BRIGHAM CITY — Every tournament, the Mountain Crest wrestling team converts another believer. This weekend it was the field at the Richardson Memorial Tournament.
The Mustangs continued their season of superlatives with an impressive win at Box Elder's annual tournament. Mountain Crest finished with 208.5 points, and was followed closely by Viewmont's 197. Box Elder, Spanish Fork and Idaho Falls rounded out the top five.
Opponents, especially those in 4A, are getting used to seeing the Mustangs' orange on top.
After finishing second at state last year, Mountain Crest entered this year with a determined attitude and it's been paying off. In addition to capturing the Richardson, earlier this year it won the Viewmont Invitational and finished third at the Rumble.
With just four seniors, coach Davie Swensen says, "We're hoping not to be a one-year thing."
That's probably not going to happen, especially with wrestlers like Josh Burnett. The sophomore clinched Mountain Crest's title by pinning Spanish Fork's Dave Beagley in the 103-pound championship match.
"He's so tenacious — he just won't lose," said Swensen.
Even when Layton's Brent Anderson seemed to have him beat in the semifinal, Burnett battled back and won.
It's hard work like that, especially in practice, that's generating such success.
"They have a good time in practice, but there's a real serious attitude as well," said Swensen. "If you have a bad team in practice you have to do push ups and crunches and run. But if you have a good team they push themselves."
In addition to Burnett's win, Nate Jackson and Luke Lofthouse were crowned champs for Mountain Crest. Lofthouse remained unbeaten with the win.
"He's not the best kid I've ever coached yet, but he probably will be," said Swensen about his sophomore standout.
Viewmont made a great run in the championship matches, despite knowing it couldn't overcome Mountain Crest's lead.
Ben Kjar beat Spanish Fork's previously unbeaten Jordan Webb 8-3 at 119 pounds. In the next match, Zac Morby recorded a take down against Spanish Fork's Casey Grover in the final 10 seconds to prevail 3-1.
Not to be outdone, Wade Steed also got the best of a Spanish Fork wrestler, as he beat Jeb Clark in overtime at 130 pounds. Landon Essig capped the Vikings' run of four straight wins as he reversed Idaho Fall's Kris Jensen in the final second to prevail 4-3.
"I don't know if I've seen a run like that for one school," said Viewmont coach Bart Thompson. "I know I've never seen one for Viewmont."
However, the four exciting wins weren't enough to vault the Vikings into first.
"Every round I thought we had a great round, but I'd look up and Mountain Crest was another point or two ahead," said Thompson. "I thought we did all we could do. Mountain Crest just had an outstanding tournament."
Other champions were Bear River's Zack Elliott, Hillcrest's Brandon Shafizadeh, West Jordan's Kyle Millet and Fremont's Billy Green.