Grand County High School senior Jarom Shumway won the 3A Division B championship in the 220-pound weight class on Saturday, Feb. 2, leading a group of five Red Devil wrestlers who qualified for the state championship tournament in two weeks.
After a forfeit victory in the first round, Shumway won his next two matches by pinfall in less than a minute. In the championship match, American Leadership Academy’s Luis Canralez lasted into the second round before Shumway pinned him for the division title.
“Jarom was ranked No. 1 in the division at 220 and he took care of business,” Grand County High School (GCHS) wrestling coach Dennis Wells said. “He pinned his first two opponents really quick, then in the title match, his opponent got him in a headlock and he actually had to fight out of it from his back, so he faced some adversity.”
The GCHS Red Devils had just six of the 14 weight classes filled at the divisional tournament in Richfield, as thanks to injuries and low turnout to begin with, GCHS only had seven active wrestlers for the meet.
Two of the team’s top wrestlers, senior Chris Thompson at 145 pounds and junior Carson Whitney at 106 pounds, had illness rip their state title aspirations away as both were so sick that they suffered early exits from tournament, Wells said.
Thompson was one of the top-ranked wrestlers in 3A all season at 145 pounds, but failed to qualify for state, taking 10th place at the divisionals. He won his first match of the tournament by pinfall, before losing in the quarterfinals and in the consolation bracket by pinfall. After a forfeit victory in his fourth match, he lost his final match by decision.
Whitney won his first match by pinfall, then lost by pinfall in the quarterfinals. He was too sick to continue, forfeiting his final two matches to end his season.
“Carson was out of shape and got so sick he couldn’t continue, and Chris was sick all week going into the tournament,” Wells said. “When it comes to divisionals, if you’re not 100 percent, you can get beat by anyone.”
Grand’s remaining four competitors all qualified for the state tournament as sophomore Jaymmin Hester took sixth at heavyweight, going 1-3 with all of his matches decided by pinfall. Fellow sophomore Jimmie Johnson also went 1-3 with all of his matches decided by pinfall, placing eighth. At 152 pounds, sophomore Dylan Harrison went 1-3 and also placed eighth, with his lone victory coming by pinfall, as well as two of his defeats. Rounding out the state qualifiers, senior Levi Merz placed eighth at 220 pounds, despite losing all three of his matches by pinfall.
Wells said that he expects Shumway, who is ranked fourth in 3A at 220 pounds behind three wrestlers form Division A, to advance at least as far as the state semifinals, which would guarantee at least a sixth-place finish and a medal from the state tournament on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16, at Utah Valley University in Orem.