BRIGHAM CITY — Brock Hardy entered the Richardson Memorial Tournament at Box Elder High School this weekend with two losses on his record. Hardly embarrassing, but certainly different from a year ago when he lost just one match all year on his way to a state championship in the 132-pound division.
The Box Elder sophomore, now wrestling in the 145-pound division, took an important step forward at the two-day tournament that concluded Saturday by taking first place. Hardy pinned Clearfield senior Daxton Arnold in the championship to improve to 15-2.
“My ankle is healed up,” Hardy said. “I’ve been wrestling with an injured ankle all year. I did the same thing, I just went farther and faster.”
Hardy was one of three Box Elder wrestlers to take first place. Sophomore Garrett Ricks pinned Fremont freshman Tayton Bennett in the 106-pound division while junior Riley Taylor avenged a loss to Roy senior Bryan Sakurada earlier in the season with a 3-2 decision in the 285-pound division, just Sakurada’s second loss of the season.
Box Elder won the tournament with 205.0 points. The Bees finished second to Mountain Crest in the same tournament a year ago.
“I think we won some tough, close matches,” Box Elder coach Mike Ripplinger said. “Last year it seemed like we lost a lot of close matches and this year we won a lot of good, tough, close ones.”
Three Bear River wrestlers earned first-place finishes to help the Bears finish second overall with 182.5 points.
Bear River juniors Cooper Skinner and Jordan Watson, wrestling in the 138- and 195-pound divisions, respectively, each improved to 28-0. Skinner defeated Viewmont senior Ryan Winger in a 4-2 decision while Watson defeated Morgan sophomore Chase Trussell in a 3-2 decision.
Other area wrestlers who stayed undefeated were Morgan junior Owen Pentz (20-0), Morgan senior Wyatt Ekblad (19-0) and Roy senior Connor Kirkland (27-0). Pentz defeated Clearfield senior Ben Bolingbroke in a 5-1 decision, handing Bolingbroke his first loss of the season, while Kirkland pinned Corner Canyon junior Zack Heaton. Kirkland entered the meet as the top seed, the first time that has happened for him this season.
“I just wanted to let everyone know that it wasn’t an accident that I’m (undefeated) – Just pound everybody that stepped across the mat from me,” Kirkland said.
The meet wasn’t without its upsets. Copper Hills senior Jordan Marshall pinned Fremont sophomore Kegan Leatherow in the 113-pound division, dropping Leatherow to 27-2 this season, while Pocatello-Idaho senior Kade Smith pinned Bear River junior and defending state champion Holden Richards in the 126-pound division. The loss was Richards’ first of the season.
Garrett Ricks (Box Elder) 20-5, So. over Tayton Bennett (Fremont) 27-4, Fr. (Fall 1:25).
Jordan Marshall (Copper Hills) 23-4, Sr. over Kegan Leatherow (Fremont) 27-2, So. (Fall 3:18).
Caleb Armstrong (Pocatello-Idaho) 14-6, Fr. over Austin Bingham (Box Elder) 19-7, Jr. (Dec 5-4).
Kade Smith (Pocatello-Idaho) 9-0, Sr. over Holden Richards (Bear River) 19-1, Jr. (Fall 3:43).
Raynger Keckler (Logan) 29-2, Jr. over Hunter Roubidoux (Pocatello-Idaho) 21-3, Jr. (Dec 7-2).
Cooper Skinner (Bear River) 28-0, Jr. over Ryan Winger (Viewmont) 24-3, Sr. (Dec 4-2).
Brock Hardy (Box Elder) 15-2, So. over Daxton Arnold (Clearfield) 17-8, Sr. (Fall 4:30).
Conner Wengreen (Mountain Crest) 16-8, Jr. over Briar Bunderson (Box Elder) 20-7, Sr. (Dec 7-3).
Bryken Jensen (Bear River) 26-2, Jr. over Colton Bringard (Bountiful) 18-6, Sr. (Dec 4-3).
Owen Pentz (Morgan) 20-0, Jr. over Ben Bolingbroke (Clearfield) 17-1, Sr. (Dec 5-1).
Connor Kirkland (Roy) 27-0, Sr. over Zack Heaton (Corner Canyon) 13-6, Jr. (Fall 4:45).
Jordan Watson (Bear River) 28-0, Jr. over Chase Trussell (Morgan) 16-3, So. (Dec 3-2).
Wyatt Ekblad (Morgan) 19-0, Sr. over Jordan Nielsen (Viewmont) 19-5, Sr. (TF-1.5 4:00 (17-2)).
Riley Taylor (Box Elder) 17-7, Jr. over Bryan Sakurada (Roy) 19-2, Sr. (Dec 3-2).
1. Box Elder – 205.0
2. Bear River – 182.5
3. Star Valley-Wyoming – 164.0
4. Mountain Crest – 143.0
5. Viewmont – 142.5
6. Morgan – 119.5
7. Fremont – 109.0
8. Pocatello-Idaho – 99.0
9. Bountiful – 97.0
10. Olympus – 84.5
11. Copper Hills – 83.0
12. Weber – 75.0
13. Roy – 74.0
14. Corner Canyon – 66.0
15. Logan – 60.0
16. Sky View – 57.0
17. Clearfield – 52.5
18. Murray – 32.0
19. Century-Idaho – 22.0