OREM — The referee raised Tyson Humpherys’ right arm and showed off the Layton High senior to the UCCU Center crowd at Utah Valley University.
Humpherys ran and embraced his coach Adam Fager, his father, Chris Humpherys, and celebrated.
Tyson’s biggest celebration came seconds later when he jumped into his brother Brayden’s arms.
“I love that man so much, he’s my biggest idol. I don’t know where I’d be without him,” Tyson said after his match.
Brayden Humpherys, a Layton alumnus and former UVU wrestler, played an important part in Tyson’s high school wrestling career, which culminated Thursday night with a fourth state title.
“Made me who I am today,” Tyson said.
Tyson Humpherys pinned Skyridge’s Hadley Cowan after 3:40 in the 6A 138-pound final, becoming the 24th Utah wrestler to win four individual championships.
For the second straight year, a Layton wrestler won a fourth title after a freak injury. Humpherys was accidentally shot by a nail gun earlier this year and has had multiple knee surgeries in his life.
One particular injury stands out.
Humpherys broke his right elbow in eighth grade, starting a two-year journey of pain, injuries and surgeries. That’s where his brother comes in.
“Freshman year, I pretty much had to change everything, like my whole wrestling went from normal wrestling to — we just did my wrestling around this arm. What will work with this, we’ll do this, what style is good for this arm, we just pretty much had to switch up my whole style.
“My brother’s really good at figuring things out, so he helped me figure out some random techniques and other stuff,” Tyson said.
His brother watched hours of videos to see if he could find anything that would help Tyson. He did.
As debilitating as the injuries were, Tyson Humpherys didn’t quit but, without changing styles, who knows what would’ve happened?
“It’s amazing, I’m so happy right now. It’s literally a dream come true,” Humpherys said after the match.
Contrasting emotions played out within the depths of the UCCU Center.
A Skyridge wrestler ran into the tunnel and threw his headgear against the wall in frustration. Meanwhile, Humpherys sat on the cold floor, exhausted.
“(Cowan’s) a strong kid, definitely a stronger kid than me. I’m just more physical so I can stay with those stronger kids,” Humpherys said.
Humpherys is signed to wrestle at UVU, so he’ll become even more familiar with an already familiar campus over the next few years.
There was one sure thing, he said: the fourth title was the best.
ANDERSON IS 1ST FARMINGTON CHAMP
Jacob Anderson didn’t realize the referee had slapped the mat for about three seconds, but when he did, he sprinted over and hugged his head coach.
Anderson became the first Farmington High wrestling state-title winner by pinning Payson’s Louis Williams in the second period to win the 5A 195-pound championship.
Anderson jumped up and hugged his brother Russell and mother Elise while being held off the ground.
“It feels amazing, I couldn’t have done it without my team and my coach. I love every one of them,” Anderson said.
He wrestled Williams twice this year. Anderson beat him once, then lost the second time.
“So I learned form that. I need to be quick, so right off the whistle I knew I had to shoot. I shot in, got a solid takedown, I just kept working,” Anderson said.
Williams led 5-2 lead in the first period and nearly pinned Anderson, who immediately turned the tide with four points, including a reversal, to go up 6-5.
BONNEVILLE’S CARTY SAVES BEST FOR LAST
Bonneville senior Aaron Carty was one win short of placing at last year’s state tournament.
Carty placed in the 5A 220-pound bracket this year, beating Lehi’s Harrington Ray 5-0 in the third-place match.
“I’m pretty pumped. Yeah, I’m pretty excited,” he said. “The past two years at state I didn’t place, so I’m excited just to place. Third is better than fourth, fifth, sixth.”
Carty lost to East High’s Sau Tafisi by a 6-1 decision in Thursday’s semifinals and went into the consolation bracket.
Bonneville doesn’t often have wrestlers place at the state tournament.
“It’s big, but we expect more of that in the future ... We were hoping for him to wrestle his best and he did, this is the best we’ve seen him wrestle,” Bonneville coach Alex Land said.
On Wednesday, Carty beat Breyden Jorgensen from Timpanogos, who had beat Carty in the 5A divisional meet earlier this month.
“I came out a lot more aggressive and I was a lot more energized. I wanted my revenge,” Carty said.
Pleasant Grove coasted in the 6A team race with 274.5 points. Layton finished second for the third year in a row with 191.5 points.
Humpherys, Quade Smith and Aidan Harris all captured titles for the Lancers.
Smith, a junior 113-pounder, won his second in a row with a 12-0 major decision over Fremont’s Cal Christiansen.
Harris, a senior, won his maiden title with a 12-3 decision against Northridge’s Hunter Swalberg.
“It feels way better than last year,” Harris said.
“Same thing that just happened to the kid I wrestled. I lost (last year) that bad.”
Fremont took third with 141 points, Syracuse was fifth with 123 and Weber finished ninth with 82 points.
Fremont senior Mason Denton edged Skyridge’s Joshua Millward 3-2 for his second title in a row.
A silver lining for Syracuse came when Josh Rassi won the 152-pound title after losing in the semifinals last year.
“(The bad start) just made me want to pin people, get bigger points, stuff like that,” Rassi said.
Rassi pinned his first three foes before getting to the title match, where he won 3-0 against Bingham’s Jaxon Wardle.
Wasatch edged Payson in the 5A team race. Box Elder finished third with 164, Viewmont (140) was fourth and Farmington (101) sixth.
Box Elder sophomore Briger Ricks won his second state championship, which keeps him on track to win four. Lucas Cochran, a Bees junior, defended his 182-pound title with a first-period pin.
Viewmont freshman Marcus Espinoza-Owens won the 152-pound title, opening the door to potentially win four titles.
113: Quade Smith (Layton) def. Cal Christiansen (Fremont) by major decision, 12-0.
120: Aidan Harris (Layton) def. Hunter Swalberg (Northridge) by decision, 12-3
132: Mason Denton (Fremont) def. Joshua Millward (Skyridge) by decision, 3-2
138: Tyson Humpherys (Layton) def. Hadley Cowan (Skyridge) by fall (3:40).
152: Joshua Rassi (Syracuse) def. Jaxon Wardle (Bingham) by decision, 3-0.
160: Kam Moss (Corner Canyon) def. Canyon Brann (Layton) by decision, 5-2.
285: Kade Carlson (Corner Canyon) def. Weston Warr (Fremont) by fall (1:47).
113: Bridger Ricks (Box Elder) def. Heath Clyde (Wasatch) by fall (2:31).
132: River Wardle (Wasatch) def. Parker Frasure (Farmington) by decision, 4-3.
145: Stockton O’Brien (Wasatch) def. Moses Espinoza-Owens (Viewmont, freshman) by major decision, 16-5.
152: Marcus Espinoza-Owens (Viewmont) def. Caleb Marx (Box Elder) by decision, 3-0.
160: Jeremy Evans (Viewmont) def. Alex Zesiger (Viewmont) by fall (1:13).
182: Lucas Cochran (Box Elder) def. Elijah Stafford (Mountain View) by fall (1:57).
195: Jacob Anderson (Farmington) def. Louis Williams (Payson) by fall (2:20).