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Maple Mountain graduate Taylor LaMont wins national title in Greco-Roman

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Taylor Lamont, Maple Mountain wrestling

Taylor Lamont, Maple Mountain wrestling

Courtesy photo

Recent 2016 Maple Mountain graduate Taylor LaMont won the national wrestling title at the USA Wrestling Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman wrestling at 132 pounds. The tournament, hosted in Fargo, North Dakota, features the best youth wrestlers across the country competing in the styles of freestyle and Greco-Roman. LaMont will go for the gold in freestyle this weekend.

LaMont is arguably the most decorated prep wrestler in Utah history and hopes to join the lexicon of past Utah wrestling legends such as Cael Sanderson as a NCAA champion and Olympic gold medalist.

LaMont won his fourth high school state title this past winter prepping for Maple Mountain, but his accomplishments go way beyond this sphere.

LaMont has won national titles in all three styles of wrestlng (collegiate or folkstyle, which is done in high school, freestyle and Greco-Roman). LaMont excels in all three styles, but Greco-Roman is his best style, and the former Golden Eagle grappler has set his sights on the 2020 Olympics. This spring, LaMont narrowly missed qualifying for the 2016 USA Olympic Trials, though just being 18 years old.

The USA Wrestling Junior Nationals is considered the premier national wrestling event for high school-age prep wrestlers. But even in this elite competition against the nation's best, LaMont simply blitzed the field.

He won all seven of his bouts by technical fall or pin, including his championship match where he pinned Dalton Young from the state of Washinton in 1:33 of the first round. Only Zachary Van Alst out of Alabama, who LaMont wrestled in the semi-finals, scored on the former Golden Eagle star. Even then, LaMont dispatched Van Alst 16-5 for a technical fall victory (where the bout is stopped when one wrestlers is ahead 10 or more points).

LaMont wasn't the only wrestler who fared well in this national tournament where the top eight place-winners in fields that may have 100 or more wrestlers are deemed All-American. Beside the junior nationals for those 16 to 18, there was the Cadet Nationals for wrestlers who are 14-15 years of age.

Jaron Jensen, who prepped at Herriman, winning multiple state titles, placed second at 145 pounds in the Juniors while Dylan Gregerson, who wrestled at Riverton, placed eighth at 132 pounds. Though they didn't place, Maple Mountain graduate Tanner Cox (126 pounds) and North Summit's Jaxon Cole (120 pounds) went seven rounds before being eliminated just short of becoming All-Americans.

Box Elder's Brock Hardy, who took 4A state at 145 pounds as a freshman, placed second in the Cadet division at 138 pounds, losing to Will Lewan of Illinois in the championship finals.

Other Cadet All-Americans included Logan Jensen, who joined his older brother as a place-winner by placing fourth at 145 pounds, Chase Trussell, who placed fourth at 220 pounds, Zak Kohler, who placed sixth at 132 pounds, Preston Blotter, who finished seventh at 88 pounds, and Braydon Mogle, who placed seventh at 94 pounds.

Deep runs were made by Isaac Wilcox, who was knocked in the placing round by Jensen, along with Stockton O'Brien and Zac Musselman, who were also defeated just one match away from All-American status.

Cadet age wrestlers will be freshmen and sophomores in high school next year, and Kohler and Musselman actually won prep state titles this past year, grappling for Wasatch and Monticello respectively.

In regards to the team race, Utah finished 16th in the Juniors out of 48 competing U.S. states and territories, while the Beehive State finished 12th in the Cadets. Illinois won both age divisions.

Brian Preece was the former head coach at Provo High from 1994-2006 and was named the Utah Coach of the Year in 2006 by the National Wrestling Coaches Association. He also is a freelance sportswriter.