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High school wrestling: Super state championships on Saturday

Students Taylor Lamont of Maple Mountain and Trevor Lowe of Mountain Crest compete at the 4A State Wrestling Championships at UVU in Orem Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015.
Students Taylor Lamont of Maple Mountain and Trevor Lowe of Mountain Crest compete at the 4A State Wrestling Championships at UVU in Orem Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015.
Chelsey Allder,

DRAPER — Led by 27 classification state champions, the third annual Utah High School Wrestling Super State Championships will take place Saturday at Corner Canyon High School in Draper.

The tournament, sanctioned by the Utah High School Activities Association, features state place winners from each of the five UHSAA classifications. USA Wrestling Utah will run the tournament led by executive director Jeff Newby. Wrestling begins Saturday at 10 a.m. with the semifinals scheduled to start at 1 p.m. and the championship matches beginning at 4 p.m.

“Now in its third year, the Super State wrestling tournament continues to grow. The UHSAA continues to sanction the tournament and is grateful to organizers for their willingness to conduct the tournament under the rules and guidelines of the UHSAA to assure it promotes the goals and ideals of education based competition,” said Bart Thompson, assistant director of the UHSAA.

A quartet of nationally ranked wrestlers — Taylor Lamont, Johnny O’Hearon, Jacob Armstrong and Wyatt Koelling — all look to add another Super State title to their already impressive careers.

Senior Jacob Armstrong (46-2) from Salem Hills, a University of Nebraska commit, looks to add a third consecutive Super State title having previously won the 145 and 160 weight classes. He won his third consecutive 4A championship last weekend at 182.

Teammates from Maple Mountain, Lamont (61-0) a junior and O’Hearon (54-1) a senior, each won championships during the inaugural Super State tournament in 2013. Lamont, now a three-time 4A champion is ranked in the top 10 of most national rankings, while O’Hearon marched his way to a second straight 4A championship last weekend.

Rounding out the nationally ranked competitors is junior Wyatt Koelling (38-1) from Davis, who won a Super State title last year at 182 and is now a 2-time 5A champion winning the 195 class last weekend.

With 27 classification champions, a tournament record, each weight class boasts at least one state champion and several of the weight classes multiple champions.

At 132, fans will see four classification champions battle it out for best in the state, highlighted by two-time 2A champion Kyle Evans (50-4), a junior from Beaver, freshman phenom Brock Hardy (42-1) from 4A Box Elder, returning Super State champion Jayden Pentz (32-3) from 3A Morgan and 1A champion Austin Trapp (43-5) from Piute.

The 120 bracket also boasts multiple champions in returning Super State champion Tanner Cox (60-8), a junior from Maple Mountain and a two-time 4A champion as well as 5A champion junior Cameron Hunsaker (46-2) from American Fork and 2A champion McKoy Christiansen (42-3), a junior from Emery.

Class 4A team runner-up Maple Mountain leads all high schools with 11 participants, while 5A power Layton enters eight wrestlers. Class 4A champion Wasatch submitted seven wrestlers along with 5A Lehi and 3A Morgan.

"The strength of all of the five classifications in Utah can be seen in this event," said Mountain View coach Chad Blevins said. "It is an exciting event for all the wrestlers. Even if a wrestler goes two and out he can hold his head high knowing he just lost to two of the best wrestlers in the state. The finals always showcase incredible matchups and the team trophy could be a very tight battle this year. We hope that many coaches will continue to support this emerging tradition.”

Other returning Super State Champions include sophomore Tanner Benedict (33-8) from Layton at 113 and returning 285 champion Brackin Stringam (56-3), a senior from Lehi who won the 5A championship last weekend.

Other multiple-time classification state champions participating include two-time 2A champion Jaxon Cole (50-2), a sophomore from North Summit at 106; two-time 4A champion from Wasatch junior Braiden Parker (44-6) at 113; two-time 3A champion Ashton Seely (53-2) a sophomore from Juab at 170; and two-time 1A champion Preston Stephenson (50-2) from Wayne.

The senior Stephenson could meet Wasatch senior Spencer Heywood (48-5) in a marquee final at 160. Heywood won the 4A championship last weekend and is a 2013 Super State finalist.