Several Sanpete wrestlers
rank highly in state meets
By James Tilson
Feb. 15, 2018
RICHFIELD—This past weekend saw area wrestlers achieve at the state level, with three wrestlers making the finals in their respective state championships.
The Gunnison Valley High School wrestling team had the most success, with seven wrestlers at least placing in their respective weight classes, one wrestler winning the state title and the team as a whole placing seventh at the 2A State Championship.
Gunnison’s Avery Anderson in the 106-lb. weight class won the state championship by decision over North Summit’s Jackson Prescott by the score 6-3. Anderson’s final record was 53-4, and he scored 28 points during the tournament. Garrett Jensen (41-16), also in the 106-lb. weight class, placed sixth.
Anderson was only a freshman and was not the only younger wrestler for the Bulldogs. In fact, the Bulldogs only lost four seniors, and most of the point scorers in the tournament will be back next year.
Gunnison’s coach, Andy Moysh, said, “The great thing about this year is we are only losing two of our point scorers, and we had nine kids one match away from placing and scoring points. So we are going to quietly surprise a lot of people next year.”
Gunnison’s other wrestlers that placed at the championship were: Alex Holder (40-13) placed fifth in the 145-lb. weight class; Gavin Stratton (45-9) placed fourth in the 152-lb. weight class; Hayden Booth (36-16) placed fifth in the 160-lb. weight class; Thomas Yardley (42-9) placed third in the 170-lb. weight class; and Kolton Petersen (28-17) placed sixth in the 220-lb. weight class.
Manti High School had two wrestlers place at the 3A State Championship.
Lance Fowles in the 160-lb. weight class made it to the finals and faced Joey Aagard from Juab. Aagard was the returning state champion and was favored. Fowles made a spirited attack on Aagard but fell in the final period 6-8. Fowles was a senior, and his final record was 44-3.
According to the Manti’s coach, Ryan Fowles, the match was “the kind of match you like to see in the finals, where two wrestlers are on the attack the entire six minutes.”
Manti’s Damon Mayfield in the 152-lb. weight class placed fifth at the tournament.
North Sanpete High School’s Keegan Eliason (45-7) in the 182-lb. weight class also made the finals of his weight class. He faced Delta’s Yair Moran and narrowly lost 3-1.
According to North Sanpete’s coach, Bryan Strain, “Keegan wrestled smart but a little too conservatively against his opponent, who scored a last-second takedown that ended up winning the match.”
The Hawks also have a very young team and were able to qualify 12 wrestlers for the state tournament. “Our team is really young in the sport, but they learned fast and fought hard,” Strain added.