OREM, Utah — Sophomore Adam Fager led the Utah Valley University wrestling team Saturday by winning the heavyweight bracket at the sixth annual UVU Open.
Of the nine grapplers that competed for the Wolverines at their home tournament, five of them placed. Behind Fager, freshman Bracken Nipko (125 pounds) who was competing unattached to UVU placed second, sophomore Chasen Tolbert (125) took third, and sophomore Sam Mecham (141) and redshirt freshman Derek Thomas (184) both placed fourth.
Fager went a perfect 3-0 including two pins through the heavyweight bracket en route to his title. He pinned Daniel Hanson (unattached) just 1:59 into his first bout. Fager then followed that up with 6-2 decision over the much lager Michael Williams of Western Wyoming in the semis. In the title bout, the Wolverine sophomore then wasted no time against Stephen Wilbert of Southern Nevada, pinning him in just 23 seconds.
Nipko finished his day with a second-place finish after he went 2-1 at the open. Nipko's placement included a 7-5 victory over Boise State's Landon Hartley in the semis. In the same weight class, 125 pounds, Nipko's teammate Tolbert dropped his first contest to Wyoming's Drew Templeman but battled back nicely by winning his next four matches to place third. He went 4-1 on the day.
Both Mecham and Thomas finished fourth after they both went 2-2.
Redshirt freshmen Chris Mayolo (141), Logan Addis (149) and Tucker Ray (149) all also competed at the tournament, as well as freshman Josh Metivier (133) who wrestled unattached to UVU. Mayolo, Addis and Ray all went 1-2 while Metivier finished with an 0-2 record.
Saturday's tournament featured wrestlers from Wyoming, Boise State, Colorado Mesa, Great Falls, Northwest College and Western Wyoming.
The Wolverines will continue their month-long homestand by hosting Arizona State on Jan. 18 at UVU's PE Building. UVU will then welcome WWC foe Northern Colorado on Jan. 26.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit www.WolverineGreen.com.