman, Layton, 7-4; 3. Cole Zorn, Pleasant Grove; 4. Karloz Moran, Weber; 5. Kagan Oliver, Westlake; 6. Colby Bowden, Fremont.
113 — Championship: Terrell Barraclough, Layton def. Kegan Leatherow, Fremont, 10-2; 3. Colten Eden, Syracuse; 4. Jordan Marshall, Copper Hills; 5. Izaya Valdez, Westlake; 6. Easton Halliday, Herriman.
120 — Championship: Coby Vandertoolen, Bingham def. Tanner Benedict, Layton, 8-6; 3. Derek Fisher, Pleasant Grove; 4. Tanner Lofthouse, Mountain Crest; 5. Elijah Mckay, Davis; 6. Dylan Chavez, Herriman.
126 — Championship: Antonio Ruiz, Hunter def. Brayden Stevens, Brighton, 7-6; 3. Karther Knight, Mountain Crest; 4. Matthew Zorn, Pleasant Grove; 5. Ryan Hansen, Sky View; 6. Mason Palmer, Fremont.
132 — Championship: Cameron Hunsaker, American Fork def. Logan Jensen, Herriman, 4-1; 3. Joey Revelli, Copper Hills; 4. Jaden Mayers, Mountain Crest; 5. Shion Abe, Viewmont; Blake Barela, Fremont.
138 — Championship: Ryan Winger, Viewmont def. Nelson Jones, Pleasant Grove, 6-3; 3. Dylan Gregerson, Riverton; 4. Baylor Green, Davis; 5. Taylor Durfee, American Fork; 6. Cole Clark, Herriman.
145 — Championship: Jaron Jensen, Herriman def. Alex Young, Pleasant Grove, 15-5; 3. Daxton Arnold, Clearfield; 4. Shadrach Preece, American Fork; 5. Myles Young, Fremont; 6. Billy Ludlow, Riverton.
152 — Championship: Benjamin Anderson, Pleasant Grove def. Porter Johnson, American Fork, fall 0:54; 3. Ahmad McDaniel, Northridge; 4. Dallin Corrington, Lehi; 5. Davis Reynaud, Brighton; 6. Lance Shunn, Westlake.
160 — Championship: Cole Moody, Bingham def. Curtis Smith, Viewmont, 3-1 (OT); 3. Austin Clem, Layton; 4. Josh Whitehead, Pleasant Grove; 5. Tyson Treasure, Weber; 6. Michael McCann, Westlake.
170 — Championship: Koy Wilkinson, Pleasant Grove def. Ben Bolingbroke, Clearfield, 14-6; 3. Jordan Taylor, Westlake; 4. James Porritt, Layton; 5. Jayden Burton; 6. Iszach Deweese, Riverton.
182 — Championship: Connor Kirkland, Roy def. Garrett Hoyt, Weber, 7-2; 3. Maika Tauteoli, Pleasant Grove; 4. Jacob Rhoton, American Fork; 5. Tavas Neuwirth, Pleasant Grove; 6. Bryan Gomez, Hunter.
195 — Championship: Wyatt Koelling, Davis def. Shane French, Herriman, 4-3; 3. Malachi Gonzalez, Riverton; 4. Taylor Allen, Northridge; 5. Hunter Larsen, Weber; 6. Weston Anderton, Lehi.
220 — Championship: Simeon Page, Riverton def. Wade French, Herriman, 6-4 (OT); 3. Brandon Closson, Pleasant Grove; 4. Connor Taylor, Davis; 5. Joel Bolduc, Syracuse; 6. Jorden Nielsen, Viewmont.
285 — Championship: Walker Wolfgramm, Pleasant Grove def. Stone Sagala, Herriman, 0:45; 3. Heneli Avendano, Jordan; 4. Zach Moore, Lone Peak; 5. Bryan Sakurada, Roy; 6. Camden Hess, Davis.
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org