OREM — Once a year, most of the elite high school wrestlers in Utah get together at Utah Valley University’s UCCU Center for the All-Star Dual.
This year’s competition, the 19th annual midseason showcase, was slightly different than any previous incarnation, however, due to the sheer number of matches.
There were six girl matches and 42 boy matches, along with a boy-girl bout between American Leadership Academy’s Sage Mortimer and Duchesne’s Bowdy Larsen.
All told, 49 wrestling matches took place on the floor at the UCCU Center in a night dedicated to elite high school wrestling.
Of the 49, 17 took place on the center mat and were designated as the featured matchups of the event.
One of those featured matchups pitted Olympus’ Isaac Wilcox, the No. 5 ranked wrestler in the country at 152 pounds, against Pleasant Grove’s Jaxon Moore.
Wilcox made short work of Moore, wrestling at 160 pounds, and earned a 21-5 decision.
“I just tried to work hard, have heavy hands and not let the guy really breathe out there,” Wilcox said. “That is the mentality I went out there with. I didn’t give him any space and worked hard on him. I thought I did a pretty good job at that.”
Also on center mat, and arguably one of the closest matchups of the night, came at 113 pounds between Payson’s Cole Jensen and Richfield’s Denim Torgerson.
Ranked No. 1 and 2, respectively, at 113 pounds in the state of Utah, Jensen and Torgerson battled for three intense periods. It was Jensen who walked away with the victory, a 6-4 decision.
“My strategy was just to be physical and shut him down everywhere,” Jensen said. “Anything he tried, I just shut him down. That was my game plan.”
Other featured bouts included Orem’s Cooper Legas against Viewmont’s Tyson Zesiger, at 195 pounds. Legas, the defending 4A state champion, easily claimed the match 17-5.
Multiple Wasatch Wasps, a powerhouse in 5A, walked away victorious, including River Wardle (120 pounds), Sammy Heywood (132), Stockton O’Brien (138) and Zak Kohler (145).
Kohler’s win came courtesy of an injury to Millard’s Hayden Anderson, an injury that cut short one of the more entertaining matches of the night.
One of the most anticipated matchups of the night, Mortimer versus Hector Martinez (Millard) didn’t actually happen. Officially, Martinez failed to make weight, a fact that necessitated a replacement if Mortimer was to get a bout.
The 106-pound wrestler wasn’t worried — “I thought I’d probably get a match,” she said — and wound up wrestling against Duchesne’s Bowdy Larsen.
Mortimer was victorious in the bout, a fact she credited to more than a few things.
“I feel like I was good on my feet, good with hand fighting and I was able to open up shots more effectively than he was,” Mortimer said. “We got in a tight scramble there and I had to get through that. I just kept moving.
“I like wrestling boys for the better competition,” she added. “It gets me stronger, gets me more in it. I knew if there was a girl that would wrestle a boy it would be me. After all, I had already wrestled a boy here two years ago.”
The final featured bout of the night pitted Pleasant Grove’s Maika Tauteoli, a two-time state champion in 6A, against Millard’s Calun Whitaker, the defending 2A champ. Whitaker took the match, 12-8.
All told, the All-Star Dual is more than just another wrestling competition for those involved.
“This event is pretty special,” Wilcox said. “The best of Utah are here. It is fun and I am just grateful to be a part of it, representing my school and division.”
“It is just a different atmosphere,” Jensen added. “You get to face off against the best kid from a different division, which makes it really fun.”
“It is a lot of fun,” Mortimer said. “When you get a match it is under the spotlight and everyone is watching. It is not serious, you don’t need to get a pin to get six points for your team or anything, so you can just have fun with it.”
Boys All-Star Dual results
(Center mat featured match listed first)
Sage Mortimer (ALA) def. Bowdy Larsen (Duchesne), Fall 3:25
Lukus Carrillo (ALA) def. Brock Morris (Maple Mountain), Dec 8-3
Bridger Ricks (Box Elder) def. Quade Smith (Layton), Dec 3-2
Will Korth (Morgan) def. Jake Otero (Stansbury ), 15-0 (TF-1.5 4:22)
Cole Jensen (Payson) def. Denim Torgerson (Richfield), Dec 6-4
Marco Herrera (Bingham) def. Drew Lang (West), Dec 3-2
Joseph Mecham (Tooele) def. Mack Bray (Millard), Dec 8-3
River Wardle (Wasatch) def. Maverik Caldwell (Delta), Fall 4:56
Jacob Finlinson (Westlake) def. Cooper Cox (Maple Mountain), Fall 4:25
Brian Evans (Beaver) def. Layne Shepherd (Spanish Fork), Dec 6-1
Van Bray (Millard) def. Cub Deets (Uintah), Dec 11-6
Jarett Jorgenson (Morgan) def. Mason Denton (Fremont), Dec 3-2
Connor Ingram (Juab) def. Mitchel Slack (Wasatch), 19-4 (TF-1.5 3:42)
Gavin Ayotte (Uintah) def. Caleb Armstrong (Hurricane), Fall 0:46
Sammy Heywood (Wasatch) def. Quenton Mortimer (ALA), Inj. 2:38
Parker Coffey (Davis) def. Colby Harper (Duchesne), Dec 7-6
Stockton O'Brien (Wasatch) def. Ryker Boyce (Desert Hills), Dec 6-3
Scott Robertson (Bear River) def. Brock Edwards (Beaver), Fall 3:36
Jed Lee (South Summit) def. Max Anson (Lone Peak), Fall 3:48
Zak Kohler (Wasatch) def. Hayden Anderson (Millard), Inj. 4:39
Cole Zorn (Pleasant Grove) def. Carson Sheets (Altamont), MD 10-1
Cade Bowring (Juab) def. Chance Parker (Ridgeline), Dec 6-4
Brady Lowry (Canyon View) def. Jeremy Evans (Viewmont), Fall 1:25
Jace Dart (Mountain Crest) def. Cannon Fuellenbach (South Sevier), MD 11-3
Braden Hensen (Taylorville) def. Walker Burr (North Sevier), Dec 7-1
Isaac Wilcox (Olympus) def. Jaxon Moore (Pleasant Grove), 21-5 (TF-1.5 3:46)
Augustus Dalton (Emery) def. Holland Knudsen (Timpanogos), Dec 12-10
Tyler Scheurn (North Summit) def. Tucker Naccarato (Payson), Fall 5:39
Porter Chamberlain (Wasatch) def. Jate Frost (Union), Dec 7-0
Alec Bolingbroke (Layton) def. Bryson Barnes (Milford), Fall 5:11
Koby Johnson (Grantsville) def. Tyson Carter (Payson), Dec 8-5
Parker Gasser (Maple Mountain) def. Cole Faust (Layton), MD 18-7
Lucas Cochran (Box Elder) def. Merrell Morley (Salem Hills), Dec 6-2
Ryker Blackburn (Duchesne) def. Rylan Watts (Juab), Fall 1:55
Cooper Legas (Orem) def. Tyson Zesiger (Viewmont), MD 17-5
Tate Johnson (North Sevier) def. Zach Warren (Westlake), Dec 6-0
Bowen Shields (Delta) def. Dawson Woods (Alta), Fall 0:31
Calun Whitaker (Millard) def. Maika Tauteoli (Pleasant Grove), Dec 12-8
Nathan Ellis (Cedar City) def. Emerson Conlon (Olympus), Dec 5-3
McCoy Cook (Payson) def. Nolan Bullethead (Union), Dec 8-3
Sam Dawe (Spanish Fork) def. Ryan Gunn (Box Elder), Dec 9-7
Jon Hunt (Layton) def. David Herring (Mountain View), Dec 3-1Comment on this story
Tanner Sorenson (North Sevier) def. Dalton Clark (Union), Fall 2:19
Girls All-Star Dual results
Tenley Jones (North Summit) def. Rebekah Hardman (Park City) 19-4 (TF-1.5 4:30)
Kierstien Bush (Bonneville) def. Taci Tapia (Carbon), Fall 3:58
Savhanna Valentine (Fremont) def. Merci Jessop (Water Canyon), Fall 0:39
Elleni Johnson (Murray) def. Mia May (West), Fall 2:21
Abi Archibald (Maple Mt) def. Christina Smothers (Weber), Fall 2:38
Marlynne Deede (Springville) def. Mykenna Staheli (Bear River), Fall 3:11