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(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Tristan Mcintosh of Northridge feels the strain put on by Jackson Wilson of American Fork during the first day of the state wrestling tournament with 4A and 5A quarterfinals at the Maverik Center in West Valley City on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014.
5A wrestling: Favored Pleasant Grove Vikings in control after Day 1 of state tournament

First Published Feb 13 2014 11:12 pm • Last Updated Feb 13 2014 11:38 pm

West Valley • Still catching his breath after topping close friend and teammate Demetriu Davis in the heavyweight quarterfinals, Zac Dawe discovered his summary of this powerhouse Pleasant Grove Vikings team.

The BYU football commit and two-time All-American wrestler said the 2013-2014 wrestling campaign has been the hardest year of his career. Which says something considering the Vikings are the three-time defending Class 5A champs.

At a glance

Class 5A

1. Pleasant Grove 125.5

2. Layton 68.0

3. Syracuse 66.0

4. Herriman 55.5

5. Jordan 54.5

6. Bingham 50.0

7. Davis 45.0

8. Viewmont 40.5

9. American Fork 32.0

10. Fremont 26.0

Friday’s schedule:

Friday

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. » 2A, 3A Round 1

12:45-2:45 p.m. » 2A, 3A quarterfinals

5:15-6:45 p.m. » 1A quarterfinals

7-9 p.m. » 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A semifinals

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"We don’t take a day off," Dawe said.

Clearly.

The Vikings entered Day 1 of the Class 5A tournament with a large target on their backs, but instead used it to their advantage taking a commanding lead. Pleasant Grove leads the 5A tournament with 125.5 points, 57.5 more than second place Layton.

"We haven’t won yet," Dawe said. "We just have to keep going. It doesn’t matter who you wrestle, or who you’ve lost to, in a state tournament anything can happen, so we just tell everyone to wrestle their best."

Advancing nine grapplers into Friday’s semifinals was the highlight for the defending champs. Several defending individual title winners and state-placers from 2013 have a chance to add to their lore or rewrite their script.

"At the end of the day, you look at it and it takes a lot of heart to get where we’re at," said Pleasant Grove assistant coach Chad Slocum. "At the end of the day that shows that our guys worked hard."

In his seventh year with the program, Slocum didn’t pinpoint any wrestlers specifically who stood out, but hinted at some key matches that sent the loud Viking fan section into a frenzy.

When Koy Wilkinson beat Layton’s Davis Marriott in the waning seconds of their 160-pound bout, the Maverik Center erupted.


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"We want to maintain the [advantages] that we have and climb up the ladder and claw at the ones that we’re not expected to win," Slocum said. "That’s what we like to do."

But while the 57.5-point lead may seem monstrous to some, Dawe and Slocum don’t look at it.

Literally.

"We don’t look at the score until Day 3," Slocum said.

ckamrani@sltrib.com

Twitter: @CKTribune



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