RENO — Layton's Terrell Barraclough, Box Elder's Brock Hardy and Morgan's Chase Trussell won titles at the prestigious Reno Tournament of Champions this past weekend.
Hardy (145 pounds) won his second large high school tournament in successive weekends as the Bee wrestler won the Walsh Ironman event in Ohio. Hardy stormed through the large 64-plus wrestler bracket and easily cruised past Poway's (California) Josh Tolentino by a 11-3 major decision. Hardy, a senior, has won three previous state titles.
Barraclough (126), a junior and two-time state champ for the Lancers, downed Grandview, Colorado's Fabian Santillan 4-1 for the title. Meanwhile, Trussell took care of business winning the 220-pound title over Sam Peterson of Bonney Lake, Washington, by major decision 10-1. The Trojan senior is seeking his third state title.
Wasatch's Stockton O'Brien also did well in placing second in the event at 132 pounds as he was defeated by Poway's Chase Zollman, 3-0.
Deemed as "the toughest tournament in the United States" those wrestlers placing in the top three earn automatic All-American status giving Utah four All-Americans at the 2017 tourney.
Wrestlers placing in the top eight out of fields of wrestlers that can number close to 80 wrestlers medal in the tournament.
Utah had three wrestlers just missing earning automatic All-American status as Olympus' Isaac Wilcox (160); Bingham's Cole Moody (170); and Maple Mountain's Brandyn Van Tassell (182) finished fourth.
Payson's Wyatt Monroe (170) finished fifth while Herriman's River Wardle, just a freshman, finished sixth at 106 pounds, Layton's Tyson Humpherys placed seventh; Pleasant Grove's Keegan Wilkinson placed eighth at 285 pounds.
It was somewhat of a down year on the team front as no Beehive State team finished in the top 10. Poway took home the team title just sliding past Golden State rival Buchanan 238.5 points to 227.5. Choctaw, Oklahoma, was a distant third with 176.5 points.
Brian Preece is a freelance sportswriter. He was also the head wrestling coach at Provo High School from 1994-2006 and in 2006 Preece was named as the Utah Coach of the Year by the National Wrestling Coaches Association.