Assistant wrestling coach Ethen Lofthouse led the way for a contingent of Utah Valley University wrestlers who competed at the 2015 ASICS UWW Cadet and University Nationals during the weekend in Akron, Ohio, by taking second in his weight class. Lofthouse went 5-1 en route to earning his second-place finish in the University Nationals freestyle competition at 189 pounds.
Lofthouse, who enters his second season of coaching on Greg Williams' staff this fall, won his first five bouts of the tournament to reach the finals. The former two-time All-American for the University of Iowa won three of those five bouts by technical fall, as well as another by fall, on his way to the semifinals. The three-seeded Lofthouse then topped his former Hawkeye teammate and two-seeded Sammy Brooks in the semis by a score of 6-4 to reach the finals. In the title bout, Lofthouse fell to the 2015 All-American from North Dakota State, Hayden Zillmer, by a score of 12-5.
Seven other grapplers competed for the Wolverine Wrestling Club at the renowned tournament, and incoming freshman Kimball Bastian led the group by going 5-2 at 176 pounds. Bastian picked up a pair of wins by technical fall and three more by decision during his solid tournament run. Trevor Willson also wrestled well as he went 2-2 at143 pounds, while Brayden Humpherys (154 pounds), Koleton Hardy (163 pounds) and Derek Thomas (189 pounds) finished with identical 1-2 records and Raider Lofthouse (163 pounds) and Jordan Karst (275.5 pounds) each went 0-2.
Past champions in this event qualified for the University World Championships, but there will not be a University Worlds this year. The University Worlds return to the schedule in 2016.
The 2015 UWW Cadet and University Nationals were held at the University of Akron from May 28-31.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit WolverineGreen.com.