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High school boys wrestling: Mountain Crest returns to the top of the 4A heap

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The Mountain Crest Mustangs celebrate their victory in the 4A wrestling state tournament on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield, Utah.

The Mountain Crest Mustangs celebrate their victory in the 4A wrestling state tournament on Saturday, February 19, 2022 at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield, Utah.

Dave Anderson, for the Deseret News

The Mountain Crest High School boys wrestling team reclaimed the top spot on the 4A podium Saturday night in Richfield.

Jay Tovey, in his fourth year as the head coach of Mountain Crest, was able to deliver the school’s eighth state championship to a rowdy crowd after last winning it in 2020.

“Last year was tough on our team and our coaches and it didn’t end the way we wanted it to,” Tovey said.

“This feels awesome to be able to bounce back. I’m happy just to see the boys smiling and how the end turned out for them ... I’m just glad to be there and help out where I can.”

It was a Mountain Crest night at the Sevier Valley Center, as both the boys and girls won team titles. 

“The girls program has done a lot of good and we’re excited for them,” Tovey said. “For us, it’s the secret has just been wrestling hard. We try to train harder in the room than our opponents. 

“Through the year it may not have seemed to pay off as much, but here I think we won a lot of close matches.”

“There wasn’t an easy match, but that’s what makes wrestling the best sport. Generally, the guy who works the most gets what he deserves,” Tovey said.

“Our boys benefited from the hard work and deserved everything they got.” 

Carter Nelson (113) picked up his first state championship to help get the Mustangs going in the finals, beating Bear River’s Kayden Ward.

“It took a lot of building confidence in myself,” Nelson said. “This is a heck of a team. My team has helped me more than anyone.”

Easton Evans (120) was another Mountain Crest wrestler who added to the tally as he was able to outlast Pine View’s Jaron Marx in the finals. 

“It feels good,” Evans said. “There was a lot of hard work and hard practices every day.” 

Luke Schroder (126) kept things rolling for the Mustangs as he earned a tight 3-1 decision over Hurricane’s Seth Armstrong.

“Wrestling has changed me so much,” Schroder said. “I’m so thankful I can play this sport.”

Senior Brock Gunthrie (175) helped Mountain Crest through the finals as well, beating Bear River’s River Smith in a close 9-7 match and earning his first individual title. 

“I’m just grateful for all the teammates I have,” Guthrie said.  “Everybody is just there to help build each other up year after year.”

Dontay McMurtrey ended his run in the finals against Snow Canyon’s Rockwell Jones in a match that went the full three rounds, ending 7-3 in favor of Jones.

“I feel like Dontay McMurtrey surprised a lot of people this year,” Tovey said. “He didn’t surprise us, because we know he’s tremendously talented and works very hard.”

Perhaps the toughest bout of the day was a five-rounder between Green Canyon’s Will Wheatley (215) and Snow Canyon’s Vincent Threlfall, as each scrapped to get the advantage.

As the third regulation round ended, neither wrestler had scored. It would take two bonus rounds before Wheatley was able to capture the win on a 4-2 score.

“I just kept telling myself to give it all I got for the last five seconds or 20 seconds, whatever it was,” Wheatley said.

While Wheatley won the gold, both won respect. 

“Vince is a dog. I love the kid to death and he’s a great sport,” Wheatley said. “I’m glad I wrestled him. He’s cool guy and either of us could have won that.”

4A boys state tournament

At Sevier Valley Center

Team scores

1. Mountain Crest, 312

2. Snow Canyon, 245

3. Bear River, 242.5

4. Ridgeline, 167

5. Hurricane, 142.5

6. Pine View, 126

7. Desert Hills, 125

8. Green Canyon, 122

Individual results

106 pounds

1. Daxton Bingham, Bear River

2. Asher Farr, Snow Canyon

3. Zach Halligan, Mountain Crest

4. Hayden Wittwer, Dixie

5. Parker Revis, Hurricane

6. Payton Redd, Logan

Championship — Daxton Bingham, Bear River def. Asher Farr, Snow Canyon, Dec 8-7

113 pounds

1. Carter Nelson, Mountain Crest

2. Kayden Ward, Bear River

3. Kaden Guymon, Snow Canyon

4. Max Miller, Bear River

5. Cason Smith, Snow Canyon

6. Corbin Hansen, Crimson Cliffs

Championship — Carter Nelson, Mountain Crest def. Kayden Ward, Bear River, Dec 10-4

120 pounds

1. Easton Evans, Mountain Crest

2. Jaren Marx, Pine View

3. Edgar Renteria, Snow Canyon

4. Daxton Darley, Green Canyon

5. Hudson Mosher, Ridgeline

6. Payton Marx, Pine View

Championship — Easton Evans, Mountain Crest def. Jaren Marx, Pine View, Dec 6-5

126 pounds

1. Luke Schroeder, Mountain Crest

2. Seth Armstrong, Hurricane

3. Kayden Madsen, Crimson Cliffs

4. Ty Hawkes, Bear River

5. Collin Miller, Sky View

6. Ashton Dofelmire, Hurricane

Championship — Luke Schroeder, Mountain Crest def. Seth Armstrong, Hurricane, Dec 3-1

132 pounds

1. Nathaniel Fordham, Desert Hills

2. Lincoln Lofthouse, Mountain Crest

3. Dominik Benedetto, Snow Canyon

4. Parley Thacker, Sky View

5. Ben Jackman, Hurricane

6. Cooper Redd, Logan

Championship — Nathaniel Fordham, Desert Hills def. Lincoln Lofthouse, Mountain Crest, Dec 4-2

138 pounds

1. Ty Winward, Ridgeline

2. Caleb Bundy, Pine View

3. Kade Croft, Sky View

4. Mikah Murphy, Hurricane

5. Wyatt Coulam, Mountain Crest

6. Braegger Richards, Bear River

Championship — Ty Winward, Ridgeline def. Caleb Bundy, Pine View, Dec 7-2

144 pounds

1. Terrell Lee, Mountain Crest

2. Brenden Smith, Snow Canyon

3. Zach Gunderson, Bear River

4. Cooper Anderson, Cedar City

5. Cam Craney, Ridgeline

6. Cody Jordan, Desert Hills

Championship — Terrell Lee, Mountain Crest def. Brenden Smith, Snow Canyon, Fall 0:58

150 pounds

1. Tristyn Dennett, Hurricane

2. Jace McBride, Mountain Crest

3. Dustin Douglas, Bear River

4. Brayden Jones, Snow Canyon

5. Alex Stubbs, Hurricane

6. Vincent Fertig, Bear River

Championship — Tristyn Dennett, Hurricane def. Jace McBride, Mountain Crest, Dec 3-1

157 pounds

1. Keagan Boyce, Desert Hills

2. Nic Baum, Crimson Cliffs

3. Kadin Halona, Logan

4. Tegun Curtis Whitehead, Snow Canyon

5. Sam Pirtle, Ridgeline

6. Bridger Gifford, Pine View

Championship — Keagan Boyce, Desert Hills def. Nic Baum, Crimson Cliffs, 19-2

165 pounds

1. Rockwell Jones, Snow Canyon

2. Dontay McMurtrey, Mountain Crest

3. Logan Hull, Green Canyon

4. Teddy Larson, Pine View

5. Owen Munk, Ridgeline

6. Justin Anderson, Cedar City

Championship — Rockwell Jones, Snow Canyon def. Dontay McMurtrey, Mountain Crest, Dec 7-3

175 pounds

1. Brock Guthrie, Mountain Crest

2. River Smith, Bear River

3. Cash Carlisle, Dixie

4. Phoenix Oliver, Snow Canyon

5. Jackson Landon, Green Canyon

6. Kwade Kosoff, Bear River

Championship — Brock Guthrie, Mountain Crest def. River Smith, Bear River, Dec 9-7

190 pounds

1. Ronan Melani, Ridgeline

2. Eldon Milton, Crimson Cliffs

3. Kaeson Burn, Bear River

4. Luke Blake, Green Canyon

5. Sam Schroeder, Mountain Crest

6. Breccan Fisher, Snow Canyon

Championship — Ronan Melani, Ridgeline def. Eldon Milton, Crimson Cliffs, Fall 5:35

215 pounds

1. Will Wheatley, Green Canyon

2. Vincent Threlfall, Snow Canyon

3. Hunter Hammer, Mountain Crest

4. Noah Fuailetolo, Desert Hills

5. Brayden Barlow, Pine View

6. Beau Miller, Snow Canyon

Championship — Will Wheatley, Green Canyon def. Vincent Threlfall, Snow Canyon, 4-2

285 pounds

1. Dawson Bundy, Desert Hills

2. Kenneth Ericksen, Dixie

3. Payton Calico, Pine View

4. Carson Pond, Bear River

5. Aiden Crawford, Dixie

6. Tag Gubler, Snow Canyon

Championship — Dawson Bundy, Desert Hills def. Kenneth Ericksen, Dixie, Fall 1:31