BRIGHAM CITY — What’s already been a breakthrough season for Jordan Wengreen just keeps on getting better.
Wengreen rallied from a 6-0 deficit to stun two-time state titlist Ken Astle in thrilling fashion in the 145-pound championship match on the second and final day of the 16-team Richardson Memorial wrestling tournament on Saturday.
The junior was one of four Mountain Crest champions at the 40th annual event. Trevor Lowe (113 pounds), Brady Dart (126) and Taylon Niederhauser (182) also reigned supreme, propelling the Mustangs past Layton and into second place with 186.5 points.
As expected, host Box Elder ran away with the title, scoring 273 points, while crowning five champs. Logan placed ninth with 96 points, while Sky View finished 12th with 50 points.
Wengreen, who was named the tourney’s most outstanding wrestler for the lower weight classes, mounted his epic comeback after Astle fatigued late in the second round.
“It was a big difference, him being tired and me not stopping,” Wengreen said. “I was able to hit my offense and hit my stuff and take it to him. It felt great.”
Wengreen and Astle provided non-stop action for six full minutes, with both grapplers repeatedly trying to throw each other in the early going. Wengreen finished a pair of powerful double-leg takedowns to fight his way back into the bout and set the stage for a crazy finish.
Wengreen was trailing 7-4 when he took Astle down to his back and darn near stacked his foe for the pin. Astle fought off his back and notched a reversal with nine seconds left in the match to retake the lead at 9-8.
However, Wengreen was undaunted, reversing position just three seconds after the restart to stun many in the crowd with his 10-9 victory. Wengreen, who was pinned by Astle earlier this season, celebrated with fervor and received big hugs from his coaches as he left the mat.
“It was an awesome feeling just to have him stacked on his back and just taking it to him,” Wengreen said. “Taking a state champ down, that’s pretty fun.”
Wengreen beat a pair of state placers, including a returning runner-up, just to get to the finals.
Lowe, Dart and Niederhauser also wrestled very well in the finals, and for Dart and Niederhauser, it’s the second straight year they won their weight class at this tournament.
Dart used a trio of takedowns in the first two rounds to earn a convincing 8-3 victory over two-time state placer Dominic Kunder of Bear River. The senior has bounced back nicely from his only loss of the season last weekend.
“Yeah, I always have a bad week after Christmas, and that was my bad week,” Dart said. “I just got back to it and got (that match) out of my mind. It kind of relieves the pressure a lot, so that’s kind of nice, but it sucks at the same time.”
Like Dart, Lowe was also impressive on his feet as his executed a trio of single-leg takedowns to record a 7-4 victory over returning state placer Christian Kodele of Clearfield.
Niederhauser impressively took control in the second round against Marshall Watkins, outscoring the Star Valley grappler 7-2 to overcome a 3-2 deficit and eventually prevail, 13-9. Watkins placed second at state a year ago.
Cache Valley’s other champion was Logan’s Jacoby Wildman, and like the four Mountain Crest titlists, he flat-out shined. Wildman pinned all three of his opponents, sticking West Jordan’s Stephen L’Heureux in a third-round chicken wing to wrap up his title.
“We’ve been struggling in the weight room, (not) having (other) heavyweights, but coach Bo (Roundy) has really stepped up,” said Wildman, who made it a point to thank his family for pushing him. “He’s been wrestling with me every day and he’s really pushing me to be my best and do my best, and I think it showed on the mat that he’s really been helping me.”
Mountain Crest had two other finalists — the Mustangs tied the Bees for the most with six apiece — and they were impressive in defeat.
Rayden Lindley (132) fared much better against two-time state runner-up Shand Hardy of Box Elder than he did Thursday, only falling 3-1, while twin brother Kaden Lindley (152) lost an entertaining, action-packed 8-7 heartbreaker to Matt Williams of Box Elder.
Mason Kendrick was the Mustangs’ seventh placer as he won a trio of one- or two-point decisions Saturday to finish third at 138 pounds.
In addition to Wildman, Logan had four other placers in Talon Teeples (third, 126), Logan Harrison (sixth, 132), Kyle Weekes (sixth, 152) and Hunter Ballam (fifth, 160).
The Bobcats had three placers in Quinton Lopez (138, sixth), TJ Thacker (fifth, 145) and Jake Hansen (fifth, 170). After a taking his lumps for a couple of years, Thacker, who dominated the No. 3 seed, has improved a great deal this season, and it’s starting to pay dividends.
“It feels awesome,” Thacker said. “It feels like everything I’ve done, everything I’ve learned from coach (Bardett) Bagley has helped me improve and to get me where I am.”