Wrestling is in the rear-view mirror for sure for at least two seniors and more than likely a third – but at least all three went out with wins.
Sam Allen, Marc Fenwick and Nate Kearsley got to that final night of wrestling, in which Utah Valley dominated in a 35-9 win against Portland State. In different ways, they all have helped build a foundation for a successful wrestling program.
"We feel pretty good about where we are going," Utah Valley coach Greg Williams said. "We’re getting the kinds of kids that will make this a successful program year after year."
Allen is still pushing to get another year of eligibility after transferring from Wyoming and sitting out a year. If last week’s match was his last, it was a good note to go out on.
Wrestling in the 149-pound weight class against Portland State’s Alan Dickey, Allen dominated from the early goings, attacking Dickey quickly. Dickey tied the first round at 2-2, but then it was Allen the rest of the way, scoring 10 straight points to earn the 12-2 decision.
"You can’t ask to end any other way," said Allen, who was second on the team in wins with 28. "I was more nervous than I’ve been before because this could be my last match ever."
He doesn’t know whether or not he will be granted another year to wrestle, but Williams said it could be a long shot.
Fenwick’s goal coming into this season was to have a winning record, something he hadn’t done in college before. He reached that goal earlier in the season, but it didn’t stop him from competing in his final collegiate match.
At 174 pounds, Fenwick beat the Vikings Jordan Toney by tech fall and finished the season with a 19-13 record.
"He’s done more with his talent than anyone I’ve ever coached," Williams said.
In his first year here, Fenwick finished 16-17 as a junior after wrestling two seasons at Western Wyoming Community College.
Going into the third round in his match, Kearsley was trailing 3-2 before scoring nine points in the final period and winning by major decision 11-3 over Steven Dailey.
"It’s bittersweet, I guess," Kearsley said. "It’s been a long season, but because this is my second year here, I still feel like a sophomore."
When Kearsley walked on before last season, Williams didn’t expect a starter to emerge, but that’s exactly what Kearsley expected from the start.
"Nate puts all his effort into everything we ask him to do. He’s pulled off a lot of wins because he’s worked so hard," Williams said.
Utah Valley got off to a 12-0 start with a pair of forfeit wins for Logan Wilson and the Division I leader in wins, Benjamin Kjar.
Other Wolverines wins came when Jeffrey Newby earned a major decision 11-1 over Cameron Arkills, Casen Eldredge beat Jacob Antoine 8-1, and Billy Green earned a 7-3 decision over Zack Smith.
Utah Valley finished the year with two straight wins.