There is still plenty of work left to be done, but the Mustangs are in good shape following Day 1 of the 4A State Wrestling Championships.
Mountain Crest advanced 11 of its wrestlers to the semifinal round on Friday at Utah Valley’s UCCU Center, and currently leads rivals Uintah and Bear River in the team competition. The Mustangs have racked up 152.5 points to the Utes’ 138.5 and the Bears’ 117.5.
Mountain Crest’s 11 semifinalists are Easton Evans (106 pounds), Luke Schroeder (113), Cooper Sanders (120), Terrell Lee (126), Gabe Sanders (138), Jordan Wakefield (145), Zack Smith (152), Wyatt Larsen (160), Brock Guthrie (170), Brayden Guthrie (182) and Hunter Schroeder (195). Bear River is second with nine semifinalists, while Uintah only has six. However, the Utes do have 11 athletes still alive in the consolation bracket.
“I wish we had more (semifinalists) ... (but) glad we have 11,” MC head coach Jay Tovey said. “All of our kids work really hard during the year and we just need a little more fine-tuning and polish in the offseason. We’re in a good spot. We just need to have fun and wrestle to our potential.”
Gabe Sanders, Smith, Brock Guthrie, Brayden Guthrie and Hunter Schroeder all pinned both of their Day 1 opponents, while Lee won his first match by fall and second by technical fall. The Guthrie brothers and Schroeder each dispatched of both of their foes in less than one minute.
In addition to their 11 semifinalists, five other Mustangs made it to Day 2 of the tournament. Mountain Crest’s Brock Hansen (113), Wyatt Coulam (126), Cael Smith (152), Walker Hutchinson (182) and Sam McMurray (220) must prevail in their first bouts Saturday morning to advance to the placement rounds. Cael Smith and Coulam did a great job of bouncing back from nailbiting setbacks in the quarterfinals.
Of the 22 Mountain Crest athletes who competed at state, 21 won at least one match.
Ridgeline brought 16 grapplers to the tourney, with 12 reigning supreme in at least one bout. The Riverhawks are currently seventh in the team competition with 61.5 points, but only 1.5 points out of the No. 5 spot.
Colter Ricks (145), Rhett Gebert (160) and Kaden Kirk (170) will represent Ridgeline in the semis, while three other Riverhawks — Ryan Orduno (106), Dylan Nelson (126) and Ronan Melani (182) — punched their ticket to Saturday’s third consolation round. Kirk came from behind to emerge victorious in his semifinal match. Nelson and Orduno tested their opponents in the quarterfinals before each falling by three points.
“Some of (our guys) have wrestled well (and) we’ve had a few just heartbreakers we feel like we should have won,” RHS head coach Jarrett Morrill, who praised the performances of Ricks, Gebert and Kirk. “But some of them have wrestled real well. ... (We’ve had) a solid showing and hopefully we can keep that up through tomorrow.”
Green Canyon had four wrestlers perform well enough to make it to Saturday, led by semifinalist James Shumway (120). Daxton Darley (106), Mason Morris (132) and Garrett Herzog (285) are one victory away from securing a spot on the podium for the Wolves, who are in 11th place in the team standings with 37 points.
Herzog did a great job of regrouping mentally after getting upset in the first round by Sky View’s Izeja Torres. The Division B champion stuck his next two opponents in the opening round.
Green Canyon brought 10 grapplers to the tourney and eight of them won at least one duel.
“Well, it’s a little bittersweet,” GC head coach Ryan Webb said. “We had the opportunity of having a couple more get in (to the second day), but it didn’t go our way. I’m happy that we’ve progressed since last year.”
Sky View has a pair of semifinalists in seniors Gino Demuzio (120) and Hunter Larsen (220). Of the six Bobcats who competed on Day 1 of the tourney, four recorded at least one victory.
“Just so excited for those two (seniors),” SV head coach Bardett Bagley said. “They have put in a lot of work and are peaking at the right time. They will both have some tough matches tomorrow and we are looking forward to seeing them finish up their high school careers tomorrow.”
Two of the three Logan grapplers who made it to state are one win away from earning medals in Jacqe Miller (152) and Quincy Wildman (285). Wildman lost a one-point heartbreaker in the quarterfinals.
Sky View is currently in 13th place with 24 points, while Logan is 16th with 13.