Carbon wrestlers bring home summer games gold, learn from Olympic champion Gardner
|Johnny O'Hearon locks his opponent at the 2004 Utah Summer Games. O'Hearon and his teammates also got to meet Olympic gold medalist Rulon Gardner.|
Being small doesn't always have to be a disadvantage.
Price Raptor Johnny O'Hearon proved that skill beats out size when he won three gold medals in wrestling at the Utah Summer Games.
He was the smallest wrestler to attend the meet.
O'Hearon wasn't the only Carbon athlete to bring home his weight in medals. Caleb Williams also won three gold medals, while Tyler Procarione walked away with a gold, a silver and a bronze.
Coach Ray Sisneros said he he couldn't be happier with the way his wrestlers performed.
"They just went down there and gave it everything they had," he commented. "These young men are outstanding."
Local parents and young wrestlers are returning the compliment to Sisneros.
O'Hearon's father Rick O'Hearon is one of many parents attributing the success of the Carbon Youth team to the strong coaching they receive.
Sisneros, once a Carbon High state champion wrestler, donates his time to the youth team, even though he has no children in the youth program.
Sisneros said his hope for the Carbon youth wrestling, which he considers a "feeder program" to the high school, is that it will help Carbon High be competitive at the state wrestling tournament in the years to come.
"It's just fun to watch these kids grow and mature and hopefully someday be high school champions," he noted.
In addition to the weekend tournament, the three wrestlers also spent time learning from one of the best wrestling talents in the world, Rulon Gardner.
Gardner, who made headlines when he defeated Russian wrestling phenomenon Alexander Karelin in the 2000 summer olympics for the super heavyweight gold medal, worked with the many Utah children attending the summer games.
Gardner will be competing this summer in Athens, Greece on the U.S. Greco-Roman Olympic team in the 120 kg weight class (264 pounds).