OREM -- The 12th version of the Utah All-Star Wrestling Classic was just as exciting as those before it.
More than 50 of the top wrestlers in the state gathered at Utah Valley University's UCCU Center on Monday night to meet head to head in a three-mat duals competition in front of a full house. The event is sponsored by the Utah Amateur Wrestling Foundation.
"It's fun to be around all the rest of the kids and not worry about team points," said Box Elder's Rasten Yeates moments after he defeated Hurricane's Zach Prince, 7-5, in a 152-pound matchup.
A couple of matchups featured two Top of Utah wrestlers squaring off for bragging rights. All the matchups featured wrestlers in different classifications -- battles that won't happen at the state championships.
Box Elder's Nick Sorensen and Weber's Mack Huntsman battled at 160 pounds in one of the final marquee matches, with Sorensen scoring late to earn a tight 9-7 victory.
"It's a good experience because you get to wrestle the best in the state and be a part of an exciting match and the hard work you put in pays off," Sorensen said.
In the other local-local matchup, Box Elder's Shand Hardy edged Syracuse's Josh Boman, 4-3, at 112 pounds.
While Box Elder's three entries went 3-0 in the classic, Mountain Crest had a winner in Taylon Niederhasuer, who pinned Juab's Talon Bryan at 170 pounds. Mustangs teammate Sylas Wells was pinned by Hurricane's Brian Scott at 215 pounds, while Brady Dart fell to Millard's Brenden Turner, 12-6, at 126 pounds.
Layton's Carlos Turner won by fall over Salem Hills' Derek Mangelson at 285 pounds. His Lancers teammate, Ken Astle, fell to Maple Mountain's Grant Lamont, 2-0, at 138 pounds.
Weber's Hunter Riggs battled Maple Mountain's Jesse Carlisle, losing 4-3 in a tight 145-pound match.
Roy's Dustin Christensen was outpointed by Delta's Ryan Petersen, 14-4, at 182 pounds.
Logan's Quinn Hinckley lost to Payson's Jed Mellen, 18-3, at 132 pounds, while Payson's Zach Loveless topped North Summit's Dixon Richins by a fall at 138 pounds.
UVU is the site of the state wrestling tournaments, set for Feb. 15-18. Teams return to dual meet action this week, with several invitations set for this weekend, inclduing the Braveheart Duals at Ben Lomond, the Laker Classic Duals at Bonneville, the Rocky Mountain Rumble at UVU, and the Richardson Memorial at Box Elder.
Standard-Examiner correspondent Sherry Nipko contributed to this report.