The region wrestling championships will wrap up this week as the elite teams and individuals attempt to qualify for the state tournaments.
Syracuse won the Region 1 title using a new format adopted for the state 5-A teams, while Bear River claimed the Region 11 title on Saturday with an impressive showing on its own mats.
The Region 5 and 6 championships are set for Wednesday and Thursday. On the horizon is the state championships the following week.
The 2013 Region 1 wrestling team championships were determined by dual-match results throughout the season. Syracuse went 5-0 in the duals, while Layton was 4-1 and Femont was 3-2, with Weber, Davis and Northridge rounding out the finish order.
Syracuse edged Layton 37-27 in their head-to-head meeting back on Jan. 10, and topped Fremont 34-27 on Jan 24 in its closes score of the season.
Now the 5-A schools will stage a divisional tournament on Wednesday and Thursday, with Syracuse, Weber, Davis and Northridge competing in the A bracket at Alta High, and Layton and Fremont competing in the B bracket qualifier at Jordan. The qualifiers begin at 10 a.m. on Wednesday; both start at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
Teams can still enter a pair of wrestlers in each weight class, with the top eight finishers advancing to the state 5-A championships.
“We have been pushing for the divisiona format, with the goal of getting the best 16 wrestlers to state in each weight,” Syracuse coach Troy Brown said. “This makes the dual matches matter. It’s one of the best decisions we’ve made for wrestling in a long time.”
Brown says four of the top 5-A teams in the state are in Region 1, so the new format actually gives the elite wrestlers a good chance. Under the region tournament, Region 1 might have left some studs at home.
The Titans are a very dedicated group, Brown said.
“We won region two years ago, but this group is more focused,” he said. “We didn’t have a down dual, and won three varsity tournaments. There is a core group of 6-7 guys have have led the way for the past four or five years. On and off the mat, our group of 57 is a great group. They feel like a family.”
A year ago, Pleasant Grove won the 5-A title, followed by Viewmont, Alta, Fremont and Layton. Pleasant Grove is in Syracuse’s divisional.
In the 4-A ranks, Maple Mountain topped Box Elder, Mountain Crest and Logan for the title.
The Region 5 championships will be staged on Wednesday and Thursday at Box Elder High, starting at 3 p.m. the first day and 2 p.m. on Thursday.
The host Bees will again be in a dogfight with Mountain Crest and Logan for the team title.
The Region 6 championships will be staged on Wednesday and Thursday at Clearfield High, starting at 3 p.m. each day.
The Falcons have enjoyed one of their better season in recent memory, and will have the home crowd behind them. Bountiful, Cyprus and Highland will also battle for the team title.
Meanwhile, the Bears and the rest of the top Region 11 finishers will attempt to qualify for state at the 3-A North divisional qualifier at Delta High on Friday and Saturday.