O R EM – True to their nature, Desert Hills wrestlers Cody and Tyler Stevenson were competitive till the end. Even if one had to outdo the other, the twin brothers walked away with exactly what they wanted Saturday night.
Cody and Tyler repeated as 3A champions at 195 and 220 pounds, respectively, to lead a trio of Region 9 wrestlers who stood at the top of the medals podium at the UCCU Center on the final day of the 3A state wrestling championship.
Cedar’s Dallin Brooks overcame the disappointment from a tough 1-0 loss in last year’s 160-pound final by getting a third-round escape and beating Payson’s Payden Osborn by a 3-0 count to close his high-school career on top.
Driven from the start, and with his brother providing added motivation, Cody fought on even terms with Juab’s Tyler Greenhalgh before getting a reversal and quickly turning it into a second-round pin.
“Last year was my first time, so it was going to be more exciting,” Cody Stevenson said. “This year, I had the mindset where I wanted to be the first one out of Desert Hills to take state twice.”
Mission accomplished, and the joy of the celebration doubled up about 10 minutes later when Tyler held off Uintah’s Aaron Dick by a 5-4 count in the 220-pound final. They joined older brother Caleb Stevenson to earn the family’s fifth state title overall for the Thunder.
“Caleb took his when we were freshmen. We wanted to follow in his footsteps, and to do it twice is really special,” Cody said.
Tyler was equally appreciative of the moment and how their competitive fire burmed brightest on the biggest stage.
“Cody’s a tough kid. I was just glad to get it done,” Tyler said. “It’s all we do, compete against each other. If I do a move, he has to do it better. Always competing as best friends, but enemies at the same time.
“Practice was like a state match every time. Two top kids in each weight class going for a state championship every day.”
Just like a year earlier, Brooks battled through two scoreless rounds in his match against Osborn. When he got the escape in the early stages of the final round, he followed up and sealed the win with a takedown in the final 30 seconds to get his right arm raised in the air by the referee.
The relief showed on the Cedar senior’s face afterwards.
“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Brooks said. “I had a flashback to last year because the match was going the same way. I was thinking there was no way I was going to let this end the same way this time.
“It was my number-one motivator. I was thinking about that match almost every day, being so close to a state championship, it killed me, honestly.”
Brooks got his chance at redemption after passing another survival test in the semifnals when he beat Bear River’s Toby Haltiner by a 6-4 count. He described a simple celebration of his state title without the Disneyland trip.
“I’m going to Golden Corral, baby,” Brooks said.
Among the other Region 9 finalists, Desert Hills heavyweight Trevor Ottenschot fell short of joining his teammates at the top of the podium as Payson’s Brian Hoschouer scored a late reversal and beat the Thunder senior, 5-4.
For the second straight year, Pine View’s Drew Hansen reached the championship final, but fell short in the end. In the 113-pound title match, Richfield’s Cameron Dickinson pinned Hansen with just 14 seconds left in the second round.
In the final team standings, Desert Hills finished fifth with 133.5 points. Payson repeated as champion, followed by Juab, Uintah and Tooele.
On the 2A side, Beaver had one individual champion as Kyle Evans won the 132-pound title and finished fifth in the team standings at 138.5 points. Delta won its second straight 2A title and seventh in a row overall with 284.5 points, well ahead of Millard and South Summit.
Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter, @Tomzsports .