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Carbon wrestlers compete at state tournament

Sports writer

Several Carbon High wrestling athletes traveled to Orem this past weekend to compete in the Class 3A state finals. The wrestlers competed well and landed Carbon a ninth place finish in the team standings with 95 points.

Placing in the individual standings for Carbon were Trent Greenhalgh, Zack Burdick and Dallen McFarlane. These three Dino sophomores have been dubbed the super sophomores by wrestling coach Dave Smith. Throughout the year, these three young athletes have competed strong and placed in several big meets, including the state finals.

Greenhalgh placed third in the 103 pound weight division with a major decision over Robert Brant of Dixie.

Burdick also finished in third place in the state finals. In the 119 pound weight division, Burdick won by decision over Lehi's Bryan Nielsen by the final, 5-4.

McFarlane completed the finals with a fifth place finish in the 125 pound division. McFarlane won by a 5-0 decision over Matt Morley of Pine View.

Derick and Dustin Howa along with Brett Riche and Garrett Schmitz each assisted Carbon by scoring points with several big wins at the state tourney. By finishing in ninth place, Carbon not only finished in the top 10, they also outscored Region 8 powerhouse Delta who finished the tourney in 10th place.

The major success story of the 3A state finals came from first year wrestler, Jan Jorgensen.

According to coach Smith, Jorgensen completed a dream season for Carbon High by winning a state wrestling title last week.

Jorgensen who has already signed a letter of intent to play football at the University of Kentucky is obviously a talented athlete, but his wrestling accomplishments demonstrate a unique combination of abilities and desires seldom found in any high school athlete.

The Carbon senior has been an outstanding player for Carbon's basketball team for the past three seasons. This year however, Jorgensen chose to switch to wrestling because in his words, he felt he had a chance to compete for a title.

"That is a large aspiration because no wrestler has been able to win a state title as a first year wrestler in recent memory," commented Smith.

At the beginning of this season, Jorgensen showed he was a contender to be a state placer, but certainly he was not yet ready to be a champion.

"Jorgensen was big, strong and athletic but made enough mistakes to still be beaten by more experienced wrestlers.

He did defeat some very good wrestlers early such as the 5A champion from Davis High, but when he met North Sanpete's top ranked athlete, Sheldon Holmgreen, Jorgensen was not close.

He spent most of the season low in the rankings even though his coaches and he felt he had a chance," explained Smith.

"Jorgensen is one of the most caochable athletes I've coached in my 24 years of high school coaching. Jorgensen always listened carefully as new moves and techniques were explained and then he worked extremely hard to try to become better every day," continued Smith.

At the region tournament two weeks ago, only a selected few felt that Jorgensen had a chance against Holmgreen who had defeated everyone who was tough in Utah at the 215 pound division in every class.

Not only did Jorgensen defeat Holmgreen, but he did in a successful fashion by the final, 15-6. Following the big win for Jorgensen, Holmgreen swore to get revenge at the state finals.

At state, Jorgensen breezed to the finals with a major decision and two pins where he awaited Holmgreen for a rematch.

This would not come to be however as Holmgreen was defeated in an upset match by second ranked Jon McNaughtan of Wasatch in the semi finals. This concerned Carbon's coaches as they had not seen McNaughtan wrestle.

Despite knowing very little about Jorgensen's final opponent, the coaches along with the talented Dino athlete came up with a great plan of attack which Jorgensen carried out perfectly.

Jorgensen dominated round one by scoring four takedowns. After the first three, he quickly released his dangerous opponent only to quickly take him down again.

Round one ended with the Wasatch wrestler on his back and Jorgensen ahead, 11-3.

In round two, Jorgensen only needed 17 seconds to secure a reversal and a fall.

"It was additionally exciting as everyone of the 8,000 plus fans except for Wasatch seemed to be cheering for the rookie from Carbon," explained coach Smith.

The season may be over for the Carbon wrestling squad, but the future looks bright for next year's team who will be comprised of several big athletes including the three super sophomores who will move on to compete in their junior year against Region 8's top athletes.

"It was a fun year as every wrestler in the room seemed to work very hard and although we really did not have a star, we had such a great group of young men who always did their best. It is unusual to have a team where there is not a single lazy athlete," concluded coach Smith.

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