Prep wrestling: Pleasant Grove leads 5A field
Orem • Zac Dawe walked off the mat after knocking his opponent down with a quick, calculated move and then forcing a pair of unwilling shoulder blades to the ground.
Dawe breathed easy, had hardly broken a sweat. In total Wednesday, the Pleasant Grove junior had wrestled for just 2 minutes and 5 seconds Â barely longer than a full period Â en route to a pair of first-round pins and a semifinal berth.
But the junior, a favorite to win both an individual championship at 285 pounds and a team championship, isn't taking anything for granted.
"I just have to come in here and wrestle my guts out," Dawe said. "Everyone is starting over 0-0. Rankings don't mean anything. I have to prove it."
The Vikings will enter the final day of wrestling Thursday with 128 points, a 25-point cushion over second-place Layton, thanks to solid wrestling from its roster's top to bottom.
Benjamin Anderson, wrestling at 106 pounds, won his first match by pin in just 25 seconds. He followed it up with a 15-2 major decision in the quarterfinals.
The 113-pound Kyson Levin, looking to repeat his championship run of a year ago, won twice by technical fall.
Viking Landon Gates writhed on the ground early in his match after being hit in the eye, but rebounded to pin Taylorsville's Victor Samaniego.
"We just gotta keep it up, stay aggressive," Gates said after the victory. "We've worked so hard this year, we really deserve it."
Pleasant Grove wrestlers pointed to their coach, Brock Moore, as a big reason the team has a chance to win a third straight championship.
With 40 seconds left and his wrestler trailing by two in one quarter final, Moore told T.J. Wind exactly what he needed for a victory.
"Escape and a take-down," the coach called out.
Wind responded with exactly that, earning yet another Viking victory.
"We've worked our guts out for this," Dawe said.
But there are plenty of challengers waiting in the wings.
Individually, Alta's Matt Findlay, wrestling in the 126-pound weight class, won twice by decision and will have a shot at a third state championship.
West's Will Lang, a year removed from a fourth-place finish as a freshman, said he feels stronger and better prepared. His eyes are on a championship.
"Last year, I won quite a few matches because I had a lot of determination," he said. "But now, against some of the better kids, I'm able to out-finesse them."
And while Zane Rich's Syracuse Titans trail Pleasant Grove after one day, the 138-pounder still feels confident.
"They're a tough team," Rich said after pinning a Pleasant Grove wrestler in 1:38. "But we're tough too. I believe we can come from behind and get this championship."
Twitter: @aaronfalk Team scores
1. Pleasant Gr. 128
2. Layton 103
3. Syracuse 98.5
4. Fremont 70
5. Weber 57.5
6. Viewmont 47
7. Davis 38
8. Bingham 36
9. Jordan 33.5
10. Cottonwood 29.5
B. Anderson (Pleasant Grove) def. P. O'Driscoll (Fremont)
B. Ocana (Layton) def. H. Woolsey (Weber)
K. Evans (Davis) def. T. Porath (Viewmont)
B. George (Syracuse) def. A. Romero (Bingham)
K. Levin (Pleasant Grove) def. B. Stout (Layton)
C. Berger (Syracuse) def. D. Denton (Fremont)
J. Knapp (Cottonwood) def. M. Turner (Copper Hills)
J. Barton (Bingham) def. J. Wilson (Am. Fork)
L. Gates (Pleasant Grove) def. V. Samaniego (Taylorsville)
A. Astle (Layton) def. D. Rice (Lehi)
J. Rogers (Fremont) def. D. Porschatis (Viewmont)
T. Luke (Viewmont) def. S. Rich (Syracuse)
M. Findlay (Alta) def. B. McGuire (Syracuse)
D. Thomas (Davis) def. D. Caldwell (Weber)
A. Bartholomew (Am. Fork) def. D. Kim (Viewmont)
A. Meikel (Kearns) def. J. McRae (Bingham)
Z. Colangelo (West) def. L. Davis (Brighton)
B. Young (Pleasant Grove) def. C. Wilson (Layton)
A. Arteaga (Fremont) def. G. Lamb (Alta)
J. Garver (Syracuse) def. S. Wiser (Weber)
Z. Rich (Syracuse) def. K. Wilkinson (Pleasant Grove)
T. Johnson (Jordan) def. J. Naylor (Davis)
J. Diederich (Cottonwood) def. T. Marriott (Weber)
J. Anderson (Pleasant Grove) def. C. Johnson (Lone Peak)
B. Cutler (Pleasant Grove) def. D. Ollis (Cottonwood)
L. Ostler (Syracuse) def. W. Charlesworth (Fremont)
K. Astle (Layton) def. G. Hoyt (Weber)
D. Spencer (Syracuse) def. L. Gibbs (Viewmont)
T. Vigil (Syracuse) def. D. Verkant (Jordan)
B. Carlson (Pleasant Grove) def. D. Clark (Copper Hills)
D. Marriott (Layton) def. T. Law (Viewmont)
W. Chavez (West) def. T. Colton (Lone Peak)
H. Riggs (Weber) def. A. Despain (West Jordan)
T. Wind (Pleasant Grove) def. C. Anderson (Taylorsville)
C. Marshal (Layton) def. B. Butler (Syracuse)
W. Koelling (Davis) def. C. Reese (Copper Hills)
Z. Huntsman (Weber) def. A. Stillman (Northridge)
A. Thomson (Riverton) def. S. Easton (West Jordan)
S. Marchant (Syracuse) def. R. Hodson (Lone Peak)
W. Lang (West) def. C. Welty (Layton)
A. Naylor (West Jordan) def. D. Childress (Weber)
L. Brown (Layton) def. M. Garcia (Pleasant Grove)
C. Moss (Jordan) def. W. German (Syracuse)
D. Sackett (Layton) def. R. McDowell (Riverton)
C. Grossaint (Kearns) def. J. Cox (Taylorsville)
J. Bednar (Viewmont) def. B. Mayo (Pleasant Grove)
T. Calvert (Fremont) def. T. Pappas (Layton)
N. Heninger (Bingham) def. K. Warden (Northridge)
B. Dennision (Pleasant Grove) def. L. Finefuaki (Bingham)
J. Van Valkenburg (Fremont) def. A. Naylor (Syracuse)
R. Nash (Taylorsville) def. J. Tracy (Weber)
A. Armstrong (Layton) def. A. Taylor (Pleasant Grove)
Z. Dawe (Pleasant Grove) def. D. Mortensen (Granger)
Z. Waddoups (Fremont) def. M. Grace (Pleasant Grove)
A. Kruger (Lone Peak) def. S. L'Huereux (West)
R. Larsen (Jordan) def. B. Stringham (Lehi)