Top wrestlers survive at Desert Storm Classic 2017

ST. GEORGE – There were 33 teams, hundreds of wrestlers and more than 1,500 matches competed in this weekend during the annual Desert Storm Classic wrestling tournament at Dixie High School.

Teams from all over the West, including Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, fought to earn the Classic team and individual titles, with Aztec, N.M., grabbing the top team spot. Canyon View, from just up the road in Cedar City took second place in the team race, with Millard third and Syracuse fourth. Desert Hills was the top St. George team, placing sixth.

“It was a great tournament,” said Dixie coach and tournament director Jarad Carson. “We use it to help fund our program, but also we like to showcase wrestling in southern Utah. A lot of teams may not think of southern Utah as a wrestling place, but we have some good teams and some great wrestlers.”

Aztec, N.M., is a city of about 6,000 people in northwest New Mexico and is about a three-hour drive from Albuquerque. The tournament-winning Tigers decided to participate in the Desert Storm Classic despite a school shooting at their facility just over a week ago that left two students dead.

File photo of Ryker Boyce for Desert Hills and Caleb Leavitt for Snow Canyon, St. George, Utah, Jan. 5, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie,, St. George News

“For them to show up and wrestle was inspiring,” Carson said. “And then they end up winning the team title and had a couple of wrestlers win individual titles. That was pretty neat. We knew they were down because of the tragedy, and we are grateful they came.”

Aztec had top four finishers in seven of the 14 weight classifications, including Cody Candelaria, who won first place at 132 pounds. Tiger Austin Littlefield was second at 152 pounds.

As for the local teams, Canyon View had two first place finishes, with Brady Lowry defeating Brayden Stevens of Brighton at 145 pounds and Colten Shumway beating Littlefield at 152. The Falcons also got points from second-place finisher Tyler Haley at 195 pounds and third-place finisher Kasey Robinson at 138 pounds.

Desert Hills’ Ryker Boyce, a sophomore, won his 20th straight match and took the top honors at 126 pounds, with teammate Byron Anderson sweeping through the 182-pound class. The Thunder also got a second place from Enoka Fuailetolo at 285 pounds.

Cedar High got a first place at 285 pounds from Daniel Jordan, with teammate Nathan Ellis taking second at 220. Hurricane’s Caleb Armstrong took second at 132 pounds, and Dixie’s Chase Lundin was second at 170.

For a full list of the results, click here.

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Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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