OREM — At the conclusion of the opening day of the 4A state tournament, the Mountain Crest Mustangs led the Uintah Utes by a score of 126-121. That score, in and of itself, seemed to promise a competitive and perhaps nail-biting final day Saturday at UVU’s UCCU center.
The Mustangs had other plans.
They dominated the semifinals early on Saturday, placing seven wrestlers in championship matches, compared to just three for the Utes.
While the final bouts of the season didn’t always go their way, Mountain Crest finished with just two individual state champs, tied with rivals Payson, Uintah and Bear River, the team score did.
Mountain Crest finished with 253 points, 50.5 more than Uintah, and as a result claimed the 4A state title.
Uintah finished with 202.5 points, good for second place, while Payson came in third with 188. Bear River and Canyon View finished in fourth and fifth place respectively, with 153 and 124.
“(The state title) just shows that we have been working hard in the room,” Mountain Crest individual champion Tanner Lofthouse (160) said. “It makes all the hard work worth it.”
So did his individual title.
Matched up against Isaac Semadeni (Logan), Lofthouse was dominant from start to finish.
“I just wanted to stay on my offense,” said Lofthouse.
He did just that, for all three periods, en route to a 9-1 major decision and the state title.
“It feels good. It feels great,” said Lofthouse.
The champion credited his victory to others, first his uncles and coaches, and than the Mountain Crest fans.
“Working with my uncles really helped a lot,” said Lofthouse. “I (also) heard (our) fans and fed off them. It was fun. I have been working for this my whole life.”
The same could be said for the Mustangs other individual champion, Braydon Mogle (113).
Mogle emerged victorious against Bear River’s Scott Robertson, in one of the most competitive matches of the night.
The pair of lightweights battled back-and-forth for all three periods, with Mogle eking out a 7-5 decision in the final period.
While Mogle and Lofthouse were the only individual champs for the Mustangs, Logan Mano (132), Jace Dart (138), Brayden Guthrie (152), Jace Gunnell (182) and Eli Wells (285) each earned themselves a second-place finish.
Guthrie’s matchup against Bear River’s Kaygen Canfield was as even a match as you could find, with Canfield securing his third state title by the slim margin of 1-0.
Perhaps the most impressive victory of the evening belonged to Uintah’s Gavin Ayotte.
Already a state champ, having won a state title as a freshman, Ayotte was simply spectacular Saturday.
His 24-10 major decision over Wyatt Hone (Payson) merely proved what everyone, including Ayotte, already knew — he is elite.
“I knew he couldn’t stop my shots,” said Ayotte. “I just went in and kept taking him down if I could.”
His dominance — Ayotte finished the season with a 41-1 record — didn’t take away from the state title, however.
“This one is still just as exciting,” Ayotte said. “Last year was my first, but winning is always exciting and I don’t like to lose.”
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Source:: Deseret News – Top stories