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OREM — Jacob Carson had made it to this point and come up heartbreakingly, agonizingly short.
After consecutive trips to the state wrestling finals with back-to-back runner-up finishes, the Pleasant Grove grappler had one more chance at an individual title as the dominant Vikings looked to extend their state record dominance of the sport.
Carson wasted no time, either.
The 120-pound wrestler won by pin in just 55 seconds, one of two individual champions that helped Pleasant Grove win its fifth-straight 6A wrestling championship and 11th in the past 12 years, holding off Layton 216.5 to 207 Saturday night at the UCCU Center.
"I've taken second twice, and I really wanted this one. I just had to go get it," Carson said. "It didn't feel real at first. It felt fake, but once I let it settle in, I just had so many emotions — happiness, joy; I can't express them all."
Kort Wilkinson added an individual championship at 285, pinning Lone Peak's Cooper Mumford in 3:52 to punctuate the victory, setting off a raucous celebration after the Vikings found themselves in an unfamiliar position after the first day of the tournament: down a couple of points to Layton.
"There's some stuff that happened today and yesterday that we didn't expect to happen," Wilkinson said, "and we were able to adapt and secure that dub.
"We showed that we're still the most dominant program in Utah."
The Vikings got there with their depth, adding runner-up finishes through Israel Gonzalez at 126, Koda DeAtley at 138, Trevyn Gates at 175 and Luke Evans at 190 to help secure the win.
But with Carson's thrilling victory — a wild first-period pin over Layton's Jace Lemons — the Vikings took hope in pulling away. It wasn't just because it was a win and six points for a pin, but because it came in a head-to-head battle with the Lancers — the only other team to win a 6A title in the past 12 years.
"I knew we needed a win, and especially that head-on-head," Carson said. "But I tried to get out there and get the pin, and treat it like another match."
Wilkinson's championship was the cherry on top in front of a PG-friendly crowd on the campus of Utah Valley University.
"This is everything: the community, the championship," Wilkinson said. "This is a four-peat as a team, my second in the finals — and my first state championship as an individual.
"It means everything."
Geronimo Rivera Jr. (113) and Kael Bennie (165) each won an individual championship for Layton, which placed second ahead of Westlake, Corner Canyon and Fremont to round out the top five.
UHSAA 6A Boys Wrestling
Feb. 19, 2022
UCCU Center, Orem
Pleasant Grove 216.5, Layton 207, Westlake 165.5, Corner Canyon 144, Fremont 122, Mountain Ridge 113, Syracuse 104, Lone Peak 95.5, Skyridge 72, Bingham 67.5, Davis 60.5, American Fork 55.5, Farmington 53, Cyprus 46, Weber 42, Granger 31, Riverton 29, Copper Hills 25, Clerfield 24, Herriman 23, Roy 3, West Jordan 3, Kearns 1.
106 — 1. Layne Kleimann, Mountain Ridge; 2. Korbin Chuchran, Westlake; Cole Fenwick, Layton; Erol Yellowhair, Skyridge; 5. Hunter Sanchez, Mountain Ridge; 6. Zack Anderson, Syracuse.
113 — Geronimo Rivera Jr., Layton; 2. Tyler Vivanco, Corner Canyon; 3. Hudson Palmer, Farmington; 4. Teague Brown, Syracuse; 5. Jason Worthley, Fremont; 6. Wade Mecham, American Fork.
120 — 1. Jacob Carson, Pleasant Grove; 2. Jacob Carson, Pleasant Grove; 3. Jacob Waddoups, Davis; 4. Gavyn Gappmayer, Corner Canyon; 5. Isaac Price, Copper Hills; 6. Isaac Dickinson, Bingham.
126 — 1. Kyison Garcia, Mountain Ridge; 2. Israel Gonzalez, Pleasant Grove; 3. Cal Christiansen, Fremont; 4. Josh Fish, Westlake; 5. Sutton Brown, Syracuse; 6. Quinn Bedell, Corner Canyon.
132 — 1. Brayden Robison, Westlake; 2. Dallan Hunsaker, American Fork; 3. Ryker Brann, Layton; 4. Alejandro Romero, Granger; 5. Tucker Keller, Fremont; Payden Woolsey, Corner Canyon.
138 — 1. Brigham Bagley, Corner Canyon; Koda DeAtley, Pleasant Grove; 3. Bradlee Farrer, Pleasant Grove; 4. Banks Love, Bingham; 5. Logan Hancey, Fremont; 6. Preston Stevens, Mountain Ridge.
144 — 1. Drew Lang, West; 2. Kaden Olson, Riverton; 3. Max Benson, Pleasant Grove; 4. Tucker Butler, Westlake; 5. Jaxon Bearden, Mountain Ridge; 6. Joshua Limb, Hunter.
150 — 1. Joshua Millward, Skyridge; 2. Jace Brower, Westlake; 3. Corbin Platt, Fremont; 4. Andrew Crowwther, Fremont; 5. Ty Carman, Herriman; 6. Angel Granandos, Hunter.
157 — 1. Sam May, Farmington; 2. Carson Neff, Bingham; 3. Jordan Faifai, Syracuse; 4. Jacob Green, Westlake; 5. Payton Fowler, Clearfield; 6. Ricky Mamone, Granger.
165 — 1. Kael Bennie, Layton; 2. Tanner Giatras, Weber; 3. Zachary Phipps, Syracuse; 4. Cody Stewart, Mountain Ridge; 5. Corbin Baumgartner, Lone Peak; 6. Noah Fieeiki, American Fork.
175 — 1. Cayaen Smith, Lone Peak; 2. Trevyn Gates; Pleasant Grove; 3. Geovanni Thomas Davis; 4. Noah Mandleco, Layton; 5. Leimana Fager, Corner Canyon; 6. Jacob Keblis, Fremont.
190 — 1. Mahkyi Smith, Lone Peak; 2. Luke Evans, Pleasant Grove; 3. Ridge Lindley, Fremont; 4. Matt Taylor, Skyridge; 5. Ethan Hearne, Layton; 6. Mason Kartchner, Farmington.
215 — 1. Damon Armenta, Cyprus; 2. Teancum Mitchell, Corner Canyon; 3. Skyler Armenta, Cyprus; 4. Bradley Critchfield, Corner Canyon; 5. Connor Schwab, Syracuse; 6. Kael Jenkins, Davis.
285 — 1. Kort Willkinson, Pleasant Grove; 2. Cooper Mumford, Lone Peak; 3. Ian Briskey, Weber; 4. Mason Bodell, Westlake; 5. Noah Linford, Layton; 6. Davis Pickett, Clearfield.