IRVING, Texas – The awards continue to roll in for Utah Valley University grappler Taylor LaMont, as he was named both the Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Week and USA Wrestling's Athlete of the Week on Wednesday. The awards come on the heels of already being tabbed FloWrestling's Wrestler of the Week earlier this week as well.
The UVU 125-pound redshirt freshman was named both the Big 12 and USA Wrestling Wrestler of the Week on Wednesday after running the gauntlet en route to taking home the 125-pound title at last weekend's prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. The eighth-seeded LaMont went a perfect 6-0 with four wins over ranked foes, including the final three over former All-Americans. LaMont is the first-ever Wolverine to win the highly-touted event.
LaMont opened the tournament with first-period pins over Cal Baptist's Alex Nunez and Harvard's Lukus Stricker. He then defeated No. 9 seed Drew Mattin of Michigan, 8-5, before capping off day one with an impressive 4-3 decision over returning NCAA finalist and No. 1 seed Ethan Lizak of Minnesota.
The following day, LaMont ousted Stanford All-American and No. 5 seed Connor Schram in the semifinals, 4-1. It was a stingy, 4-3, victory over No. 3 seed Sean Russell of Edinboro, who is a returning All-American, in the championship bout.
His gutsy performance in Las Vegas pushed LaMont up to No. 6 in the nation at 125 pounds by InterMat, FloWrestling and TheOpenMat. He now holds a record of 18-2 on the season, with a third-place finish at the Clarion Open and runner-up finish at the Wolfpack Open on his résumé. The sixth-place ranking is the highest-ever by a Wolverine.
LaMont is a five-time U.S. World Team member in Greco-Roman, twice at the Junior level and three times at the Cadet level. He was a Junior World bronze medalist in 2016 and finished in fifth place at the Junior Worlds this year.
In addition to his Junior Worlds trip in 2017, LaMont excelled on the Senior level, finishing in sixth place at the Greco-Roman World Team Trials and in fourth place at the U.S. Senior Nationals in Greco-Roman.
LaMont was a four-time champion at the USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior Nationals held annually in Fargo, N.D. He has earned bronze medals in Greco-Roman at both the Junior and Cadet Pan American Championships.
Prior to attending Utah Valley, LaMont was a four-time Utah state champion for Maple Mountain High School, where he finished his career with a 244-9 overall record.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.