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High school wrestling: Pleasant Grove rolls to another state title, its 10th in past 11 years

West’s Drew Lang, right, defeats Westlake’s Jacob Finlinson in the 132-pound finals match at the 6A wrestling state championship at Corner Canyon High School in Draper on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.
West’s Drew Lang, right, defeats Westlake’s Jacob Finlinson in the 132-pound finals match at the 6A wrestling state championship at Corner Canyon High School in Draper on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

When Gov. Gary Herbert hit the two-week pause button on high school sports back around Thanksgiving, Herriman senior Talmage Carman was one of thousands of winter sports athletes across the state who had no idea what that meant for his upcoming season.

Two and half months later, Carman was one of 14 wrestlers who felt the ultimate euphoria of not only competing at the 6A state tournament at Corner Canyon High School on Friday night, but also claiming an individual state championship in the process.

He said win or lose, it was a night to be grateful for the opportunity.

“This year I think for every athlete, every wrestler, every person, it’s brought on a lot of challenges and brought on a lot of difficulties in all of our lives,” said Carman. “So I think the fact that ever wrestler here was able to drive through that and every wrestler here was able to still compete and work their hearts out and come away with the goal they wanted to achieve, no matter who it is, every wrestler deserves credit for what they went through this year and how they competed.”

Carman finished the season with a 33-2 record and a second straight state championship.

To no one’s surprise, the best team in 6A this season was once against Pleasant Grove. It placed 12 wrestlers in the top six and finished with three individual champs to finish with 278 points and a 10th state title in the past 11 years.

Layton finished second with 196 points, followed by Fremont in third with 148 points.

“It’s pretty amazing to be part of history like this,” said Pleasant Grove’s Alex Emmer, who beat teammate Koda DeAtley for the 138-pound title.

“Everyone here knows there’s a target on their back. Everyone here knows you need to get better. You look up On our wall and our room and you see all the state championships and you just want to add to it.”

Pleasant Grove has now won 22 state titles in school history, just one behind Wasatch and Uintah for second place in state history.

Emmer wasn’t the only Viking wrestler to beat a teammate in the final, as Wyatt Dawe beat Kort Wilkinson in the 285-pound final.

Pleasant Grove’s other individual champ was Ted Johnson at 182 pounds.

The feature match of the night came at 132 pounds, with West’s Drew Lang beating Westlake’s Jacob Finlinson, 4-1, to deny him a fourth individual state champion.

Lang lost to Finlinson at the divisionals and state last year, but reversed it this year with wins in both tourneys.

“I’ve been chasing him the whole season. I’ve had a goal ever since I was younger to be a four-time state champion and last year he broke that goal, so this year I’ve been hunting him all year and I’ve been wanting that revenge. I got him at divisionals, but that didn’t really count for me. When I got it tonight it was very sweet. It was everything I wanted,” said Lang.

Lang said in the 50-50 positions he just always felt like he was going to prevail, which he did.

Another feature match came at 120 pounds and featured Layton’s Quade Smith against American Fork’s Dallan Hunsaker, two wrestlers who took state at different weight classes last year.

The match did not disappoint either, with Smith prevailing 8-6 in overtime.

“Every time you get that hand raised in a state title it feels so good, I didn’t want anyone to take that from me,” said Smith.

Corner Canyon’s Cameron Moss got to experience that feeling again as well, beating Skyridge’s Cayaen Smith 4-1 in the 170-pound final.

A back injury sidelined Moss for most of the season, but he returned in time for divisionals so he could qualify for state.

“Had my amazing coaches to help push me through it. Great support the whole way through. I don’t think there would’ve been anything that made me stop. I still don’t feel like I’m 100 percent better,” said Moss.

Two other Corner Canyon wrestlers claimed state titles in their home gym: Tyler Vivanco at 113 pounds and Brigham Bagley at 126 points.

Other individual state champs on Friday were Westlake’s Brayden Robison (106), Skyridge’s Joshua Millward, Davis’ Maclaine Percival, Granger’s Park Beeler and Fremont’s Nolan Kiser (220).


Class 6A State Tournament

At Corner Canyon High School

Team scores

1. Pleasant Grove, 278

2. Layton, 196

3. Fremont, 148

4. Westlake, 145.5

5. Davis, 136

6. Corner Canyon, 114.5

7. Syracuse, 98.5

8. Skyridge, 89

Individual results

  • 106 — 1. Brayden Robison, Westlake; 2. Jace Lemons, Layton; 3. Wade Mecham, American Fork; 4. Brykn Burnett, Fremont; 5. Parker Ballantyne, Westlake; 6. Parker Bowen, Pleasant Grove.
  • 113 — 1. Tyler Vivanco, Corner Canyon; 2. Jacob Carson, Pleasant Grove; 3. Ryker Brann, Layton; 4. Gavyn Gappmayer, Corner Canyon; 5. Kyler Pace, Layton; 6. Isaac Price, Copper Hills.
  • 120 — 1. Quade Smith, Layton; 2. Dallan Hunsaker, American Fork; 3. Cal Christiansen, Fremont; 4. Israel Gonzalez, Pleasant Grove; 5. Zachary Hope, Copper Hills; 6. Koen Musselman, Fremont.
  • 126 — 1. Brigham Bagley, Corner Canyon; 2. Gage Ogden, Herriman; 3. Jaron Priest, Layton; 4. Banks Love, Bingham; 5. Max Benson, Pleasant Grove; 6. Sutton Brown, Syracuse.
  • 132 — 1. Drew Lang, West; 2. Jacob Finlinson, Westlake; 3. Isaac Griffin, Syracuse; 4. Logan Hancey, Fremont; 5. Nathan Bartholomew, American Fork; 6. Cameron Baum, Westlake.
  • 138 — 1. Alex Emmer, Pleasant Grove; 2. Koda DeAtley, Pleasant Grove; 3. Kaden Olson, Riverton; 4. Corbin Platt, Fremont; 5. Isaac Ortega, Weber; 6. Trace Garrett, Syracuse.
  • 145 — 1. Joshua Millward, Skyridge; 2. Benjamin Brown, Northridge; 3. Joshua Millard, Skyridge; 4. Benjamin Brown, Northridge; 5. Trevyn Gates, Pleasant Grove; 6. Jace Brower, Westlake.
  • 152 — 1. Maclaine Percival, Davis; 2. Zeke Kelley, Pleasant Grove; 3. Isaac Fisher, Layton; 4. Jacob Green, Westlake; 5. Tanner Giatras, Weber; 6. Michael Pearce, Northridge.
  • 160 — 1. Park Beeler, Granger; 2. Kael Bennie, Layton; 3. Mahkyi Smith, Skyridge; 4. Jordan Faifai, Syracuse; 5. Carson Neff, Bingham; 6. Ty Ha’o, Clearfield.
  • 170 — 1. Cameron Moss, Corner Canyon; 2. Cayaen Smith, Skyridge; 3. Zachary Phipps, Syracuse; 4. Reilly Knable, Roy; 5. Jake Lewallen, Riverton; 6. Kadin Stosich, Lone Peak.
  • 182 — 1. Ted Johnson, Pleasant Grove; 2. Alex Schefer, Davis; 3. Cesar Ubico, Hunter; 4. Nash Anderson, Syracuse; 5. Ethan Hearne, Layton; 6. Isai Hernandez, Granger.
  • 195 — 1. Talmage Carman, Herriman; 2. Damon Armenta, Cyprus; 3. Mason Rigby, Davis; 4. Isaac Duran, Fremont; 5. Gabriel Yocum, Pleasant Grove; 6. Weston Miller, Fremont
  • 220 — 1. Nolan Kiser, Fremont; 2. Davis Richardson, Davis; 3. Cooper Mumford, Lone Peak; 4. Gentry Bowles, Riverton; 5. Noah Linford, Layton; 6. Bradley Critchield, Corner Canyon.
  • 285 — 1. Wyatt Dawe, Pleasant Grove; 2. Kort Wilkinson, Pleasant Grove; 3. Kelton Gold, Fremont; 4. Tayden Roundy, Davis; 5. Mason Bodell, Westlake; 6. Lucas Baird, Davis.