Sophomore Kimball Bastian and unattached freshman Tate Orndorff led the way for the Utah Valley University wrestling team on Sunday by placing second and fourth in their respective weight classes at the Reno Tournament of Champions.
With the majority of Utah Valley's starters taking Sunday's tournament off, 174-pound starter Bastian didn't disappoint by posting the runner-up finish with a 4-1 record. The unattached Orndorff, who is redshirting the season for the Wolverines, also had a strong performance by going 4-2 at heavyweight en route to earning a fourth-place finish.
Despite only having two starters in attendance at the event, UVU placed eighth out of 51 teams with a total of 66.5 points. Sixth-ranked NC State won the event with 192 points, while Wyoming took second (140) and No. 4 Missouri placed third (106). With the eighth-place finish, Utah Valley finished ahead of Pac-12 foes Stanford, Arizona State and CSU Bakersfield, as well as fellow Big 12 opponents Fresno State and Air Force.
"Our young guys wrestled with good energy today and we saw some definite improvement in a lot of areas. Kimball and Tate had good tournaments and beat some solid wrestlers," head UVU coach Greg Williams said. "We look forward to our short Christmas break and then we will get back to work and build on what we have accomplished the first half of the season."
Bastian, who was sidelined for nearly a month earlier this season with an injury, won his first four matches on Sunday to advance to the title match. After winning his first two bouts over Noe Garcia by fall (1:45) and Colorado Mesa's Donald Negus by major decision (14-2), the Wolverine 174-pounder earned a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Oregon State's Colt Doyle to advance to the semifinals. Bastian then once again found himself on the right end of a tightly contested semifinal contest, as he defeated Wyoming's Kyle Pope by a score of 6-5 to advance to the finals. The UVU sophomore then posted the second-place finish after getting pinned by two-time All-American and fourth-ranked Daniel Lewis of Missouri in the title bout.
Orndorff too got off to a strong start at his first trip to the collegiate Reno TOC by winning his first four matches on Sunday. The unattached heavyweight won his first two bouts by fall over CSU Pueblo Gavin Nye (4:10) and Fresno State's AJ Nevills (4:01). He then picked up an 8-5 decision over The Citadel's Michael McAleavey to advance to the quarters against NC State heavyweight Malik McDonald. Orndorff then recorded a 6-3 win over McDonald to move on to the semis. In the semifinals against 2017 NCAA qualifier Jere Heino of Campbell, Heino earned a 13-6 decision to send Orndorff to the third-place match. Orndorff then concluded his tournament with a 7-2 setback to 2016 NCAA qualifier Michael Boykin of NC State to place fourth.
Junior 184-pounder Will Sumner too had a strong tournament outing by going 4-2 at the one-day event. After dropping his opening match to Oklahoma State's Bear Hughes, Sumner responded by winning his next four contests by bonus points. The Wolverine 184-pounder then sustained an injury in the consolation semis and had to pull out via an injury default to finish just one win shy of earning a podium finish.
Seven more Wolverines competed at the event, and redshirt freshmen Matt Findlay (141), Landon Knutzen (149) and Benjamin Andrew (285) led the group by each going 3-2. Sophomore Chase Call (141) too competed well by wrestling his way to a 2-2 record, while junior Josh Jensen (125), senior Jarod Maynes (133) and sophomore Max Sultan (149) each went 1-2.
Six other unattached freshmen wrestled for the Wolverines on Sunday, and Dre-Son Scruggs (149), Spencer Heywood (157) and Jakob Discher (165) led the group by going 3-2 apiece. Brooks Robinson (157) too wrestled well by going 2-2, while sophomore Koy Wilkinson (165) went 1-2 and Ashton Seely (197) finished with a 0-2 showing.
Utah Valley is now off until 2018 when a few Wolverines will head to the Southern Scuffle on Jan. 1-2, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. UVU will then return home to host Big 12 foe and 16th-ranked South Dakota State on Jan. 12, before hosting the UVU Open on Jan. 13.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.