OREM, Utah — Utah is center stage for youth wrestling.

Today the UCCU Event Center at Utah Valley Unviersity is hosting the second day of the two-day USA Wrestling ASICS Kids Freestyle/Greco-Roman Nationals competitions.

The tournament, which started June 26, is expected to have more 700 wrestlers from more than 40 different states. It features the top wrestling talent in the country from ages 9 to 14.

The championship matches begin tonight at 7.

“This is the Little League World Series of wrestling,” sayed Tournament Director Cole Kelley. “It is a great opportunity for our state to once again host this event. Utah will truly be the center stage of the best youth wrestling in the nation.”

Utah is well known for its wrestling talent and several Beehive State grapplers will contend for national titles.

Some top Utah wrestlers to watch will be Jaxon Cole, Jace Anderson and Tristan Smith of North Summit Wrestling; Oakley Ridge and Kade Thompson of Mettle Wrestling, Brock Hardy of Box Elder; Taylor LaMont, Ashton Seely and Keller Rock of Champions; Cole Moody of Legacy Wrestling and Brandon Meikel of Kearns.

Brian E. Preece, former head wrestling coach at Provo High School, is a freelance sports writer.