wrestling photo for web only (unless there is space on the jump on B2)

Mountain Crest’s Jalise Wakley (top) finished second in her weight class at a tournament this past weekend to help propel the Mustangs to the team title.

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It came down to the wire, but the Mustangs found a way to make history.

Mountain Crest’s girls wrestling program edged Copper Hills by two points, 184-182, to win the 33-team Battle of the Amazonians tournament Saturday in Ogden. It’s the Mustangs’ first-ever big tourney title.

“Our win at the Battle of the Amazonians Saturday was an impressive victory for our girls,” MC head coach Janae Liljenquist said. “The tournament was stacked with incredibly talented and experienced wrestlers. We had some tough matches in the first rounds, which were mentally hard to recover from, but the girls never gave up, they never backed down. The team continued to step on the mat and handle business. We had some girls who came through with spectacular wins, which helped us earn the title. The girls dug deep and had confidence in their hours of practice and training.”

The Lady Mustangs showcased their depth and star power at the tourney as they had nine medalists, four finalists and one champion. Brynlie Hansen reigned supreme for Mountain Crest in the 150-pound division and she pinned her opponents in the semifinals and finals.

Other Mustangs who advanced to the championship round were Jalise Wakley (124 pounds), Rosa Campos (170) and Kaydee Hopkins (128). All three of those athletes went 3-1. Mountain Crest also had a pair of consolation champions in Hanna Evans (140) and Sophia Hansen (245), plus another girl who wrestled for third place in Cristell Flores (136).

Mountain Crest’s other placers were Emma Child (sixth at 120) and Brooklynn Swanson (sixth, 132).

Ridgeline brought four grapplers to the invitational and all four of them finished in the top four in their respective weight class. As a result, the Lady Riverhawks were able to place seventh in the team competition with 79 points.

Grace Montierth pinned her way to the 245-pound title for the Riverhawks. The senior stuck all four of her opponents. Madelyn Topham (128) and Makayla Pignataro (170) captured consolation crowns for Ridgeline, while Grace Tallmadge (115) was a consolation finalist.

Sky View also brought four wrestlers to the tournament. Dika Dekar went 2-2 at 128 pounds and scored all seven of the Lady Bobcats’ points.

PREP BOYS WRESTLING

This past weekend was highlighted by strong performances from Mountain Crest and Green Canyon. The Mustangs had 12 medalists and placed third — three points behind runner-up Payson — at the prestigious Richardson Memorial, while the Wolves finished second out of 19 teams at the Best of the West.

The biggest winner from the weekend was Green Canyon’s Mason Morris, who outpointed three-time defending state champion Jacob Finlinson of Westlake in the finals at 138 pounds by a 5-2 scoreline. Finlinson is the 17th-ranked prep wrestler in all of Utah, regardless of weight class or classification, in the most recent Beehive Top 25 Poll.

Morris was selected as the MVP of the lower weight classes, while teammate Garrett Herzog was tabbed the MVP of the upper weight classes. Herzog (285) won all four of his bouts by fall en route to his title.

Green Canyon had three other finalists and eight total athletes earn a spot on the podium. The Wolves were also represented by Daxton Darley (113), James Shumway (126) and Will Wheatley (195) in the championship round. Wheatley dispatched of Logan’s Malakye Lindsay in the semifinals. Likewise, Darley and Shumway dominated their opponents in the round of four Shumway by technical fall and Darley by major decision.

Green Canyon’s other medalists were Jaron Darley (third, 132), Josue Velez (sixth, 152) and Luke Blake (fifth, 182). The Wolves racked up 170.5 points, 39 fewer than champion Westlake and 9.5 more than third-place Spanish Fork.

Logan also competed at the Tooele-hosted tourney and placed 10th with 67 points. The Grizzlies had four placers in Cooper Redd (sixth, 120), Jacqe Miller (fourth, 170), Lindsay (fourth, 195) and Ty Stearns (fifth, 285).

Mountain Crest didn’t have any competitors in two of the weight classes at the Richardson Memorial and that proved to be the difference. Host Box Elder won the 17-team tournament with 197 points, followed by Payson (183) and the Mustangs (180). Ridgeline placed 10th (69.5) and Sky View 17th (18.5).

The Mustangs were led by Gabe Sanders, who beat a pair of returning state placers en route to claiming the title at 145 pounds. The junior defeated a defending 6A state runner-up from Skyridge in the finals, 12-6.

Mountain Crest had two other finalists in Carter Nelson (106) and Terrell Lee (138), and three consolation champs in Jordan Wakefield (152), Easton Evans (106) and Elijah Larsen (126). Larsen dispatched of a returning state medalist from Box Elder by major decision in his third-place duel.

Other consolation finalists for the Mustangs were Brock Guthrie (160), Luke Schroeder (120) and Walker Hutchinson (182). Additionally, Cael Smith (fifth, 170), Cooper Sanders (fifth, 132) and Hunter Hammer (sixth, 195) secured a spot on the podium for Mountain Crest, which completely dominated the JV tournament. The Mustangs amassed 246 points to second-place Bear River’s 186. Jace McBride (145) and Sam Schroeder (182) captured titles for the Hyrum-based school.

The Riverhawks brought 10 competitors to the varsity tourney and had four placers, led by consolation titleist Ronan Melani (195). Ridgeline’s other medalists were Ptallan Takis (sixth, 182), Damien Boehme (fifth, 285) and Brenden Gessel (fifth, 145).

Leading the way for Sky View was medalist Parley Thacker (sixth, 126). Kade Croft (132) went 2-2 for the Bobcats.

Preston was also action Saturday as four of its best wrestlers competed at the most renowned prep tournament in Idaho, the Rollie Lane Invitational. Emery Thorson (170) went 3-2 for the Indians, while Brayden Weisback (132), Caigun Keller (145) and Jonathan Seamons (152) won two matches apiece.

The 45-team tourney was won by Meridian, which held off Kuna by 5.5 points, 226.5-221. Preston was 36th (25).

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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