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High school wrestling: Wasatch turns tragedy into triumph, wins 4A crown

OREM — Roughly two years removed from the tragic and heartbreaking death of former Wasatch wrestler Coleman Sweat, the Wasps continue to fight for and honor their fallen brother every day — and Thursday was the perfect platform to do just that.

“We had a tragedy about two years ago when one of our classmates died. He was one of our guys from our sophomore group who was the heart of this team,” Wasatch head coach Wade Discher said of his fallen wrestler. “I think all of tonight and throughout this tournament we wrestled with him on their minds. The kid was a fighter, and he should have been here right now with us, so this one is for him.”

Wasatch picked up right where it left off Wednesday night and got solid contributions from its three individual state champs and multiple consolation winners en route to a deeply emotion and meaningful 270.5-242.5 victory over second-place Maple Mountain Thursday night at the UCCU Center.

Wasatch had won a wrestling state championship before in 2A and 3A, with the last one dating back to 2008 (3A), but had never won a 4A state championship until Thursday night as the Wasps racked up more points than any other team in any classification.

“It feels great. These young men have been putting in the hard work and time in the last seven or eight years, and have come together through some tough times,” Discher said. “They're just great kids who got the job done. They had great purpose, they had great focus, and they trusted in God a great deal throughout this whole process.”

The Wasps held the lead for the majority of the two-day affair and were expected to have a number of individual state winners. Despite just three wrestlers taking home the gold (Braiden Parker (113), Spencer Heywood (160) and Payton Mair (170), Wasatch’s deep and talented wrestlers made sure to win their consolation matches and get as many points as possible. However, it took the Wasps awhile to find a rhythm in the championship round. It was both Parker’s and Mair’s second consecutive individual state title.

Things got really interesting for Wasatch as brothers Spencer Heywood and Ritchie Heywood (160) faced off in a siblings’ rivalry dual.

In the teammates’ two other times facing each other, the younger brother (Ritchie) has had his way with Spencer and picked up two wins. But for the first time in their three meetings, Spencer was able to hold on to pick up the win, which basically sealed the deal for the Wasps as well.

“I honestly couldn’t ask for a better way to end it. The only difference tonight was our mom wasn’t yelling at us and we weren’t breaking lamps at the house,” Spencer Heywood joked. “But I’m partners with him in practice most of the time, and we really do make each other better every day. I’m just happy we could help our team out and get the win.”

Maple Mountain finished the night with four individual state champs in Tanner Cox (120), top-ranked Taylor LaMont (126), Cameron Killian (145) and Johnny O’Hearon (152) as it claimed four state champs in six matches to jump ahead of Mountain Crest.

“I wanted to come in and dominate, and I felt really good in that finals match. I don’t think we can take first anymore; Wasatch has done a really terrific job this whole tournament,” the three-time defending state champion said. “But we just passed them (Mountain Crest) for second, and we want a trophy, so that’s cool.”

Overall, it was an extremely tight race in 4A and went down to the wire. As some expected, the top-ranked Wasps’ depth and talent was too much for Maple Mountain or Mountain Crest to overcome.

“All these (4A) teams wrestled really hard. A lot of it has to do with key matches at key times, and we were fortunate to have those key matches,” Discher added. “Mountain Crest has a spectacular team, and they have a lot of depth. Maple Mountain, those kids on the podium for them, they put in a ton of time and that’s what championships take.”

2015 UHSAA 4A Utah state championship team results

1. Wasatch, 270.5

2. Maple Mountain, 242.5

3. Mountain Crest, 231.5

4. Box Elder, 109.5

5. Salem Hills, 85.0

6. Logan, 74.0

6. Roy, 74.0

8. Corner Canyon, 73.0

9. Mountain View, 70.0

10. Spanish Fork, 68.0

2015 UHSAA 4A Utah state championship individual results

106 pounds

Championship match — Brandon Meikel, Kearns, def. Trevor Cluff, Wasatch, (Dec. 12-0)

3rd place match — Austin Bingham, Box Elder, def. Gabe Terry, Mtn. Crest, (Dec. 5-0)

5th place match — Jonathon Johnson, Bountiful, def. Robby Den, Skyline, (Dec. 6-3)

113 pounds

Championship match — Braiden Parker, Wasatch, def. Julio Ortiz, Mtn. View, (Dec. 5-0)

3rd place match — Jake Holbrook, Box Elder, def. Tanner Lofthouse, Mtn. Crest, (Dec. 12-5)

5th place match — Bryson Balls, Mtn. Crest, def. Harold Lemus, Kearns, (Dec. 6-3)

120 pounds

Championship match — Tanner Cox, Maple Mountain, def. Corbin Smith, Wasatch, (Dec. 4-0)

3rd place match — Raynger Keckler, Logan, def. Schafer Heiner, Provo, (MD 13-3)

5th place match — Bruce Campbell, Maple Mountain, def. Carson Halls, Woods Cross, (Fall 4:27)

126 pounds

Championship match — Taylor LaMont, Maple Mountain, def. Trevor Lowe, Mtn. Crest, (Fall 3:38)

3rd place match — Gage Bradley, Wasatch, def. Andrew Giles, Provo, (TB-1 2-1)

5th place match — Dylan Thompson, Box Elder, def. Steven Ballif, Wasatch, (Dec. 9-7)

132 pounds

Championship match — Brock Hardy, Box Elder, def. Jakob Discher, Wasatch, (Fall 4:19)

3rd place match — Brandyn Van Tassell, Maple Mountain, def. Zach Walker, Bountiful, (Fall 1:51)

5th place match — RJ Bingham, Mtn. Crest, def. Mason Colledge, Spanish Fork, (Dec. 2-1)

138 pounds

Championship match — Greg Lamb, Corner Canyon, def. Lukas Erickson, Olympus, (Fall 5:21)

3rd place match — Ryan Hansen, Maple Mountain, def. Kyle Smith, Box Elder, (Fall 4:56)

5th pace match — Jake Hopkins, Mtn. Crest, def. Garrett Maxwell, Bountiful, (MD 16-4)

145 pounds

Championship match — Cameron Killian, Maple Mountain, def. Mitchell Egbert, Mtn. Crest, (Dec. 8-3)

3rd place match — Eric Hansen, Sky View, def. Matthew Provost, Wasatch, (Dec. 6-0)

5th place match — Davis Halls, Woods Cross, def. Zane Rasmussen, Corner Canyon, (Dec. 8-6)

152 pounds

Championship match — Johnny O’Hearon, Maple Mountain, def. Jaxon VanTassell, Salem Hills, (Dec. 10-16)

3rd place match — Chris Wengreen, Mtn. Crest, def. DJ Cohen, Wasatch, (Dec. 6-4)

5th place match — Briar Bunderson, Box Elder, def. Caden Kirkland, Roy, (Dec. 4-3)

160 pounds

Championship match — Spencer Heywood, Wasatch, def. Ritchie Heywood, Wasatch, (Dec. 3-1)

3rd place match — Logan Harrison, Logan, def. Connor Kirkland, Roy, (Dec. 5-4)

5th place match — Collin White, Mtn. Crest, def. Brennen Gerratt, Salem Hills, (Dec. 7-2)

170 pounds

Championship match — Payton Mair, Wasatch, def. Caden Musselman, Mtn. Crest, (MD 12-2)

3rd place match — Tevin Nuttall, Springville, def. Matt Mott, Logan, (MD 10-1)

5th place match — Cory Rokovitz, Maple Mountain, def. Keegan Ngatuvai, Mtn. View, (Fall 4:06)

182 pounds

Championship match — Jacob Armstrong, Salem Hills, def. Tim Syndergaard, Mtn. Crest, (Fall 1:43)

3rd place match — Rett Cook, Provo, def. Nate Rolling, Highland, (Fall 2:21)

5th place match — Nate Richardson, Timpview, def. James Barnes, Corner Canyon, (Fall 3:40)

195 pounds

Championship match — Heber Shepherd, Spanish Fork, def. Jordan Crofts, Skyline, (Dec. 3-2)

3rd place match — Korbon Tibbals, Maple Mountain, def. Andy Thompson, Logan, (Dec. 12-6)

5th place match — Chase Kindrick, Mtn. View, def. Tyler Gleed, Orem, (Fall 2:49)

220 pounds

Championship match — I. John Leilua, Spanish Fork, def. Andrew Anderson, Mtn. Crest, (Fall 2:50)

3rd place match — Shaun Stockwell, Corner Canyon, def. Bryan Sakurada, Roy, (TB-1 6-4)

5th place match — Jaxon Bowden, Salem Hills, def. Tyler Ringwood, Olympus, (MD 16-2)

285 pounds

Championship match — Damian Trujillo, Roy, def. Ben Bos, Wasatch, (Fall 4:58)

3rd place match — Jake Biesinger, Maple Mountain, def. John Halaeua, Murray, (Dec. 8-5)

5th place match — Keaton Grossaint, Kearns, def. Breckin Wright, Mtn. Crest, (SV-1 3-1)

Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications, and has been a part-time sportswriter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since October 2012.

Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724

EMAIL: rlove@deseretnews.com