High school boys wrestling: Uintah blows away the 4A field to secure 4-peat

There may be no other sport in the state that the 4A classification saw more affected by the realignment cycle of last spring than boys wrestling.

Where once just 13 schools occupied the space, a combination of Cache Valley and Washington County areas, numerous contenders entered the fray, including a three-time 5A state champion in Uintah.

Uintah’s way hardly changed as the Utes maintained a sizable lead against the field and ran away with its fourth straight state championship, this time in 4A, at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University on Saturday night, scoring an overwhelming 287.5 points.

“It’s always a relief just knowing how difficult (team titles) are,” Uintah coach Phillip Keddy said. “There’s no such thing as an easy team title. There’s a relief there.”

Already fielding the most dominant team on the scene, Keddy indicated his team’s goal was more about raiding its own standard than beating everyone else’s like the Utes already had been for years.

“Last year we had seven in the finals, this year we had seven in the finals,” Keddy said. “My goal last year was to try to get more champs. We went from two to four. I’m proud of these boys for that.”

Uintah’s four individual state champions owned the lower-weight levels as they took state in the 106-, 120-, 126- and 150-pound weight classes.

Technical skill and steadfastness defined the Utes title winners, as three of the four won on decisions.

The fourth, junior Michael Alexander, became a three-time champion wrestling in the 126-pound class by beating his opponent by a technical fall outscoring his opponent, 15-0.

Uintah entered the second day of the tournament with a sizable lead over Payson, which finished second in the meet with 239.5 points.

In a distant third was Timpanogos with 127 points, followed by Mountain View with 126.

Mountain Crest was the highest finisher as a team from a school new to the 4A classification as the Mustangs took fifth with 105 points.

Stansbury took sixth, thanks to a special day for the Ploehn family. Wrestling at 113, sophomore Benjamin Ploehn bull-rushed his opponent to get a championship-winning fall in just 32 seconds of the match.

Later on, he stood by and watched his older brother, senior Brandon Ploehhn, get a title-winning pin of his own at the 2:48 mark.

“We knew we could perform well here and we could both win,” Brandon Ploehn said. “It was just a matter of doing it.”

Added Benjamin Ploehn: “I feel really excited to share this moment with my brother. It’s just really exciting to be able to do it with him.”

Later in the tournament, Green Canyon senior Will Wheatley became a two-time champion, one of just two Cache Valley wrestlers to win a state title for the night.

After winning his sophomore year, he was outdone in a higher weight class in his junior year but redeemed himself as a 215-pound contending senior.

“(Last year) didn’t turn out the way I wanted and left a pit in my stomach,” Wheatley said, “and I came to fill that void this year.”

Rounding out the night, Snow Canyon senior Tag Gubler was the final finisher of the meet as he capped off a thrilling match for the 285-pound title.

Class 4A state tournament

At Utah Valley University

Team Scores

1. Uintah, 287.5

2. Payson, 239.5

3. Timpanogos, 127.0

4. Mountain View, 126.0

5. Mountain Crest, 105.0

6. Stansbury, 90.5

7. Bear River, 87.0

8. Ridgeline, 86.0

106 – 1. Ethan Sharp, Uintah; 2. Daxton Jolley, Payson; 3. James Rollins, Mountain Crest; 4. Simon Boyer, Timpanogos; 5. Porter Judd, Mountain View; 6. Jaxon Morgan, Bear River

113 – 1. Benjamin Ploehn, Stansbury; 2. Zandon Draper, Payson; 3. Peyton Hogan, Uintah; 4. Brandon Thorstead, Bear River; 5. Marck Pacher, Orem; 6. Kruz Allred, Ridgeline

120 – 1. Rykan Hacking, Uintah; 2. Payton Redd, Logan; 3. Jonah Shaw, Payson; 4. Eli Breinholt, Crimson Cliffs; 5. Christian Beesley, Provo; 6. Brigham Cookson, Mountain View

126 – 1. Michael Alexander, Uintah; 2. Jack Semadeni, Ridgeline; 3. Braedon Kinney, Orem; 4. Kayson Leak, Sky View; 5. Caden Andersen, Hurricane; 6. Ethan Richard, Stansbury

132 – 1. Glade Harman, Mountain View; 2. Collin Miller, Sky View; 3. Connor Knudsen, Timpanogos; 4. Chett Kunzler, Bear River; 5. Trevor Angus, Uintah; 6. Kael Theobald, Payson

138 – 1. Kayden Madsen, Crimson Cliffs; 2. Isaac Dickinson, Hurricane; 3. Lincoln Lofthouse, Mountain Crest; 4. Cooper Redd, Logan; 5. Dallas Millsap, Desert Hills; 6. Max Lund, Murray

144 – 1. Colton Theobald, Payson; 2. Parley Thacker, Sky View; 3. Jaxon Mccurdy, Uintah; 4. Keaton Smith, Bear River; 5. Myka Love, Jordan; 6. Zeb Mitchell, Bear River

150 – 1. Brody Rhoades, Uintah; 2. Tanner Tolman, Mountain Crest; 3. Will Dixon, Payson; 4. Cason Smith, Snow Canyon; 5. Fisher Jolley, Timpanogos; 6. Keltan Hatch, Crimson Cliffs

157 – 1. Brandon Ploehn, Stansbury; 2. Tyler Payne, Green Canyon; 3. Branson Hawkins, Hurricane; 4. Hyrum Stafford, Mountain View; 5. Talon Stevens, Uintah; 6. Boston Hillyard, Desert Hills

165 – 1. Quayde Beck, Payson; 2. Mason Holt, Uintah; 3. Landon Shumway, Mountain View; 4. Chase Mccurdy, Uintah; 5. Dylan Twedt, Ridgeline; 6. Xander Carlson, Timpanogos

175 – 1. Bridger Thalman, Mountain Crest; 2. Christain Hartle, Uintah; 3. Justin Anderson, Cedar City; 4. Tegun Whitehead, Snow Canyon; 5. Micah Wilcox, Timpanogos; 6. Dawson Shupe, Uintah

190 – 1. Landen Shurtleff, Payson; 2. Isaac Mcgee, Mountain View; 3. Seth Montierth, Ridgeline; 4. Hyrum Alexander, Timpanogos; 5. Wyatt Peterson, Payson; 6. Luke Stearns, Logan

215 – 1. Will Wheatley, Green Canyon; 2. Athanasios Johnson, Murray; 3. Ian Rogers, Stansbury; 4. Porter Kennington, Mountain Crest; 5. Owen Cottle, Payson; 6. Ryan Lazzari, Logan

285 – 1. Tag Gubler, Snow Canyon; 2. Caden Young, Uintah; 3. Bridger Flemming, Desert Hills; 4. Preston Smith, Sky View; 5. Zayden Cook, Payson; 6. Tayden Sau, Orem

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