After winning last year’s inaugural 6A state title by 55 points, the Westlake Thunder knew they were expected to produce and perform in a dominant fashion again this year.
How did they respond to that pressure?
By winning this year’s tournament by 80 points.
With 290 total points, Westlake managed to exceed expectations in its repeat as 6A state champions Saturday evening at the UCCU Center in Orem.
Copper Hills finished in second place with 210 points, while Pleasant Grove (137 points) placed third.
“There was pressure coming in since we lost a few girls… so it had to come from everyone,” Westlake coach Cody Burdett said.
“I really feel like the girls came together. We did have some trying times just like everyone, but they came together, bought in and worked hard, and that’s how we got it done.”
The Thunder had six different wrestlers stand in the No. 1 position on the podium as medals were given out — four more than any other school.
One of those winners, sophomore Celeste Detoles (125), capped off her season a perfect 43-0 and repeated as state champion as she defeated Syracuse’s Brylee Roennebeck by fall.
Detoles said she felt she had a chance to go undefeated heading into the season, and despite some close calls at times, she reached that goal and helped her team secure another state title.
“Going undefeated was my ultimate goal. I met it and I just feel so happy that I did,” Detoles said. “All our girls did excellent, and I’m so proud that we have so many state champions this year.
“We’ve all worked really hard, and I’m just super happy for us.”
Detoles wasn’t the only wrestler who finished their season undefeated, as Fremont’s Brinlee Gines (130) pinned defending champion Neida Valle in the third period to win her first state championship and finalize her season record at 35-0.
Taylorsville sophomore Cheyenne Ruiz (190) also finished her season with an undefeated record (27-0) after pinning Cyprus’ Tori Poulsen 73 seconds into their match.
Cyprus’ Kacy Mecham had her bid for an undefeated season denied when she was defeated by Westlake’s Elizabeth Shunn 8-0 in the 140-class title match.
The title was the second in a row for Shunn (third counting club), who said that she hopes to go for a fourth during her senior season next year.
“Four times is the goal, so that’s just one step closer for me,” Shunn said before saying how proud she is of her team.
“To have helped build (Westlake’s) program since I was 7, and then to have it come to my junior year and we’re winning two state titles in a row, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Expectations will be sky-high again for the Thunder next season, especially considering that not a single one of the school’s six individual champions is a senior.
The Thunder seem to be on the path of a dynasty, and Shunn said she hopes Westlake will continue to be a dominant program for years to come.
“My goal next year is to leave the program like (Pleasant Grove) has with their boys team,” Shunn said, referring to the Vikings’ dynasty.
“I know a lot of talk during my freshman year was about how we had a numbers advantage, but today we’ve shown that it’s our quality (that gets us wins).
“Our girls have worked hard, improved so much, and that’s what makes us a great team.”
6A girls state tournament
1. Westlake, 290
2. Copper Hills, 210
3. Pleasant Grove, 137
4. Mountain Ridge, 121
5. Syracuse, 121
6. Cyprus, 101
7. Riverton, 95
8. Corner Canyon, 91
1. Kristina Kent, Davis
2. Mailien Tran, Bingham
3. Sherlyn Orduno, Granger
4. Emily Ball, Syracuse
5. Paizlie Andre, Syracuse
6. Ulyssa Peterson, Weber
Championship — Kristina Kent, Davis def. Mailien Tran, Bingham, MD 10-2
1. Jamie Barton, Westlake
2. Kaaulani Hew-Len, Hunter
3. Isabelle Fisher, Pleasant Grove
4. Madelyn Nielsen, West
5. Tatum Stanger, Layton
6. Athena Oro, Granger
Championship — Jamie Barton, Westlake def. Kaaulani Hew-Len, Hunter, Fall 5:00
1. Marlie Rigby, Layton
2. Aleena Navarrete, Weber
3. Lexus Bertagnolli, Brandon, Roy
4. Lianny Barrena, Skyridge
5. Sabrina Jensen, Syracuse
6. Jenna Olsen, Hunter
Championship — Marlie Rigby, Layton def. Aleena Navarrete, Weber, Dec 6-4
1. Brooklyn Pace, Copper Hills
2. Bella Butterfield, Riverton
3. Samantha Memmott, Layton
4. Aly Larson, Corner Canyon
5. Abigail Griffith, Mountain Ridge
6. Eva Schuenemann, Corner Canyon
Championship — Brooklyn Pace, Copper Hills def. Bella Butterfield, Riverton, Dec 11-5
1. Ashley Cannon, Westlake
2. Kimberlynn Fowers, Copper Hills
3. Cheyenne Cummings, Cyprus
4. Olivia Barton, Syracuse
5. Cassidy Cooper, Pleasant Grove
6. Myiah Giampapa, Riverton
Championship — Ashley Cannon, Westlake def. Kimberlynn Fowers, Copper Hills, Fall 3:30
1. Celeste Detoles, Westlake
2. Brylee Roennebeck, Syracuse
3. Gracie Borchardt, Pleasant Grove
4. Valentina Martinez, Davis
5. Liliani Hopoate, Copper Hills
6. Eva Newland, Mountain Ridge
Championship — Celeste Detoles, Westlake def. Brylee Roennebeck, Syracuse, Fall 2:51
1. Brinlee Gines, Fremont
2. Neida Valle, Hunter
3. Ameris Jensen, Westlake
4. Ava Krebs, Pleasant Grove
5. Ashley Wilcox, Copper Hills
6. Elizabeth Lemon, Copper Hills
Championship — Brinlee Gines, Fremont def. Neida Valle, Hunter, Fall 5:00
1. Kate McNeill, Mountain Ridge
2. Quincy Peterson, Westlake
3. Ashlea Larson, Riverton
4. Acacia Heath, Copper Hills
5. Meleana Fager, Corner Canyon
6. Kara Noyce, Copper Hills
Championship — Kate McNeill, Mountain Ridge def. Quincy Peterson, Westlake, Fall 3:22
1. Elizabeth Shunn, Westlake
2. Kacy Mecham, Cyprus
3. Hailey Pigg, Westlake
4. Katie Navarro, West Jordan
5. Taylor Martin, Pleasant Grove
6. Nativada Unsworth, Taylorsville
Championship — Elizabeth Shunn, Westlake def. Kacy Mecham, Cyprus, MD 8-0
1. Emmy Finlinson, Westlake
2. Angella Van Valkenburg, Bingham
3. Bella Morgan, Corner Canyon
4. Leticia Garcia, Kearns
5. Janessa Brown, Mountain Ridge
6. Hailey Curtis, Mountain Ridge
Championship — Emmy Finlinson, Westlake def. Angella Van Valkenburg, Bingham, Dec 5-2
1. Brooklyn Hays, Pleasant Grove
2. Bailee Hawks Nelson, Cyprus
3. Kam Nez, Corner Canyon
4. Samantha Dotson, Westlake
5. Ellyana Shaner, Weber
6. Haley Diaz, Layton
Championship — Brooklyn Hays, Pleasant Grove def. Bailee Hawks Nelson, Cyprus,, Fall 1:38
1. Anya Hatch, Copper Hills
2. Tayleigh Robertson, Copper Hills
3. Adel Roennebeck, Syracuse
4. Alyx Walker, Clearfield
5. Jessica Hacking, Farmington
6. Jesse Harrison, Westlake
Championship — Anya Hatch, Copper Hills def. Tayleigh Robertson, Copper Hills, Fall 2:38
1. Cheyenne Ruiz, Taylorsville
2. Tori Poulsen, Cyprus
3. Rachel Johnson, Riverton
4. Mikaylee Stitcher, Bingham
5. Audrey Gribble, Herriman
6. Midori Kano, Corner Canyon
Championship — Cheyenne Ruiz, Taylorsville def. Tori Poulsen, Cyprus, Fall 1:13
1. Keilikki Nau Rarick, Westlake
2. Bethany Gardner, Granger
3. Zoie Nerch, Copper Hills
4. Kate Ashton, Mountain Ridge
5. Tapuaki Halahingano, Granger
6. Makaylee Huntsman, Westlake
Championship — Keilikki Nau Rarick, Westlake def. Bethany Gardner, Granger, Fall 4:16