At the end of the first day, five Utah Valley wrestlers were in contention for a podium finish. The wrestling team ventured to Tulsa, Oklahoma from March 7-8, to compete at the 2020 Big 12 Wrestling Championships with hopes to advance to the NCAA Championships.
The UVU wrestling team features four nationally ranked grapplers. Seniors Kimball Bastian and Tanner Orndorff, junior Taylor LaMont and sophomore Tate Orndorff. As well as freshman Cameron Hunsaker who was not ranked and is the fifth in contention.
Tate Orndorff received a first round bye and then showed a dominant performance with an 11-2 win over his first opponent. He and his next opponent wrestled equally as regular time expired with no clear winner, so the match went into overtime. He and his opponent both scored a take down to even the score out again, but his opponent eventually took Orndorff down for a take down to win. Tate Orndorff advanced to the consolation semifinals Sunday afternoon.
Bastian advanced to the consolation semifinals as well. After losing a match early in the quarterfinals, Bastian responded well winning his next three matches to secure a podium finish.
Tanner Orndorff will wrestled for seventh place on Sunday. After splitting matches, the senior found himself in the consolation bracket. In one of his matches against Northern Iowa, Orndorff was in a tied match 2-2 going into the third period. There he wrestled hard scoring three takedowns to win with an 8-2 score.
LaMont was seeded first in his weight class entering Saturday’s matches. He was upset in the first round and battled Sunday for a true eighth place. Following LaMont being upset, Hunsaker came in as an underdog and wrestled Sunday for seventh place.
The top wrestlers placed after Sunday’s matches advanced to the NCAA Wrestling Championships which are taking place on March 19-21 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Photo by Hunter Hall