Team Green took home seven of the final nine matches en route to defeating Team Black, 28-25, at Utah Valley University wrestling's annual Green and Black Intrasquad Dual on Friday evening at Lockhart Arena.
With the black squad holding a 25-18 advantage with just two matches to go, freshman 174-pounder Dante Springsteen delivered a 16-3 decision and 125-pound redshirt freshman Taylor LaMont followed that up with a second-period fall (4:13) to complete the comeback and give the green squad the three-point win.
"It was good for the guys to get out of the room and get a chance to compete," head UVU coach Greg Williams said. "We saw a number of things that we can work on. We have some pretty good experience in our youth this season, and most of our redshirt freshmen and redshirt sophomores did a great job. I want to see us open up more throughout our lineup, but we've got some guys that will be very successful and we were able to see some of that talent on display tonight."
The black team jumped out to a quick 17-3 advantage in the exhibition contest after winning five of the first six bouts. Sophomore 165-pounder Koy Wilkinson and 2017 NCAA qualifier and 197-pound redshirt sophomore Tanner Orndorff led the spurt for Team Black with respective 12-3 and 12-2 major decisions.
Trailing 17-3, freshman 157-pounder Brooks Robinson then responded for the green team with a 5-2 decision over fellow freshman Spencer Heywood to start a four-match winning streak for Team Green. Robinson, redshirt freshman Gary Jantzer (184 pounds), redshirt junior Matthew Ontiveros (149) and redshirt sophomore Kieffer Taylor (165) each recorded wins during the spurt for the green team to pull within two at 17-15.
Boise State transfer Demetrius Romero (165) and freshman Tate Orndorff (285) then responded for the black squad by winning two of the next three bouts by major decision to give the black team a 25-18 advantage. That's when Springsteen and LaMont helped the green team complete the comeback with back-to-back bonus-point wins in the final two bouts of the contest.
Romero was also the lone Wolverine to record more than one victory in the contest, as he earned a 7-3 decision win over Taylor, as well as a 22-8 major decision over Kyle Snelling.
"There's really nobody in our starting lineup that won't go out there and give us 100 percent. If somebody gets hurt, we might have a couple of wrestlers that aren't quite there yet, but we have a few others that are close to being at that level as well," Williams said. "Our fans are going to be able to watch some really talented, aggressive wrestling this year and we're excited about it."
UVU officially opens its 2017-18 season at the Clarion Duals on Friday, Nov. 3, in Clarion, Pennsylvania. There the Wolverines face Big 12 foe West Virginia, Kent State and the host Clarion Golden Eagles. Utah Valley will then remain in Pennsylvania to take part at the Clarion Open on Sunday, Nov. 5.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.