The Monticello High School wrestlers came into the South Division wrestling tournament on Saturday feeling pressure.
Pressure to do their best individually, putting a season of hard work to the test as each wrestler attempts to earn a spot on the big stage at the state tournament.
Pressure as a team to finish well and continue a tradition of excellence that has existed for decades at MHS. Pressure to keep the current streak of Region Championships alive.
The Buckaroo wrestlers handled the pressure like champions, blowing away the competition and finishing with 289.5 points, well in front of second place Wayne High School at 204 points. They earned the seventh consecutive championship for Monticello High School.
Individually, the MHS matmen started the Division tournament with 20 wrestlers and ended by qualifying 15 for the Utah State Wrestling Tournament, where they will battle to earn another championship trophy.
The Buckaroos finished with five individual champions as Brian Robinson, Brandon Musselman, Cole Eldredge, Austin Wilcox and Nephi Barlow stood atop the podium at the end of the day.
Brian Robinson finished the day with his fourth region crown. Robinson had big wins by fall and an 11-1 major decision on his way to the finals, where he earned his title with a 6-1 win. Robinson will go to the state finals looking to finish his Buckaroo career as a three time state champion.
Brandon Musselman won two matches by technical fall wins of 15 points or more on his way to the finals, where he worked hard on his way to an exciting 2-1 win.
Cole Eldredge dominated his opponents, earning three wins by fall on his way to a championship.
Austin Wilcox and Nephi Barlow each had first round byes, but came out strong with wins by fall in the next round to put them in the championship match.
Wilcox wasted no time in the finals, earning an exciting first period win by fall. Barlow worked hard putting up a strong 7-0 finish to defeat the top ranked wrestler in his weight class and take over the top spot.
Finishing with second place medals are Justin Redd, Hunter Bowring, Jake Giles and P.J. Leiataua.
Redd earned two wins by fall on his way to the finals where he worked hard but came up short.
Bowring put falls in the books in both of his early rounds and fought hard in the finals ending in a tie at the ending of regulation.
In the first overtime period neither wrestler was able to score. In the two extra 30-second periods each wrestler earned another point, leaving the match tied and forcing a final overtime.
Bowring started on bottom with the challenge of getting away but was unable to fight his way out and lost the heartbreaker 4-3.
Giles earned worked hard, earning two wins by fall on his way to the finals. Leiataua had a big win by fall on his way to the finals where he worked hard but fell short of a championship.
Eric Anderson and Tyrell Lee earned third place medals at the tournament. Anderson won his first round match by technical fall, 19-2. After a loss that sent him to the consolation bracket, Anderson came back strong with a fall and an exciting 6-4 win. Lee won an exciting match by fall in the consolation finals.
Drew Baird and Chandler Draper earned fourth place medals. Baird worked hard, earning two wins by fall. Draper lost his first match but fought back with two wins by fall. In the match that would send him to the state tournament, Draper came from behind in the final 15 second, reversing his opponent and putting him on his back to win by fall as the buzzer sounded.
Russell Musselman and Dustin Christensen earned a win by fall in the early rounds and fought hard to finish with wins in their final match to earn fifth place medals.
Both wrestlers are able to keep their season alive with a fifth place finish. They will wrestle the fourth place finisher from the North Division in a pre-round at the state tournament. The winner earns the final spot in their weight class at the state tournament.
Five young Buckaroos worked hard but fell short of qualifying for the state tournament. Ben Barton earned an exciting 8-6 win on his way to a sixth place finish. Brandin Clark wrestled up nearly 30 pounds and earned an exciting win by fall and a sixth place finish. Alma Beh earned two wins by fall and finished sixth. Isaiah Sheeran and Lejon Gines also competed.
The state tournament starts Friday at 3:30 p.m. Rounds on Saturday begin at 10:30 a.m., with the finals scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.