OREM — It’s a virtual dead heat after the first day of the 4A state wrestling championship on Friday.
Mountain Crest clings to a 126-121 lead over second-place Uintah after an exciting opening day at UVU. Payson is a distant third with 89 points.
The quest for the title in the revamped 4A classification could come down to the last few matches on Saturday, with the championship matches slated to begin at 4:45 p.m.
Mountain Crest advanced nine wrestlers into Saturday’s semifinals, which get underway at 11 a.m., while Uintah advanced 10 wrestlers.
The Mustangs finished fourth in state’s highest classification last year, but in the revamped 4A in 2018 their looking to claim its first state title since 2014.
Mountain Crest’s nine wrestlers who advanced to the semifinals are Anthony Lopez (106), Braydon Mogle (113), Logan Mano (132), Jace Dart (138), Brayden Guthrie (152), Tanner Lofthouse (160), Josh Powell (170), Jace Gunnell (182) and Eli Wells (285).
Lofthouse and Wells are the top-ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes and the favorites to win on Saturday.
The strength of Uintah’s semifinal contingent is in the lower weights, as Cole Huber (106), Josh Holmes (113), Gavin Ayotte (120), Randon Deets (126) and August Harrison (132) all advanced to the semifinals.
Ayotte and Deets are the top-ranked wrestlers in their respective weight classes, and Ayotte is a defending state champion with a 39-1 record this year.
Mountain Crest and Uintah wrestlers go head to head in three straight semifinals on Saturday — 160, 170 and 182 — a big stretch for both teams to seize momentum.
Lofthouse is the favorite at 160 pounds against Uintah’s Hayden Boren, while Uintah’s Tanner Moon is the favorite against Josh Powell at 170 pounds.
The 182-pound semifinal between Uintah’s Jayden Atwood and Gunnell is an intriguing matchup between two wrestlers who didn’t finish first at the 4A divisionals last weekend.
Bear River’s Kaygen Canfield is closing in on a third consecutive title as the senior prevailed in routine fashion in his first two matches on Friday.
Canyon View’s Brady Lowry is closing in on becoming a repeat winner at 145 pounds after rolling into the semis.
1. Mountain Crest, 126; 2. Uintah, 121; 3. Payson, 89; 4. Canyon View, 78; 5. Bear River, 70; 6. Hurricane, 58.5; 7. Spanish Fork, 43.5; 8 (tie). Desert Hills, Salem Hills, 43; 10. Orem, 34.
106 — Cole Huber, Uintah vs. Cole Jensen, Payson; Anthony Lopez, Mountain Crest vs. Austin Bush, Bonneville
113 — Josh Holmes, Uintah vs. Scott Robertson, Bear River; Braydon Mogle, Mountain Crest vs. Gunnar Harrison, Uintah
120 — Gavin Ayotte, Uintah vs. Jared Armstrong, Hurricane; Wyatt Hone, Payson vs. Mason Morris, Green Canyon
126 — Gabriel Terry, Mountain View vs. Joshua Armstrong, Hurricane; Riley Helt, Pine View vs. Randon Deets, Uintah
132 — August Harrison, Uintah vs. Caleb Armstrong, Hurricane; Logan Mano, Mountain Crest vs. Kasey Robinson, Canyon View
138 — Anthony Herrera, Stansbury vs. Levi Webb, Hurricane; Jace Dart, Mountain Crest vs. Chance Parker, Ridgeline
145 — Brady Lowry, Canyon View vs. Lance Sanchez, Logan; Ryan Hansen, Sky View vs. Chyler Zeeman, Salem Hills
152 — Colten Shumway, Canyon View vs. Brayden Guthrie, Mountain Crest; Kaygen Canfield, Bear River vs. Treyson Abbott, Hurricane
160 — Isaac Semandeni, Logan vs. Caleb Weaver, Cedar; Tanner Lofthouse, Mountain Crest vs. Hayden Boren, Uintah
170 — Justin Martin, Salem Hills vs. Tyson Carter, Payson; Josh Powell, Mountain Crest vs. Tanner Moon, Uintah
182 — Jayden Atwood, Uintah vs. Jace Gunnell, Mountain Crest; Wyatt Monroe, Payson vs. Matt Thalman, Ridgeline
195 — Byron Anderson, Desert Hills vs. Trevor Barrus, Sky View; Cooper Legas, Orem vs. Tyler Haley, Canyon View
220 — Blake Alsip, Uintah vs. Logan Pond, Bear River; Shane Farnsworth, Hurricane vs. Tuits Kanosh, Snow Canyon
285 — David Herring, Mountain View vs. Daniel Jordan, Cedar; Eli Wells, Mountain Crest vs. Enoka Fuailetolo, Desert Hills