LaMont, Park, Koelling among stars at West Cadets

Updated: June 26, 2014

By Rob Sherrill

Many of the stars of the Cadet Nationals the past couple of years have come out of the West regional. Does the name Aaron Pico ring a bell?

Taylor LaMont of Spanish Fork (Utah) Maple Mountain has logged a lot of mentions in our weekly installments. Last week at Pocatello, Idaho, the sophomore was the West double champion at 126, but had to fight off freshman Quentin Hovis of Chandler (Ariz.) Seton in both finals. LaMont won the Greco-Roman final, 8-3 and the freestyle final, 6-4.

Hovis didn’t allow anyone else he wrestled during the week a point, picking up two pins and four technical falls. LaMont had three pins and three technical falls prior to the finals.

LaMont was one of seven double champions in the event. Since he doesn’t wrestle on Sunday due to his family’s religious beliefs, expect him to move up to the Junior division once again at Fargo before dropping back to the Cadet division for freestyle. He was an All-American in both last year.

Sophomore Matthew Park (145) of Boise Centennial, a high-school teammate of Junior World Team members Hayden Tuma and Jon Jay Chavez, was even more impressive in winning his double title. The 5A state champion pinned nine of his 10 opponents, with only a technical fall in the Greco-Roman quarterfinals blemishing his bid for perfection. Park pinned his way to the freestyle title with five falls in 6:33.

Another sophomore, Wyatt Koelling (182) of Kaysville (Utah) Davis, fresh off an 8-0 run in the Cadet Greco-Roman National Duals that included six pins, was impressive again in winning a double title. The 5A state champion scored a pin and seven technical falls, not allowing a point.

Other double winners:

Jason Holmes (94) of Arizona, the FILA Cadet Greco-Roman champion, had three wins in each style, winning all three freestyle matches by technical fall.

Roman Bravo-Young (100), also of Arizona, won four matches in each style, not allowing a point.

Brian Barnes (195) of McMinnville (Ore.), third in the 6A state tournament this season, also didn’t allow a point, recording two pins and a technical fall in each style.

Dallas O’Bryan (220) of Oregon faced seven opponents, pinning six. His other win came by injury default.

What surprises will Junior Duals bring?

Last week, in this installment, we learned about Illinois’ bid for a second straight bid for eight age-group team titles at the Cadet and Junior National levels starting with a double title in the Cadet National Duals.

The Junior National Duals started Tuesday at Oklahoma City, Okla., and conclude Saturday, June 28. Illinois faces stiff competition from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, California and Minnesota in their bid to make it 4-for-4 in dual titles. We’ll have a complete report next week.