Prep wrestling: UHSAA Super State brings epic matchups and matches
DRAPER — There was no doubt that Box Elder's Brock Hardy would have been the prohibitive favorite to win the 145-pound class at the UHSAA Super State tournament held at Corner Canyon High School Saturday.
Hardy is just a sophomore but already a two-time 4A champion. But instead of staying at 145 pounds, he went down a weight class to challenge Maple Mountain four-time state champion Taylor LaMont.
LaMont carried in a perfect 65-0 record and in an epic match he defeated Hardy 2-1 in a tiebreaker. Six hard-fought minutes in regulation could not decide the match, and neither could the first overtime session where both wrestlers started on their feet. When the two grapplers went to the mat in the tiebreaker, LaMont managed to escape while Hardy did not.
There were other great matches and even some upsets.
Layton's Tanner Bennedict beat North Summit's Jaxon Cole 2-1 to win the 120-pound title. Cole, a junior, had just won his third 2A state title and came into this bout with an impressive 57-1 record. Bennedict was a silver medalist at the 5A state tournament, losing a heartbreaker when he was thrown to his back in the final seconds of the match by Bingham's Coby Vangertoolen. But at Super State, Bennedict climbed to the top of the podium.
Juab's Ashton Seely (182 pounds) came into Super State with three 3A titles but some unfinished business. One of his three losses on the season came at the hands of Roy's Conner Kirkland, who won the 5A state title. Kirkland was undefeated on the season and beat Seely at the all-star dual.
But this time around, the Wasp wrestler turned the tables and soundly defeated the Royal grappler, 11-4.
Perhaps the 132-pound weight class was the deepest at the Super State tournament where three state champions took to the mats.
Kyle Evans of Beaver, a three-time 2A state champion, won the weight class by defeating Monticello's Zac Musselman, 4-0.
Musselman defeated Logan's Raynger Keckler, the 3A state champ, 2-0 in the semi-finals.
But this weight class also featured Olympus freshman sensation Isaac Wilcox, who placed third at the 4A tournament at 138-pounds. He actually wrestled Evans the closest, losing to the Beaver grappler 6-4 in the semifinals, and he beat Keckler by a 6-4 count to win third place.
In another clash of state champions, Davis' Wyatt Koelling (195) defeated Morgan's Chase Trussell by technical fall, 16-0.
Other individual champions included Layton's Dalton Stutzman (106), Fremont's Keagan Leatherrow (113), Maple Mountain's Tanner Cox (126), Davis' Baylor Green (145), Maple Mountain's Brandyn VanTassell (152), Salem Hills' Kyle Larsen (160), Morgan's Owen Pentz (170), Weber's Brady Briskey (220) and Box Elder's Riley Taylor (285).
There was also an all-girls competition and four weight classes. The winners were Layton's Angel Ogden (118), Provo's Madie Villeda (126), Hurricane's Kayla Ramirez (145) and Rebecca Hamilton (180) of Bluffdale.
For the third straight year, Maple Mountain (134.5) won the team competition with Box Elder (61) in second and Layton (54) in third. All 44 high schools entered wrestlers in this year's UHSAA Super State competition.
For complete individual and team results, visit www.trackwrestling.com.
Brian Preece is a freelance prep sports writer.