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MHS wrestlers earn second place at divisionals

Jorgenson, Nava and Trussell—divisional champions


Seven Morgan wrestlers earned a spot in the 3A Divisional B Championships Saturday night in Richfield.  Although only three came away with first-place titles, every Trojan wrestler “wrestled at or above his expectations during the entire divisional tournament,” according to Coach Dustin Rock.

Jarrett Jorgensen (120lbs), Antonio Nava (152lbs) and Chase Trussell (220lbs) each finished the evening on top of the podium with Joseph Mecham (106lbs), Chris Payne (126lbs), Isaac Ware (132lbs) and Weston Stegelmeier (285lbs) concluding the meet in second place.  Montana Cragun (126lbs) and Spencer Belinski (138lbs) wrapped up the tournament with wins for third while Belinski’s younger brother Tanner (132lbs) claimed fourth.

At 170lbs, Hayden Stuart won fifth place, and freshman Chance Toone punched his ticket to state with a sixth-place finish in the 145-pound bracket.  Morgan’s final qualifiers were Taylor Bearnson (138lbs) and Chase Peterson (160lbs); both ended the event in seventh place.

Overall, Morgan finished second in their division and will have 14 wrestlers travel to Orem for the 3A State Championships on Feb. 9-10.

“The entire team wrestled well.  I am proud of their success and look forward to state next week,” Coach Rock summarized.  “It was a good tournament and hopefully we can close the gap on Juab [first place team] at state next weekend.

“Everyone who wrestled qualified for state with Isaac Rees as an alternate.  Rees went down and wrestled up three weight classes and came so close.  It’s rough to be 126 pounds and wrestling other 145 pounders.  This is his first year wrestling, and he did an excellent job,” Rock reported.

Rock and his assistant coaches—Eddy Patino, Zeth Porter, Ed Kinsey and John Rock—will travel with the Trojans to Orem for the 3A State Tournament this weekend, Feb. 9-10.  State matches will begin at noon on Friday at UVU and will continue through Saturday evening with the championship matches.  Best of luck to all of the MHS wrestlers!

First place

Sophomore Jarrett Jorgensen (120lbs) faced off against long-time rival Kalob Nybo (Juab) in the finals. With the series at 1-1 this season, Jorgensen ended the first period up 8-7 before extending his lead to five (14-9) at the end of the second round.  In the final period, Jorgensen maintained his lead to win the high-scoring bout by decision 20-14.  Jorgensen advanced to the finals with a pin in the semifinals.

In his championship match, senior Antonio Nava (152lbs) was also pitted against a familiar foe, Wyatt Harmon, of Juab.  Each wrestler had won a bout this season in head-to-head competition, but Nava stepped up and pinned Harmon in the first period (1:51) for the first-place finish.

“It was a shocking moment to win, like when I won in the semifinals at state when I was a sophomore,” Nava recalled.  “The feeling was amazing, and it is first time I have ever won divisionals!  Competition will be tough at state, but I am hopeful!”   Nava advanced to the finals with pins in the quarter- and semi-finals.

Senior Chase Trussell (220lbs) continued his undefeated season with four wins by fall at the divisional tournament, including the championship bout where Trussell pinned Jackson Schugk of Juab in 1:56.  Trussell looks solid heading into the state tournament.  His stiffest competition in the 3A ranks dropped to 195lbs at divisionals and will no longer wrestle in the 220lbs bracket.

Second place

Sophomore Joseph Mecham (106lbs) lost 5-4 in championship match to Denim Torgerson of Richfield. Mecham advanced to the finals with a major decision 12-2 in the semifinals and a pin in the quarterfinals.

Senior Chris Payne (126lbs) fell in the first-place bout to Triston Fillmore (South Sevier) by decision 5-1.  Payne pinned his first two opponents before a major decision victory (9-1) in the semifinal match.

Fellow senior Isaac Ware (132lbs), wrestling for the first time in a divisional final, stayed close to Juab’s Gentry Warner for two periods, before getting pinned with 15 seconds remaining in the match.  Winning his first two bouts by fall, Ware earned a 10-7 victory by decision in the semis.

Morgan’s heavyweight, senior Weston Stegelmeier, pinned two opponents to earn himself a spot in the divisional final against Aaron Reeve of Emery.  Stegelmeier’s run unfortunately came to an end with a loss by fall in the concluding match of the night.  “It was my first time in the finals,” he shared.  “It was amazing.  I kind of got lost coming out of the tunnel in the smoke, but once I got out, it was amazing.  I am so grateful for all of the support I have been given.  I am pumped and excited to go to state and do my best!”

Third place

Junior Montana Cragun (126lbs) earned third place with a pin (1:35) over Dakota Curtis of Richfield in the consolation finals.  His 10-11 quarterfinal victory by decision was one of the more exciting bouts of the tournament.  After a loss in the semis to eventual champion, Triston Fillmore, Cragun pinned his next opponent to land in the consolation finals.

Sophomore Spencer Belinski (138lbs) went 4-1 for the tournament to earn his third-place title.  Belinski opened with a pin before falling in the quarterfinals by decision 7-4 to Brayden Adams of Grantsville.  In the first round of the consolation bracket, he met Trojan teammate Taylor Bearnson and got a takedown near the end of regulation to best Bearnson 7-5 and advance to the consolation semifinals.  In the semis, Belinski, once again, wrestled a close match and won on a late takedown by decision 6-4. In the third-place match, he chose to forego his nerve-wracking tactics and pinned Adams (who had beaten him in the quarters) early in the first period (1:10).

Fourth place

Freshman Tanner Belinski wrestled more matches than anyone else on the team during the divisional tournament.  In the large 132lbs bracket, Belinski opened with a pin in his first bout, but lost in the quarterfinals by fall to drop into the consolation bracket.  He proceeded to pin his next three opponents and earned a place in the consolation finals against Emery senior Zachary World.  Belinski was unable to overcome the strong upperclassman and fell by decision 7-2.

“Fourth is pretty good,” Belinski commented when asked about his divisional tournament.  “I got to the consolation finals by sticking to the basics and not getting worked up in advanced moves.”

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