Carbon wrestlers had their best performance of the season at this week's Region 8 wrestling tournament. Carbon qualified eleven wrestlers for the state wrestling tournament in St. George next week.
Carbon finished third as a team behind top ranked Delta and second ranked North Sanpete in easily the toughest region in the 3-A division. Leading the way for Carbon were Cameron Dansie at 135 pounds and Shea Timothy at 145. Both were favored to win both the region and state tournaments, and so far they did not disappoint anyone.
Dansie scored falls in rounds one and two. He then received a forfeit when for the second time in a week Chris Abbott of Delta chose not to wrestle Dansie in the finals.
Timothy was expected to struggle to defeat the three time state placer, Jake Abbott this year as they both ended up at 145 pounds. Timothy defeated Abbott 7-1 at the Tournament of Champions, and placed an exclamation mark on that win with a 6-0 victory last week. Thus, Abbott chose to move up to 150 pounds in hopes of having a chance at a championship. That left Timothy wrestling Delta's Dan Lake for a region title for the third straight year. Timothy pounded Lake for a convincing 9-0 victory.
Joining Carbon's victory parade was Cody Bunderson at 125. Cody had lost to Shepard of Delta in convincing fashion only one week ago, and came into region as the third seeded wrestler. He scored an upset 18-4 decision in the semi-finals over Stuart Harmon of Lehi. Cody followed that with a 2-0 overtime win over Dustin Shepard in the finals.
Carbon's only other finalist was super freshman Zack Burdick. Burdick chose to move up the high school level this year, and has enjoyed great success with a 35- 9 record. Wrestling at 103 Zack found himself in the most competitive weight at region. Every wrestler at 103 sported a winning record so it was a weight up for grabs except for top ranked Josh Luke of Emery who is 42-0. Burdick moved to the finals with tough fought victories over Sager of Lehi, and Kaden King of North Sanpete. Although he was defeated 7-0 in the finals Burdick wrestled well.
Other state qualifiers for Carbon were: Keenan Atwood at 140 lbs. who placed third and who had his best outing of the season.
Andrew Christensen at 189 lbs. scored a fall to defeat Kevin Jachobsen of North Sanpete.
Tyson O'neil in the 275 lb. division was third as he scored a fall to defeat Brian Goodell of Lehi who had defeated O'Neil twice before.
Also, qualifying were fourth place finishers Derek Woods, Garrett Schmitz, Chris Wharram and Nathan Horrocks.
Coach Smith was very pleased with the effort of every wrestler on this years team as they have shown great improvement, especially in the last few weeks.
Now it's onto the state tournament. That will be held at Dixie State College on Friday and Saturday.
"I think we will surprise some people at state this year," says Smith. "We come from a tough region. The rest of the state has little idea of how tough it is."