By Tom Zulewski
Iron County Today
OREM — After finishing one point short of a state wrestling title last season, Cedar heavyweight Daniel Jordan wasn’t about to let his second chance get away.
Jordan came through with a key takedown with 40 seconds remaining and made it hold up to beat Eli Wells of Mountain Crest, 4-2, in the 4A state championship before a big crowd at the UCCU Center on Saturday night.
The senior became Cedar’s first state champion since Dallin Brooks in 2015, and he avenged a loss to Wells by pin in last week’s 4A Division A meet.
“I just didn’t want to make a bad move that put me in a bad position, ”Jordan said. “It’s better to wait towards the end and make sure you win. I knew it was going to be close, so it was better to take my time, use a slower, smarter approach.”
Jordan was in a similar spot in his semifinal match against David Herring of Mountain View. The heavyweight had a 1-0 lead with time winding down, but was able to pin Herring with 24 seconds remaining to get another chance at standing on the top step of the medals podium.
When the referee blew his whistle and Jordan had his right arm raised, he ran into the arms of his coaches, then jumped on the table that held the medals to celebrate with friends and family.
It was about the only issue Jordan had in the mind of head coach Luke Payne.
“He worked for this win,” Payne said. “He became an athlete and wanted to learn. He’s worked for everything we told him to, and believed he could do it.”
Canyon View junior Brady Lowry was the other finalist Saturday, and he had his dream of a repeat championship denied by childhood friend Ryan Hansen of Sky View in the 145-pound final. Hansen rallied to beat Lowry in an 8-5 decision, and it was only the second match all season where he had to wrestle for the full six minutes.
“He ran out of gas,” head coach Dallas Lowry said. “He ran into someone who had really powerful legs. He had a hard time taking him down.”
In the final term standings, the Falcons finished fifth with 124 points, just ahead of Hurricane’s 111.5. The Tigers had Caleb Armstrong win the title at 132 pounds.
In the other semifinal matches involving Canyon View and Cedar:
-Kasey Robinson of Canyon View lost a 21-7 decision to Logan Mano of Mountain Crest at 132 pounds. Robinson went on to win his two consolation matches and finish third.
-CV’s Colten Shumway was pinned by Brayden Guthrie of Mountain Crest at 3 minutes, 23 seconds at 152 pounds. He split his remaining matches and ended up fourth.
-Cedar’s Caleb Weaver was pinned by Isaac Semadeni of Logan at 160 pounds. He also finished fourth.
-Tyler Haley was the last CV wrestler to fall at 195 pounds. The senior was tied with Cooper Legas in the closing seconds, but a takedown and near fall gave Legas a 10-5 win.
Haley shook off the loss by pinning his last two opponents to finish third. Legas went on to win the title by beating Byron Anderson of Desert Hills – who sang the national anthem before the finals began – by a 7-5 count in the championship match.
CAPTION: Cedar’s Daniel Jordan celebrates after defeating Eli Wells of Mountain Crest, 4-2, in the 285-pound final at the 4A state wrestling championships Feb. 10. Photo by Tom Zulewski