OREM — It was a familiar face that stood above the rest of the 5A field Thursday evening as Pleasant Grove managed to secure a fifth consecutive state wrestling crown.
It was the 15th time in school history the Utah County school has hoisted the championship.
Davis managed to notch a second-place finish Thursday at UVU, ending the state tournament with a team score of 150.5 points.
The Darts were led by individual titles from Kade Evans, who bested Bingham junior Coby Vandertoolen for the 106-pound weight class title, while junior Wyatt Koelling pinned Brandon Closson of Pleasant Grove for the 195 weight class title.
It was the second title for Koelling, who later admitted that it's truly a race for second place for the rest of the field behind the Vikings.
“Pleasant Grove is a tough team to beat. It’s kind of a race for second, and it feels good to come out on top of the rest of the field,” said Koelling. “The first (title) is still sweeter. That one was a tough match in the 182 weight class, but it still feels pretty good to get this one toady.”
Herriman impressed with a third-place finish, with the Mustangs and Syracuse both ending the state tournament with team scores of 139 points.
Herriman junior Jaron Jensen gave his team critical points with a narrow victory over Syracuse senior Seth Rich. The match was neck and neck throughout, but Jensen was able to hold on and better his semifinal loss in 2014.
“It’s really indescribable. The feeling is surreal,” said Jensen. “Last year I didn’t perform the way I wanted to, I got beat in the semis fair and square, but this time I was gunning for the state championship. It was a big win, but we just need all of our guys to perform well.”
Pleasant Grove junior Ben Anderson earned his third consecutive title for the Vikings with a decisive victory over Fremont senior Dallin Denton.
“It’s something I’ve worked hard for, and something I’ve wanted ever since I won my first state title as a freshman,” said the three-time champion. “I had to tell myself to keep going and to not give up. When you stop that’s when you get caught, so I just keep telling myself to keep going and score points.”
Denton’s victory was one of three individual titles for Pleasant Grove.
“It’s definitely an amazing feeling not only that you won, but that your team won it as well. I know personally that it takes a lot of hard work and practice to get here.”
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