It’s time for one of the Beehive State’s most popular high school wrestling events, and it will be very well represented by athletes from Cache Valley.
A record 11 local grapplers from three different schools were selected to compete in the Ross Brunson High School All-Star Dual, which will take place Tuesday at Telos High School in Orem.
Because of COVID-19, the 21st installment of this annual event will feature three different sessions. Each participant is allowed to bring two spectators and no full teams will be permitted to watch like in past years. The three starting times are 3:30 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 7 p.m., and the venue will be cleared after each session. The All-Star Duals will be streamed on trackwrestling.com.
A record seven Mountain Crest boys will be competing, and this is the 20th year the Hyrum-based school will be represented at the All-Star Duals. Those Mustangs are Easton Evans, Cooper Sanders, Gabe Sanders, Terrell Lee, Brock Guthrie, Cael Smith and Walker Hutchinson. Gabe Sanders also wrestled in this event a year ago.
“The seven that got picked have dedicated a lot of time into wrestling and it’s exciting to see them get rewarded,” MC head coach Jay Tovey said. “I’m glad they get an extra match against really good kids. We have a lot to work on and still have time to get better, so anytime they can get on the mat in a big deal.”
For the first time in program history, the Green Canyon boys will be represented at this event. James Shumway and Garrett Shumway were selected for the Wolves.
“Oh, I think it’s a lot of fun,” GC head coach Ryan Webb said. “It will be fun and I think they’re excited to represent Green Canyon. And so we’re going to go down and have fun and see how we stack up with the best in the state. That will be awesome. I’m looking forward to it.”
For the second straight year, Ridgeline’s Grace Montierth will be showcasing her skills at the All-Star Duals. A year ago, Montierth became the first-ever local girl chosen for this event. She was one of 13 girls who competed last year, and there will be 33 this time. This is the first season girls wrestling is sanctioned by the UHSAA.
“It’s such an honor to be picked and to participating in the All-Star Duals two years in a row,” Montierth said. “I’m very grateful to wrestle with these girls this Tuesday. I am also so glad that I could be a trailblazer in the girls wrestling world and that it’s growing so fast.”
Ridgeline’s Kaden Kirk, a defending 4A state runner-up at 170 pounds, was also picked to be an All-Star, but had to pull out with an injury. Kirk should be back soon, Riverhawk head coach Jarrett Morrill said.
A complete rundown of all the matchups for the All-Star Dual can be found at wrestleutah.com. The event will feature action simultaneously on two mats.
Here’s a look at each duel involving a local grapplers:
• First session: Montierth vs. Lusimoni Vakalahi, Copper Hills: Montierth was the state champion in the 180-pound weight class as a sophomore and at 200 pounds as a junior. The winner of this match will square off against Nya Seiuli of Maple Mountain in the second session. Seiuli beat Montierth 5-2 earlier this season, which was only Montierth’s third loss to a girl in the last two years. Neither Vakalahi or Seiuli competed at state a year ago. Montierth is the eighth-ranked female wrestler in the entire state in the wrestleutah.com preseason poll.
• First session: Hutchinson (4A squad) vs. Justyn Mitchell (3A squad), American Leadership: Mitchell is ranked fifth at 195 pounds in wrestleutah.com’s most recent individual power poll, while Hutchinson is ninth. Mitchell, a senior, is a returning 3A state runner-up at 195. Hutchinson placed sixth at state at 182 as a junior.
• First session: Herzog (4A squad) vs. Wyatt Dawe (6A squad), Pleasant Grove: Dawe is ranked sixth at 285 pounds in the individual power poll, while Herzog is 10th. Dawe, a senior, placed fifth at state in 6A at heavyweight last season. Herzog didn’t place at state as a junior, but was a divisional champion.
• First session: Shumway (4A squad) vs. Bronson Richins (3A squad), North Summit: Shumway will be looking for redemption as he was pinned by Richins this past weekend in a match he led 4-2 in the third round. Richins is ranked eighth at 126 pounds in the individual power poll, while Shumway is ninth. Shumway was the 4A runner-up at 120 a year ago, while Richins placed fourth in 2A at 120.
• First session: Smith (4A squad) vs. Cort Raddon (1A/2A squad), Beaver: Smith is ranked seventh at 182 pounds in the individual power poll, while Raddon is eighth. Raddon, a senior, is a returning 2A runner-up at 160. Smith placed sixth at state at 152 as a junior.
• Second session: Cooper Sanders (4A squad) vs. Waylen Pentz (3A squad), Morgan: Pentz is ranked first at 132 pounds in the individual power poll, while Sanders is fourth. This is a showdown of returning state champions. Additionally, Pentz is the ninth-ranked high school boys wrestler in the entire state, regardless of weight class, in the most recent Beehive Top 25 Poll.
• Third session: Gabe Sanders (Wildcard squad) vs. Zeke Kelley (6A squad), Pleasant Grove: Sanders is ranked second at 152 pounds in the individual power poll, while Kelley is second at 145 pounds. The two will square off in the 152-pound division. Sanders was a state champ as a freshman and state runner-up as a sophomore and is currently 11th in the Beehive Top 25 Poll. Kelley finished fourth in 6A at 138 last season.
• Third session: Evans (4A squad) vs. Brayden Robison (6A squad), Westlake: Evans is ranked third at 106 in the individual power poll, while Robison is unranked but holds down the top poll in the 6A Poll. Evans, a sophomore, was the 4A runner-up at 106 last season. Robison is a freshman.
• Third session: Guthrie (Wildcard squad) vs. Will Harmon (3A squad), Juab: Harmon is ranked third at 170 pounds in the individual power poll, while Guthrie is fifth. Harmon was the 3A champ at 160 last year as a freshman. Guthrie was the 4A consolation champ at 170 last year as a sophomore.
• Third session: Lee (4A squad) vs. Chase Ingram (Wildcard squad), Juab: Lee is ranked third at 145 pounds in the individual power poll, while Ingram is ninth. Ingram, a sophomore, is a returning 3A champion at 145, while Lee was the 4A runner-up at 126 last season as a sophomore.