ST. GEORGE — Wrestlers from all over Utah, plus select schools in Nevada, jammed into the Pit Gymnasium at PVHS for the Pine View Invitational Friday and Saturday.
Champions were crowned in 14 weight classes, including Pine View’s own Jaden Peterson, who defeated Mountain Crest’s Jake Hopkins 4-2 in the championship match at the 138 level.
“I like to see all the kids from Vegas and from up north that I don’t usually get to wrestle with,” Peterson said. “You get some really good competition from all around and I get to see some guys I wouldn’t get to see anywhere else.”
The 2014 3A and 4A champs were both in attendance in Payson and Mountain Crest, plus Nevada powers like two-time defending state champ Green Valley, Shadow Ridge and Virgin Valley.
“This is a tough tournament that we put on every year,” Pine View coach Brett Gifford said. “There are 34 teams wrestling from all over the state of Utah and from Nevada. We’ve got a lot of quality teams here.”
Millard, a 2A school from Fillmore in Central Utah, was perhaps the biggest surprise. The Eagles, who took second on Utah’s 2A classification last season, won the Pine View Invitational team title with 253.5 points, just ahead of Mt. Crest (238.5) and Payson (228.0). Millard won at 113 with Caleb Rasmussen and at 195 with Quigley Whitaker and placed in the top four at 106, 120, 160 and 170.
Peterson won his match on points 4-2 against Hopkins. The Pine View senior scored a takedown early in the match for a 2-0 lead. Hopkins battled back with a pair of escapes to tie it at 2-2 going into the third round. Peterson scored a point 15 seconds into the third round, then got a clinching point with 10 seconds left to clear the win.
“It was a great match,” said Peterson, who placed second in state at 132 last season. “He’s a tough kid. I’ve actually seen him before in a freestyle tournament back in the summer so I knew kind of what he did. He wrestled great.”
Peterson, who was about 170 pounds as a defensive back in the fall for the Panthers football team, cut a lot of weight to wrestle at his current class. He lost to Cedar great Dusty Hone last season. Hone was a four-time state champ for the Redmen.
“I learned a lot from wrestling against Dusty,” Peterson said. “I was privileged to be able to wrestle with him and this season I’ve just been working hard to maybe be able to win state this year.”
Other top finishers from southern Utah are Hobbs Nyberg from Dixie (fourth place at 126), Drew Hansen from Pine View (seventh place at 113), Kolby Mills from Hurricane (eighth place at 152), Jesse Williams from Enterprise (fifth place at 160), Isaiah Johnson from Pine View (eighth place at 160), Brenr Nelson from PV (fifth at 170), Brady Tullis of Enterprise (eighth at 182) and Sm Nipp from Diamond Ranch (eighth at 285).
The 3A Division Tournament is Feb. 6-7 and the 3A State Tournament is Feb. 13-14 at Utah Valley University.
For full championship results, click here.
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