The Mountain Crest Lady Mustangs finished the first chapter of 4A girls wrestling with a state championship Saturday night at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
Mountain Crest racked up 427 points, beating second place Bear River, which finished with 171. Tooele nabbed third with 157 points.
“I’m so proud of them knowing that they are paving the way for all these women to wrestle in the future,” said coach Janae Liljenquist.
For most of the girls, their very first day on a wrestling mat was Nov. 17 of last year. Not only was the sport new for the girls, but also for their coach.
“I didn’t know how to wrestle either,” Liljenquist said.
She had a background in conditioning and weight training, so she said she drafted an excellent support staff to help coach, including Craig Dart, who taught the girls the techniques they would need to compete through the season.
“We ended up with 25 girls that first day and they just kept coming,” Liljenquist said.
“It’s such a physical sport, it really leveled the playing field,” Liljenquist said. “No one had been to expensive camps. We’re working together and we’re figuring it all out.”
Mountain Crest has a strong wrestling tradition, but Liljenquist said it was important for the girls program to remain separate and have its own identity.
Leading Mountain Crest was group of six girls who earned individual championships. Jalise Wakley (124) earned her medal off a tense, last-second 11-10 win over Canyon View’s Tessa Campbell.
“I’ve been doing this since I was seven, so it means a lot,” said Wakley, who was one of the few to have prior wrestling experience. She competed on the boys team as a freshman and jumped at the opportunity to participate in the girls program.
Ella Dekorver (132) was able to get a 16-11 win over Uintah’s Maycee Young in the championship bout.
“I’ve put in a lot of hard work,” Dekorver said. “This was my first year. It means so much to be here.”
For Hanna Evans (140), the journey to the state wrestling championship wasn’t one she took alone. Her brother Easton also picked up a championship medal Saturday night.
“I just never thought I’d be wrestling my senior year,” Hanna Evans said. She said if not for her brothers and coaches, she probably wouldn’t have made it.
“You have to be dedicated, and you can’t be scared to go out and do something you’re afraid of,” she said. She showed no fear as she was able to defeat teammate Sophie Longson in the finale.
“The first couple of weeks were tough, but we pushed through and it’s been awesome,” said Brynlie Hansen, who earned her state title by pinning Green Canyon’s Kiah Saurey.
“I just came here to have fun,” said Rosa Campos (170), who is a freshman and earned a state title in a bout against teammate Audrey Stabile.
“It’s kind of crazy, I have never really saw myself here,” said Sheccid Alvarado, who earned first place by beating Canyon View’s Jaylie Roden in a sudden victory match.
“I told them this would be the hardest sport they’d ever do,” Liljenquist said. “We’re just fired up to be here and help pave the way.”
Class 4A State Tournament
At Sevier Valley Center
1. Mountain Crest, 427
2. Bear River, 171
3. Tooele, 157
4. Uintah, 93
5. Ridgeline, 83
6. Cedar City, 72
7. Canyon View, 69
7. Cedar Valley, 69
- 108 — 1. Isabella Vargas, Juan Diego Catholic; 2. Gabriella Norton, Mountain Crest; 3. Kristie Jensen, Canyon View; 4. Kennedy Cadiz, Ogden; 5. Carisa Epling, Bear River; 6. Brinley Cowley, Mountain Crest
- 115 — 1. Chanley Green, Uintah; 2. Grace Tallmadge, Ridgeline; 3. Samara Ward, Bear River; 4. Rylee Turnbow, Mountain Crest; 5. Vanessa Andersen, Tooele; 6. Isabella Gunderson, Cedar Valley
- 120 — 1. Veronica Andersen, Tooele; 2. Tassie Hatch, Bear River; 3. Emma Child, Mountain Crest; 4. Alexia Woods, Cedar Valley; 5. Sierra Egbert, Logan; 6. Piper Nix, Mountain Crest
- 124 — 1. Jalise Wakley, Mountain Crest; 2. Tessa Campbell, Canyon View; 3. Hayden Oaks, Uintah; 4. Hailey Branch, Bear River; 5. Shilee Branham, Tooele; 6. McKelle Jeppson, Pine View
- 128 — 1. Cierra MacFarlane, Bear River; 2. Madelyne Topham, Ridgeline; 3. Kaydee Hopkins, Mountain Crest; 4. Talya Summers, Mountain Crest; 5. Dika Dekar, Sky View; 6. Lillian Sterling, Pine View
- 132 — 1. Ella Dekorver, Mountain Crest; 2. Maycee Young, Uintah; 3. Brook Harris, Green Canyon; 4. Baileigh Anker, Cedar City; 5. Allison Meyer, Cedar Valley; 6. Emma Petersen, Bear River
- 136 — 1. Ayelen Alissa Grilli, Cedar City; 2. Cristell Flores, Mountain Crest; 3. Laci Larsen, Mountain Crest; 4. Gracie Blake, Green Canyon; 5. Sophia Miller, Bear River; 6. Rose Van Blaricom, Canyon View
- 140 — 1. Hanna Evans, Mountain Crest; 2. Sophie Longson, Mountain Crest; 3. Kaletta Mascarenas, Tooele; 4. Savannah Malmgren, Tooele; 5. Sydney Crowley, Logan; 6. Jaiden Cuff, Green Canyon
- 145 — 1. Lexee Branham, Tooele; 2. Jenna McDougal, Mountain Crest; 3. Rylie Geary, Mountain Crest; 4. Emma Meidell, Pine View
- 150 — 1. Brynlie Hansen, Mountain Crest; 2. Kiah Saurey, Green Canyon
- 160 — 1. Teia Gonzales, Bear River; 2. Talia Johansen, Mountain Crest; 3. Teagan Hall, Mountain Crest; 4. Madison Mayes, Cedar Valley; 5. Emma Beacham, Cedar City; 6. Maccoy Abbott, Canyon View
- 170 — 1. Rosa Campos, Mountain Crest; 2. Audrey Stabile, Mountain Crest; 3. Haylee Farnsworth, Bear River; 4. Makayla Pigmataro, Ridgeline; 5. Kaleolane Ned, Tooele; 6. Broddyn Cox, Cedar City
- 190 — 1. Sheccid Alvarado, Mountain Crest; 2. Jaylie Roden, Canyon View; 3. Kenadee Branham, Tooele; 4. Kirra Johnson, Tooele; 5. Shelby Brown, Cedar Valley; 6. Samantha Goodrich, Cedar Valley
- 245 — 1. Grace Montierth, Ridgeline; 2. Maddison Tenney, Uintah; 3. Shanna Archuleta, Bear River; 4. Alexandra (Lexie) Durfee, Cedar City; 5. Sophia Hansen, Mountain Crest; 6. Tomi Rogers, Ogden