Six Utah Valley University grapplers placed at the seventh annual UVU Open on Saturday in the PE Building. Freshman Jed Mellen, who competed unattached, led the way by winning the 133-pound weight class.
Behind Mellen's title at 133 pounds, fellow freshman Dalton Brady (141 pounds) - who also competed unattached at the Open - and sophomore Logan Addis (157), each took second in their respective weight classes. Fellow unattached Wolverines in junior Ross Taylor (165) and freshmen Aryton Almberg (197) and Jordan Karst (285) also placed, as Taylor and Karst both took third, while Almberg finished placing fourth.
"It was a good tournament for us today," UVU head coach Greg Williams said. "It's a great opportunity for our younger guys to get out and take on a good mix of competition. I felt like our guys wrestled well and that they had the opportunity to get better in certain situations.
"I was pleased that we had three guys wrestle in the finals. Logan had a solid tournament and Dalton will learn a lot from his match against Zehner today (a former NCAA qualifier) and continue to get stronger. Jed had a really tough first match but pretty dominated from there. All of these guys are open to learning and I know that they'll all be back at work on Monday in the room."
Mellen went a perfect 4-0 en route to his championship with wins over Boise State's Josh Newburg (5-2), Western Wyoming's Brenn Schiess (10-7), Grand Canyon's Austin Uecker (by fall, 2:36) and GCU's Lino Estrada (9-3) in the finals. For Mellen's solid tournament run, he was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the Open.
Brady finished with a 3-1 clip at the Open with three bonus-point victories. The unattached freshman breezed through his first three bouts to reach the finals with two major decisions and a fall. One of those majors was a 14-5 victory over Wyoming's Cole Ford in the semis. Zach Zehner now of Grand Canyon, who wrestled for Wyoming at the NCAA Championships two years ago, then handed Brady his lone loss of the tournament in the championship bout as Zehner won by a score of 5-2.
Addis went 2-1 on the way to his second-place showing with wins over GCU's Bryant Wood (5-2) and Wyoming's Archie Colgan (4-2) before falling to Arizona State's Seth Monty in the title bout in overtime (4-2). Karst, Taylor and Almberg also put up solid tournament runs en route to their placements as they finished with respective records of 5-1, 4-1 and 2-2.
In all, 10 grapplers - seven of which competed unattached on the day - wrestled for the Wolverines at the Open.
Also in action on Saturday for UVU were freshmen Maxwell Sultan (unattached at 141), Koleton Hardy (unattached at 157) Abel Gomez (174) and Richard Larsen (285). Both Hardy and Gomez finished with 2-2 records, while Sultan and Larsen went 1-2.
Utah Valley will head back out on the road next weekend to take on Arizona State in Tempe next Saturday. The Wolverines topped the Sun Devils in Orem last season by a score of 26-15. Following the ASU dual, UVU will return home to take on its second consecutive Pac-12 foe, as Boise State will come to town on Feb. 1.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.
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