Grantsville’s Joseph Mecham and Payson’s Cole Jensen have met on the biggest stages Utah high school wrestling has to offer over the past year, and Tuesday’s match at the Utah All-Star Duals served as the rubber match in their trilogy.
Mecham earned bragging rights at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday, defeating Jensen 8-5 in a rematch of their Class 4A state championship tilt from 2019. Mecham beat Jensen for the 113-pound title last season while wrestling for Tooele High School, while Jensen beat Mecham at last year’s divisional tournament.
Tuesday night’s 120-pound match was befitting of that legacy, with Jensen scoring an early takedown in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Mecham tied the match with a takedown just three seconds into the second period, but Jensen scored a one-point escape to take a narrow 3-2 advantage into the last two minutes.
That’s when Mecham went to work. He took his first lead of the evening with a takedown at the four-second mark, and after Jensen tied the score at 4-4 with an escape, Mecham scored another takedown 37 seconds into the final period to make it 6-4. Jensen escaped again 20 seconds later, but Mecham clinched the victory with his third takedown of the period with 52 seconds remaining and held on from there.
Stansbury 195-pounder Kaden Shin lost a hard-fought 9-8 decision to Timpanogos’ Elijah Kratzer, with Kratzer rallying from a 7-3 fdeficit in the third period. Shin led 3-2 after the first period with a takedown and an escape, and stretched the lead in the second with a penalty point, a takedown and another escape. However, Kratzer scored a pair of two-point near falls and a takedown in the final period to hand Shin just his third loss of the season.
Ninety-seven wrestlers took part in Tuesday night’s event, which celebrated its 20th anniversary. There were 42 boys matches and seven girls matches.