Prep wrestling: LaMont vs. Yeates tops All-State Duals
Grant LaMont didn't balk when it was proposed that he move up a weight class to wrestle in one special match.
In fact, the two-time Maple Mountain state wrestling champion welcomed the idea of moving from 152 pounds to 160 to face Box Elder star and two-time state champion Rasten Yeates in Tuesday's Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation All-Star Duals at Utah Valley University in Orem.
"It came down to Grant, and his decision was, 'Yeah, let's go with it,'" Maple Mountain coach Justin Judkins said. "Our philosophy as coaches is we're always going to have tough matches early on."
LaMont vs. Yeates is one of the featured matches in Tuesday night's Duals, a new addition to the popular midseason wrestling showcase that gives some of the state's top wrestlers a chance to tangle on the mat.
"It's quite a showcase for the boys to have the opportunity to wrestle against another top-notch kid," said Ross Brunson, president of the Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation, who has been involved with the event since its inception 12 years ago.
In total, there will be 36 matches on three mats. Twenty-eight matches will count toward the overall team score, while six wild-card matches and the two featured matches round out the night of wrestling.
The event features full all-star teams from Class 5A, 4A, 3A as well as a combined squad from 1A/2A. The 3A team won the All-Star Duals title last year, snapping a three-year win streak for the 5A team.
But this year, it's the 4A group, headlined by a multitude of talented wrestlers from Maple Mountain and Box Elder, that could be the one to beat.
Instead of wrestling on the same team, LaMont and Yeates, two of Utah's top grapplers, will meet under the lights at UVU in a rare match between wrestlers in the same class who compete in different weight classes.
"They're probably two of the premiere wrestlers in the state this year, and for them to be willing to battle each other is pretty cool," Box Elder coach Mike Ripplinger said. "When they asked the fans what match they'd like to see, it was LaMont-Yeates."
The other featured match will be between Branson Ashworth of Spanish Fork and Jed Mellen of Payson at 138 pounds. A featured match that will count in the team points standings showcases Alta's Matt Findlay and Cedar City's Dusty Hone, both of whom are two-time state champions and juniors wrestling at 126 pounds this season.
Brunson said in the matches and tournaments leading up to the All-Star Duals, a committee of five wrestling experts put together a watch list of potential wrestlers and follow them before the Duals. Most of the athletes being eyed are those who placed at state the previous year in their respective classes.
"They pool all of their notes and talk about who won, who lost and put together their lists of selections," he said.
The event has evolved from originally being a 5A/4A vs. 1A/2A/3A format that left many of the state's top wrestling talents from smaller schools out of the Duals because there weren't enough spots.
"It's become quite the prestigious event," Brunson said. "Kids look forward to it every year. Kids are heartbroken if they aren't selected."
Wrestling All-Star Duals
• Tuesday, 7 p.m.
• Utah Valley Unviversity
106 pounds • James Wright, jr., Spanish Fork vs. Ben Anderson, fr., Pleasant Grove
106 pounds • Logan Swallow, jr., Clearfield vs. Kyle Evans, fr., Beaver
113 pounds • Cobe Berrett, fr., Canyon View vs. Brock George, jr., Syracuse
113 pounds • Taylor LaMont, fr., Maple Mountain vs. Brady Farnsworth, soph., Altamont
120 pounds • Nick Sorensen, sr., Millard vs. Andrew Astle, jr., Layton
120 pounds • Britain Carter, sr., Maple Mountain vs. Joe Mondragon, soph., Desert Hills
126 pounds • Kamren Fowles, jr., Manti vs. Brady Dart, sr., Mountain Crest
126 pounds • Dusty Hone, jr., Cedar City vs. Matt Findlay, jr., Alta
132 pounds • Bronson Young, sr., Pleasant Grove vs. Garrett Sweat, sr., Wasatch
132 pounds • Shand Hardy, sr., Box Elder vs. Chase Kelly, jr., Millard
138 pounds • Zane Rich, sr., Syracuse vs. Landon Knutzen, sr., Maple Mountain
138 pounds • Brandon Musselman, soph., Monticello vs. Colton Havens, sr., Uintah
145 pounds • Kolby Lloyd, sr., Cedar City vs. Cole Eldredge, soph., Monticello
145 pounds • Jesse Carlisle, sr., Maple Mountain vs. Ken Astle, sr., Layton
152 pounds • Zach Prince, sr., Hurricane vs. Jacob Armstrong, soph., Salem Hills
152 pounds • Will Kilpack, sr., Alta vs. Brendon Sorenson, jr., North Sevier
160 pounds • Kimball Bastian, jr., Maple Mountain vs. Colton Marshall, jr., Layton
160 pounds • Kaelen Loveless, sr., Payson vs. Rylee Foy, soph., Altamont
170 pounds • Will Lang, soph., West vs. Steven Welsh, sr., Union
170 pounds • Kyle Foy, sr., Altamont vs. Nick Sorenson, sr., Box Elder
182 pounds • Devon Childress, jr., Weber vs. DonE Fullmer, sr., Millard
182 pounds • Zach Coffman, sr., Tooele vs. Josh Searle, sr., Maple Mountain
195 pounds • Colton Grossaint, jr., Kearns vs. Jon Wixom, sr., Maple Mountain
195 pounds • Jadon Ross, sr., Richfield vs. Cameron Williamson, sr., Cedar City
220 pounds • Jeremy Aleman, sr., Millard vs. Derek Johnson, jr., Payson
220 pounds • Joe Flores, sr., Box Elder vs. Brandon Dennison, sr., Pleasant Grove
285 pounds • Dallas Howard, sr., Murray vs. Zac Dawe, jr., Pleasant Grove
285 pounds • Cole Mair, jr., Uintah vs. Cassidy Smith, sr., Altamont
138 pounds • Jed Mellen, Payson vs. Branson Ashworth, Spanish Fork
160 pounds • Grant LaMont, Maple Mountain vs. Rasten Yeates, Box Elder
Wild card matches
113 pounds • Kyson Levin, Pleasant Grove vs. Chandler Strand, Herriman
126 pounds • Antonio Meikel, Kearns vs. Dominic Kunder, Bear River
145 pounds • Bridger Cutler, Pleasant Grove vs. Dalton Harmon, Juab
182 pounds • Jake Tolman, Box Elder vs. Clayton Moss, Jordan
195 pounds • Breckin Gunter, Box Elder vs. Nick Heninger, Bingham
220 pounds • Micah Ngatuvai, Mountain View vs. Roy Nash, Taylorsville