Orem • Alta wrestler Matt Findlay ambled off the mat and knelt on one knee, just in front of the scorer’s table as the next matches began behind him. His chest was pounding, and he strove with each gasp to regain his breath.
The referee had lifted his arm into the air moments before, signalling his 5-4 decision over Maple Mountain’s Johnny O’Hearon on Tuesday at the Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation All-Star Dual at Utah Valley University. But still Findlay was not satisfied. The disappointment hung on the features of his face as the sweat dripped off it.
Nelson Jones (Pleasant Grove) def. Cooper Skinner (Bear River), 9-0
Jaxon Cole (North Summit) def. Cameron Hunsaker (American Fork), 3-2
Braiden Parker (Wasatch) def. David Vantassell (Duchesne), Fall
Brock George (Syracuse) def. Tanner Cox (Maple Mountain), 9-5
Kyson Levin (Pleasant Grove) def. Josh Allen (Delta), 20-5
Cameron Dickinson (Richfield) def. Tanner Jeffery (Wanye), Fall
Ryan Hansen (Maple Mountain) def. Matt Lee (South Summit), 6-1
Chandler Strand (Herriman) def. Jayden Pentz (Morgan), 12-1
Josh Jensen (Payson) def. Brady Farnsworth (Altamont), 5-3 OT
Riley Loveless (Payson) def. Ben Anderson (Pleasant Grove), 10-4
Kedric Coonis (Uintah) def. Trent Kelly (Maple Mountain), 7-3
Bracken Lovell (Delta) def. Hunter Bowring (Monticello), Fall
Dusty Hone (Cedar) def. Taylor LaMont (Maple Mountain), 3-2
Jaydon Rogers (Fremont) def. McCrae Thatcher (Millard), 14-6
Andrew Bartholomew (American Fork) def. Zach Allen (Piute), Fall
Matt Findlay (Alta) def. Johnny O’Hearon (Maple Mountain), 5-4
Brandon Musselman (Monticello) def. Hagen Loveless (Payson), Fall
Greg Lamb (Corner Canyon) def. Victor Almanza (Delta), 4-3
Branson Ashworth (Spanish Fork) def. Beau Blackham (Uintah), 5-1
Teague Vigil (Syracuse) def. Cameron Killian (Maple Mountain), 7-4
Preston Stephenson (Wayne), def. Dillon Thurston (North Sevier), Fall
Matt Williams (Box Elder) def. Brendon Sorenson (North Sevier), 3-1
Cole Eldredge (Monticello) def. McKay Prince (Hurricane), 14-4
Colton Marshall (Layton) def. Walker Van Tassell (Salem Hills), 6-4
Jacob Armstrong (Salem Hills) def. Bailey Carlson (Pleasant Grove), 4-1
Jordan Wengreen (Mountain Crest) def. Lucas Batin (Dixie), 8-3
Dakota Clark (Rich) def. Tyler Gamble (Millard), 8-3
Kimball Bastian (Maple Mountain) def. Dalton Harmon (Juab), 3-2
Kaden Campbell (Union) def. Travis Gillman (Beaver), 11-5
T.J. Wind (Pleasant Grove) def Rylee Foy (Altamont), 3-2
Will Lang (West) def. Micah Gill (Mountain View), 12-8
Wyatt Koelling (Davis) def. Dylan Brown (Manti), 9-1
Austin Wilcox (Monticello) def. Hunter Neville (Desert Hills), 3-1
Breckin Gunter (Box Elder) def. Cody Stevenson (Desert Hills), 10-2
Landon Brown (Layton) def. David Schena (Delta), 15-3
Clay Moss (Jordan) def. Tony Brown (Altamont), 14-6
Roy Nash (Taylorsville) def. Colton Grossaint (Kearns), 8-5
Austin Taylor (Pleasant Grove) def. Derek Johnson (Payson), 4-1
Jesse Durrant (North Sevier) def. Rowdy Josie (Panguitch), 2-1
Zac Dawe (Pleasant Grove) def. Cole Mair (Uintah), Fall
Micah Ngatuvai (Mountain View) def. Brackin Stringham (Lehi), 7-4
Hawkan Cornia (Rich) def. Brenz Staples (N. Summit), Fall
"I’m trying to get my edge back," he said to his coach, Barry Harrington, who knelt with him. Findlay dropped his head as the pair discussed the previous six minutes, which had left the senior a victor but discontent.
"The mentality of wrestling is to go out and physically dominate your opponent," Findlay said afterwards, "and tonight, I was the one being physically dominated. Props to Johnny, a great wrestler who knows how to win. I don’t know what got to me but I was out of gas real fast. I was not mentally ready for battle."
Findlay rarely has had to scramble away from a less-heralded wrestler over the course of a distinguished prep career that has put three state titles on his mantle. But he dodged and dipped from O’Hearon in the final 30 seconds Tuesday, just hoping to hang on and let the clock expire.
"I was not as physically tired as I was mentally tired," Findlay said. "Just wasn’t ready to fight. That’s what I’ve got to figure out how to do, prepare myself better. The coaches get me physically and technically in shape. It’s my job to get my head right and I was not ready tonight."
Findlay eventually regained his breath while he knelt and Harrington offered words of encouragement, patting him on the arm before parting. There would be many more matches this season for Findlay, many more opportunities to "wrestle how I want to win," as he put it.
But those opportunities seemed distant Tuesday night as the sting of an unwelcome struggle lingered.
"The long and short of it is that I’m mentally weak and he exposed that tonight," Findlay said. "Might as well get it out of the way here and know what I have to work on. This is just for bragging rights. There’s nothing hanging onto this. So it’s good to get this one to work on. I’ll be working on it tomorrow."
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