RECAP: AAU Grand Nationals
Wrestlers hail from 13 states and 2 countries
WEST JORDAN, Utan (June 26) - AAU Wrestling Utah hosted the AAU Grand Nationals three-style wrestling championships June 15-17, 2017. Wrestlers traveled from 13 states and two countries to Draper, Uta., to compete in freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle wrestling.
"It was a real pleasure to host AAU Grand Nationals," said AAU Wrestling Utah Director Bill Kilpack. "It was a great opportunity for those who made the trip to compete with top-notch talent from around the country and overseas."
Wrestlers represented Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Tennessee and Utah
Moreover, an athlete from Norway competed, Elias Stotzer-Karlsen.
Kilpack said, "It was very cool to have the boy from Norway. He had only wrestled Greco-Roman because, in Norway, only girls wrestle freestyle and, of course, he had never even seen folkstyle. I arranged for him to have one day on the mat at a wrestling camp to get a little experience attacking legs, then he took 3rd in folkstyle, 2nd in freestyle and 1st in Greco. (He beat a Utah wrestler who has probably only lost a handful of matches in the past years.) Something else that might be worth some research is that he might very well be the first Norwegian to ever wrestle folkstyle."
In team competition, Pioneer Grappling Academy from Palmer, Ak., took first place in all three styles, with Mountain Top Wrestling Club of West Jordan earned runner-up honors in all three styles.
Of local interest was Mountain Top Wrestling Club's Garrick Kilpack of Sandy, UT, who competed in the Cadet (ages 15 and 16) 132 lbs. He successfully defended his titles in freestyle and Greco-Roman, adding to it his first national title in folkstyle at AAU Grand Nationals, earning him his first Triple Crown Award. In addition, he was named Outstanding Wrestler in Greco-Roman for the Cadet division, having the most pins and technical falls in the least time.
Another Utahns who excelled included Champions' Riker O'Hearon of Mapleton, Bantam (ages 7 and 8) 65 lbs., who won a Triple Crown and was named Outstanding Wrestler in the Bantam division in all three styles. O'Hearon was one of only two wrestlers to win Outstanding Wrestler awards in all three styles.
Mountain Top's Ryan Johnson of West Jordan was another Triple Crown winner from Utah, winning all three styles at Elite (ages 17 and 18) 138 lbs. He was also named the Outstanding Wrestler for the Elite division in folkstyle wrestling.
Coming from Devils Wrestling in Moab was Austin Paris, who won national titles in both freestyle and Greco-Roman at Midget (ages 9 and 10) 65 lbs. He beat the Norway athlete in both styles, earning him an Outstanding Wrestler award in freestyle, but fell short against Stotzer-Karlsen in Greco-Roman.
Also from Utah was Ladd Holman of Nephi, who was named the Outstanding Wrestler in the Midget division in Greco-Roman. He won his bracket in Greco-Roman and earned silver medals in both freestyle and folkstyle, finishing behind Brody Silva of Alaska, who was named Outstanding Wrestler in folkstyle for the Midget division.
Earning a gold medal in folkstyle was Tanner Bowman of Salt Lake City, who competed in the Senior division (ages 19 to 29) at heavyweight. His efforts resulted in him being named Outstanding Wrestler in folkstyle for the Senior/Masters division.
Earning Fastest Pin awards in two of the three tournaments were Utah wrestlers. In folkstyle was Jaxten Bowler of Cedar City, Bantam 60 lbs., who also earned a Triple Crown Award for winning all three styles. In Greco-Roman, the fastest pin was earned by Mountain Top's Josef Mecham of Magna, who competed in Elite 195 lbs. on his own way to winning a Triple Crown.
Other Utahns earning Triple Crown awards were Kolten Bradshaw of South Jordan, Midget 60 lbs.; Bill Kilpack of West Jordan, Masters II (ages 53 and older) 165 lbs.; and Ethan Wood of Riverton, Cadet 138 lbs., all from Mountain Top Wrestling Club.
The other wrestler other than O'Hearon to win Outstanding Wrestler in his age division in all three styles was Santino Martinez of New Mexico, who won top honors in the Tot (ages 6 and under) division, 50 lbs.
Utah wrestlers winning two national titles included Mountain Top's Kale Zorn of West Jordan, who won gold in folkstyle and Greco-Roman, finishing second in freestyle; Corey Buregener of West Jordan, who won gold in folkstyle and freestyle at Schoolboy (ages 13 and 14) 130 lbs.; Jaeden Fowers of Taylorsville, gold in freestyle and Greco-Roman at Cadet 106 lbs., and silver in folkstyle; and Dylan Upshaw of Sandy, gold in freestyle and Greco-Roman at Cadet 145 lbs. From Grapplers West was Lione Hola of Kearns, who won gold in folkstyle and freestyle at Midget 125 lbs. From Westlake was Asher Millward of Saratoga Springs, who won gold in folkstyle and Greco-Roman at Midget 55 lbs.
Other Utah national champs included Mountain Top's Ryder Gatten of West Jordan, who won gold in freestyle at Novice (ages 11 and 12) 75 lbs., and silver in both folkstyle and Greco-Roman, where he fell short against Hakaru Nitahara of Team Maui in Hawaii. Cooper Blackett of Nephi won the title in folkstyle at Novice 80 lbs.
Earning silver in all three styles were Mountain Top's Gage Brady of West Jordan, Midget 80 lbs.; Ryan Mecham of Magna, Novice 112 lbs.; Aidan Mailander of West Jordan, Cadet 113 lbs.; and Michael McPike of Sandy, Elite 138 lbs. From Fremont was Mason Denton of Farr West, Cadet 126 lbs.
Team scores in freestyle were Pioneer Grappling Academy 396, Mountain Top Wrestling Clb 347, Team Montana 168, New Mexico 128, North Montana Wrestling Club (Great Falls, Mont.) 42 and Golden Eagle Wrestling Club (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 40.
Team scores in Greco-Roman were Pioneer Grappling Academy 408, Mountain Top Wrestling Clb 352, Team Montana 136, New Mexico 124, Golden Eagle Wrestling Club (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 80 and North Montana Wrestling Club (Great Falls, Mont.) 40.
Team scores in folkstyle were Pioneer Grappling Academy 466, Mountain Top Wrestling Clb 379, New Mexico 187, Team Montana 115, Golden Eagle Wrestling Club (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 104 and North Montana Wrestling Club (Great Falls, Mont.) 42.
For full results, go to www.AAUGrandsUtah.com.