The UVU wrestling team finished its regular season with a dominating performance at home against Grand Canyon University. UVU won every single match against GCU, winning the dual, 39-0.
The night started with UVU’s Jarod Maynes at 141-pounds. Mayne ended up pulling off an unlikely victory with next to no time left when he escaped from his opponent, Uzo Owuama, twice to go ahead by one point. Trevor Wilson was next up at 149-pounds, and he sparked the crowd and the team by pinning his opponent in the first period. Raider Lofthouse followed that up with a first period pin over Steven Abayon at 157-pounds.
Brayden Humpherys beat his opponent by one point, holding off Casey Larson from a strong comeback that almost pushed the match to overtime at 165-pounds.
The UVU seniors put on a show in their final matches. Ross Taylor won by decision over Kenneth Moore at 174-pounds. It was the fourth straight victory for Taylor. Derek Thomas dominated Austin Trujillo to win by tech fall, 15-0. And 3-time national qualifier Jade Rauser finished with a 14-4 major decision win to cap off the dominating win for UVU.
It was the final dual meet of the season and an important one as the Wolverines now have two weeks to prepare for their first-ever Big 12 Conference Championships on March 5-6 in Kansas City.
“It always feels good when nobody gets a loss, everyone is feeling pretty good about themselves right now,” UVU head coach Greg Williams said after the match. “There was energy consistent through our lineup, it was really good to see that.”
“It’s helpful because of the energy, not necessarily because of the win,” Williams said. “They felt good and wrestled well, and it gives them confidence. No one is fooled by wrestling a Grand Canyon kid versus wrestling an Oklahoma State kid. There’s a difference and they know that. The energy well help create opportunities in the match.”
Williams believes that the Wolverines can get three wrestlers to nationals but hopes that his wrestlers can have their best matches of the season in Kansas City.
“I am just looking for every single one of our guys to have their best performances of the year and we will see what happens,” Williams said. “If things go right, we will have three guys that earn spots [at Nationals] for the conference. We just really want each guy to go out there and be prepared so that they are ready to roll.”
My name is Adam Cichoski, I’m a junior at UVU studying Journalism. Sports is my passion, especially football. I’m originally from Las Vegas, Nevada. My plan after school is to pursue a job in sports journalism.