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Utah Athletes Shine at AAU Grand Nationals in Montana

Six Utah wrestling clubs were represented at the AAU Grand Nationals wrestling tournament held recently in Butte, Mont.  These Utah athletes excelled in the national championships in freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle wrestling, earning 65 awards between the three styles, and coming in at fourth place in the Super Team Competition.

"This was a great tournament, and a great opportunity for our Utah athletes," said Bill Kilpack, director of AAU Wrestling Utah. "With as small a contingent as we had, we really shined.  The first place team had more than 200 wrestlers.  We showed them the difference between quantity and quality."

Winning triple titles (taking a national title in freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle) was something of a family affair, with two pairs of siblings numbering among the five Utahns to achieve this feat.  Brothers Carson and Parker Kay of the Spanish Fork-based Diamondbacks wrestling club, each won three national titles, Carson in the Tots division (6 and Under) at heavyweight, and Parker in the Bantam (ages 7 and 8) 70-pound division.  Brothers Taylor and Grant LaMont of the Springville-based Champions wrestling club, also won three titles, Taylor at Midget (ages 9 and 10) 55 lbs., and Grant at Novice (ages 11 and 12) 80 lbs.  The fifth Utahn to win three national titles was Brandon George, also of Champions, at Schoolboy (ages 13 and 14) 75 lbs.

Utahn wrestlers accounted for 10 more national titles.  In freestyle, newly crowned national champions included Jarrett Morrill of Hyrum-based Pony Express, at Elite (ages 17 and 18) 125 lbs. and Tyrell Wright of Coalville-based North Summit, at Elite 171 lbs.  In Greco-Roman, new national champions included Hayden Peterson of Champions, Elite 145 lbs.; and Wright at Elite 171.  In folkstyle, new national champions included William Kilpack of Sandy-based Mountain Top Wrestling Club at Novice 90 lbs.; Kaleb Ashworth of Diamondbacks, Cadet (ages 15 and 16) 130 lbs.; Peterson at Elite 145; Jarrett Morrill at Elite 125 and his twin brother Jake Morrill at Elite 130; and Brett Kendrick of Champions at Elite 171.

Others achieving AAU Wrestling All-American status are as follows, broken down by club and style:

Champions: freestyle Alec Garcia, 2nd, Novice 80 lbs.; Brett Kendrick, 5th, 171 lbs.; Greco-Roman Alec Garcia, 2nd, Novice 80 lbs.; Brett Kendrick, 3rd, 171 lbs.; folkstyle Alec Garcia, 3rd, Novice 80 lbs.

Diamondbacks: Spencer Kelly, 3rd, Bantam 80 lbs.; Trent Kelly, 5th, Novice 70 lbs.; Josh Searle, 5th, Novice 95 lbs.; Mitch Kay, 6th, Schoolboy 100 lbs.; Kaleb Ashworth, 2nd, Cadet 130 lbs.; Greco-Roman Spencer Kelly, 5th, Bantam 80 lbs.; Josh Searle, 3rd, Novice 95 lbs.; Mitch Kay, 4th, Schoolboy 100 lbs.; Jace Kelly, 8th, Cadet 125 lbs.; Kaleb Ashworth, 4th, Cadet 130 lbs.; folkstyle   Trent Kelly, 4th, Novice 70 lbs.; Josh Searle, 2nd, Novice 95 lbs.; Mitch Kay, 8th, Schoolboy 100 lbs.

Mountain Top Wrestling Club: freestyle Garrick Kilpack, 6th, Tots 45 lbs.; William Kilpack, 2nd, Novice 90 lbs.; Greco-Roman Garrick Kilpack, 2nd, Tots 45 lbs.; William Kilpack, 2nd, Novice 90 lbs.; Ella-Maereen Kilpack, 7th, Schoolboy 105 lbs.; folkstyle Garrick Kilpack, 2nd, Tots 45 lbs.; MacKelti Kilpack, 8th, Novice 75 lbs.

North Summit: freestyle Jaxon Cole, 2nd, Midget 50 lbs.; Greco-Roman Jaxon Cole, 2nd, Midget 50 lbs.; folkstyle   Jaxon Cole, 2nd, Midget 50 lbs.; Tyrell Wright, 4th, Elite 189 lbs.

Pony Express: freestyle Corrick Knight, 4th, Cadet 125 lbs.; Jake Morrill, 2nd, Elite 130 lbs.; Anthony Trippler, 6th, Elite 135 lbs.; Greco-Roman   Corrick Knight, 4th, Cadet 125 lbs.; folkstyle Zabinadi Smethurst, 6th, Cadet 112 lbs.; Corrick Knight, 5th, Cadet 125 lbs.; Anthony Trippler, 7th, Elite 135 lbs.; Hayden Snow, 2nd, Cadet 189 lbs.

Salt Lake City-based TAC: freestyle Spencer Brown, 3rd, Cadet 125 lbs.; Greco-Roman Spencer Brown, 2nd, Cadet 125 lbs.

Utah took fourth in the Super Team competition, which consisted of all athletes from that state and their results in all three styles.  "Utah really made a powerful showing," Kilpack said.  "It's a real testament to the high level of wrestling in Utah."

Pony Express Coach Davie Swenson said, "This tournament was a great experience, and I'm grateful that we had an AAU state tournament this year.  If we hadn't gone to that, we wouldn't have come here.  Corrick [Knight] had 24 matches up here that's a season's worth of matches.  What a great deal!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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