Tooele junior Zach Coffman topped off the evening by edging Union’s Steve Welsh 10-8 to capture the 170 pound state wrestling title and help the Buffaloes grab a sixth-place finish at the 3A state wrestling championships Saturday at Utah Valley University in Orem.
It was a sweet victory for Tooele as they passed up Bear River, who won the Region 11 title and edged Tooele at the divisional tournament. The Buffaloes totaled 108 points to the Bears 105. Delta claimed the team title with 226 points, followed by Payson 215, Uintah 169.5, Wasatch 132.5, Cedar 118 and Tooele. Local teams Stansbury finished in 17th place and Grantsville grabbed 21st. Five Tooele wrestlers earned state medals while Stansbury brought home two medals.
In the finals, Coffman had a rematch of the divisional finals from the previous week, where he beat Welsh 7-4. Coffman edged Welsh at Delta earlier this year. Coffman took Welsh down in the first period, but Welsh earned a one-point escape at the buzzer. Coffman chose neutral to start the second period and the action picked up. Coffman was taken down, but worked for a quick escape. Coffman earned a takedown with Welsh getting an escape late in the second. Trailing Coffman 4-5 going into the third, Welsh chose bottom and worked for an escape to tie the match. The two took turns working for the lead and Coffman earned a takedown and a 7-5 lead with less than one minute in the match.
With about 40 seconds left, Welsh broke away for a one-point escape, but quickly shot and took Coffman down. The three-point swing put Welsh ahead 8-7 with around 30 seconds left in the match. Coffman spun out for an escape to tie the match at 8-8. Coffman worked inside and took Welsh to the mat, with the official awarding the takedown with only one second on the clock. The takedown put Coffman up 10-8 as time expired and gave him the title of state champion. Coffman made the finals last year, finishing second place and he earned a sixth place at state as a freshman.
Stansbury’s junior Logan Stewart, 113 pounds, had two easy victories to start off the tournament. He defeated Canyon View’s Zack Driffill 10-0 and then handled Driffill’s teammate, winning 8-0 over Kenny Lopez. Stewart lost a 10-3 match to Delta’s Jose Garcia in the semifinals, dropping him to the consolation bracket. He met Payson’s Riley Loveless and they took turns with the lead. But Stewart worked for a late takedown to edge Loveless 7-6 and move into the match for third place. Wasatch’s Preston Stephenson lost a 5-4 match to Stewart at the divisional tournament the previous week and was looking to avenge that loss. The match was a classic battle of two evenly matched wrestlers. Neither wrestler scored throughout regulation and the match went into overtime. Stewart was able to get a takedown late in the one minute overtime period to eke out a 2-0 win to capture third place. Stewart has placed sixth and fifth in the two previous years at state.
At 132 pounds, Tooele’s Gaide Harding won his first two matches to reach the semifinals. The THS senior pinned Juab’s Tyce Robinson in the first round and then dominated Canyon View’s Trevor Bass, beating him 20-5 for a tech fall. Unfortunately for Harding, he matched up with Payson’s Jed Mellon, the defending state champion, who went on to capture his second title Saturday. Mellon pinned Harding in the second period. Harding then pinned Union’s Jake Daniels to move on to battle Beau Blackham of Uintah for third place. Blackham had defeated Harding in the finals at the divisional tournament 11-4 one week earlier.
Harding got a first period takedown and led 2-0 after one. In the second, Blackham got an early takedown, but Harding reversed him. A late reversal by Blackham tied the match at 4-4 after two. Harding took charge in the third period with an escape, takedown and 3-point near fall to win 10-4, avenging last week’s loss and finishing third in state.
Tooele’s Tre Behunin, 138 pounds, defeated Pineview’s Zach Worlten 11-1 in the opening round. He met up with Delta’s Blade Edwards in the second round. Going into the final period trailing 2-0, Behunin was unable to score, losing a close 4-0 match to drop into the consolation bracket, meeting up with a familiar opponent. Stansbury’s Derick Jorgensen lost his opening match to Delta’s Kayson Leavitt, but edged Albert Jeppersen of Wasatch 4-3 to move on to meet Behunin. These two had battled three times this year with Behunin coming out on top each time. But Behunin edged Jorgensen 1-0 and 4-0 in the last two battles, meaning this could be another classic matchup.
With no score in the opening period, Behunin earned an escape early in the second period. Jorgensen got a takedown to take a 2-1 lead going into the final period. Behunin was able to turn Jorgensen for a 3-point near fall to lead 4-2. The two scrambled around the mat and in the final seconds, Jorgensen was close to earning a reversal to tie the match and force overtime. In a controversial call, the officials did not award reversal points and Behunin pulled out the close match to advance to the medal round. He then edged Juab’s Kayden McPherson 2-1 to battle for third against Union’s Anthony Small. Small battled for a takedown in the first period, but Behunin earned a reversal in the second period to tie the match. Neither wrestler scored in the third, forcing the match into overtime. Small was able to earn the takedown to win 4-2 in overtime. Behunin was awarded fourth place for his efforts.
Stansbury’s Kaylen Vickers, 145 pounds, opened the tournament with pins over Hurricane’s Tyler Stour and Bear River’s Braxton Conger. He advanced to the semis to meet Payson’s Cole Ford, the eventual state champion. Vickers lost by tech fall, 23-8 to drop into the consolation bracket. Vickers defeated Delta’s Morgan Bogue 6-0 to advance to battle for third place. After falling behind 4-2 after the opening period to Desert Hill’s Dustyn Roberts, neither wrestler scored in the second. Vickers reversed Roberts to open the third period and tie the match at 4-4. But a reversal and 2-point near fall by Roberts led to an 8-4 victory. Vickers captured a fourth place finish at state.
Wrestling at 152, Tooele’s Seth Manning opened the tournament with a 9-1 victory over Carbon’s Bowen LaCotta. He edged Juab’s Cole Wright 5-1 to advance to the semifinals. In the semifinals, Manning lost a tough 8-1 battle to Hurricane’s Zach Prince, who won his third state title Saturday. In the consolation bracket, Manning pinned Payson’s Will Ford to advance to battle for third place. Manning met up with Delta’s Tyler Nielson and neither scored in the opening period. Nielson worked for an escape in the second period and took a 1-0 lead into the third. Manning was unable to escape the tough Nielson, losing a close battle 1-0 to earn his fourth place medal.
Tooele’s Robert Lavios opened the tournament with an easy 9-0 win over Delta’s Trace Willoughby. Spanish Fork’s Branson Ashworth, the eventual state champion, beat Lavios and sent him to the consolation bracket. Lavios pinned Hagen Loveless of Payson and he dominated Canyon View’s Jesse Mackelprang with a tech fall (17-2). Lavios met up with Garrett Sweat of Wasatch, losing a close 4-1 decision. Wrestling for fifth place, Lavios battled Delta’s Jared Ewart. In a physical match, Lavios took a slim 5-4 lead in the second period when he earned a reversal, 2-point near fall and a penalty point. Ewart was able to score five points early in the third period. Lavios grabbed a reversal and was close to turning Ewart a number of times, but lost the battle 11-7 to finish sixth in state.
Three Tooele wrestlers came within one win from placing and earning a state medal. At 113, Tooele’s Nick Porter and Jarrid Lavios both won two matches. Porter beat Snow Canyon’s Mitch Taylor 19-5 before losing to Cedar City’s Dusty Hone, the eventual state champion. He then edged Cooper Thorpe of Spanish Fork 11-8 before losing a close 6-4 battle to Payson’s Riley Loveless. Lavios dropped his first round match to Loveless, but then dumped North Sanpete’s Joshua Watts 16-4 and edged Canyon View’s Kenny Lopez 9-6. Bear River’s Brady Haramoto edged Lavios 6-4 to stop him one win short of a medal.
Tyson Vigil, Tooele’s 126 pounder, opened the tournament with a 15-5 major decision over Chris Moss of Hurricane. He ran into Payson’s three-time state champ Mitch Brown, losing by a pin. He then pinned North Sanpete’s Brendan Anderson. Against Delta’s Trevor Timm, Vigil lost a close 7-3 decision to be eliminated from the tournament.
Tooele’s Dalton DeSimon (182) and Johnny Sullivan (195), Grantsville’s Drew Carlisle (285) and Stansbury’s Luke Howell (106) and Jorgensen (138) each won a match before being eliminated. Other wrestlers to represent their school at state include Grantsville’s Brendon Kimber (126) and Chance Warr (138), Stansbury’s Nate Moody (106), Marcellano Mascarenas (126) and Nathan Hintze (220) and Tooele’s Jesse Condie (160), Jake Redman (170), Daniel Aragon (220) and Thomas Jensen (220).