Monticello wrestlers turn heads at state, finish fourth in tight runner-up battle
by Anna Fredericks
Wrestling is a tough sport. To succeed in wrestling, you need a combination of physical power, speed, technical skill, discipline, mental toughness, and endurance.
There are no breaks, no bench, no timeouts to strategize, no one on the mat but the wrestler and his opponent. They have to make fast decisions and reactions.
It’s six minutes that can feel like an eternity, alone on the mat, trying to hear the coach’s instructions through the screaming of the crowd. Two warriors pushing themselves to the physical and emotional limit to determine the victor.
On Saturday night, the Monticello Buckaroos finished their season at the 1A state tournament with two team members reaching the top of the podium with the ultimate high school prize, a state championship medal.
The Buckaroos were an underdog this season but stepped up to give the top 1A teams a run for their money. Panguitch, with double the wrestlers of the other 1A teams, easily cruised to the championship, but who would take home the second-place trophy was a dog fight to the end.
The Buckaroos were in the mix, finishing a heartbreaking 6.5 points out of the runner-up spot in a three-way race with Altamont at 123.5 points and Milford with 118.5 points. The Buckaroos ended up fourth with 117 points and seven individual medals.
After months of hard work and training, three Buckaroos made it to the center mat to wrestle for their chance at the championship. At the end of the day, two made it to the gold medal.
Junior Treydon Harris led off for the Buckaroos in the finals, dominating his opponent, Randy Marshall of Panguitch to a 10-0 major decision win. Harris earned a win by fall in the third period of in the previous round on his way to the finals.
Junior Javlin Robison faced off in the finals against Kade Severe of Piute. In a tough match, Robison kept control, never letting Severe score, earning a 7-0 win.
Robison earned a first-period fall in round one and a second-period fall in the semifinal round. He also had one of the fastest pins of the weekend with a 38-second fall.
Finishing with a hard-earned second-place medal was sophomore Zac Thayn who earned two wins by fall to secure his spot in the finals. Thayn fought a hard six minutes against Milford’s Hagen Mayer but was defeated 13-1.
Senior Tyler Thayn finished his final state tournament with a well-earned third-place medal. Thayn earned a quick pin in the first round of the tourney but fell in the semifinal round to the Division A champion from Panguitch.
Thayn came back with a strong win by first-period fall in the wrestle-back round to earn a spot in the consolation finals where he pinned Henry Watts of Diamond Ranch in 1:21. Thayn was also in the top three 1A wrestlers for most pins in the least time, finishing with three falls in a total of 3:20.
Junior Josh Wheeler also earned a hard-fought third-place medal, earning a win by third-period fall in the first round before being defeated by the Division A champion.
Wheeler defeated his younger brother Tyson in the wrestle-back round to earn the consolation championship spot where he won in a tough 7-3 decision over Bryson Henrie of Panguitch.
Junior Oakley Adams and sophomore Thomas Fullmer each earned fourth-place medals for the Buckaroos. Adams won a nail-biter in the first round 6-5 before being defeated in round two.
He came back with a fall in the next round and was defeated by fall in the consolation finals. Fullmer earned a win by fall in the first period of round one before a tough loss in round two.
He defeated teammate Tavon Black by fall in the next round and was defeated by fall in the consolation finals.
Chandler Henderson, Tyson Wheeler, Cameron Bailey, Logan Draper, and Tavon Black each earned a win by fall for the Buckaroos and fell just short of reaching the medals round.
Freshmen Jarum Robison and Camren Carpenter also worked hard for the Buckaroos at the tournament.
Monticello graduates just one state placer this year and will look forward to a good season with the return of a strong group of wrestlers including four juniors, three sophomores, four freshmen, and several strong incoming eighth-graders.
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