Team Utah takes title at AAU Grand Nationals

Youth wrestlers from Utah beat out Washington for the AAU Grand Nationals small team title.
Points for victories in freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle were combined to determine the winner of the competition in Santa Fe, N.M.

The good news keeps coming for Utah wrestling. This comes on the heels of Cael Sanderson’s comeback and Ben Kjar’s success at Utah Valley University.

Below is a press release from Mountain Top Wrestling Club on their success at the AAU Grand Nationals:

SANDY — Four members of Mountain Top Wrestling Club traveled to Santa Fe, N.M., to compete in the AAU Grand Nationals in freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle wrestling. Between the three styles, the young athletes earned 12 All-American finishes, with one making it to the finals in Greco-Roman.

“This was a great way to wrap up the season,” said Coach Bill Kilpack. “It’s an amazing trip and we got to remind people just how tough our wrestlers really are, with all four guys finishing strong.”

While all four athletes placed well in all three styles, only one made it as far as the finals in one of the styles: 9-year-old Trever Glaubensklee of Sandy advanced to the finals in Greco-Roman at Midget (ages 9 and 10) 55 pounds., after beating every opponent by technical superiority (gaining a six-point lead in two of three rounds). In the finals, he lost a hard decision against an opponent from Oklahoma.

“Trever had an excellent tournament,” said Kilpack. “He always wrestled hard, the kid just beat him to the punch a few times. We’re really proud of him getting this far at his first national-championship tournament.” Glaubensklee finished third in freestyle and sixth in folkstyle.

Finishing third in all three styles was 15-year-old Justin Schwendiman of West Jordan at Cadet (ages 15 and 16) 103 pounds. Schwendiman was the veteran of the group, having won all three styles at AAU Grand Nationals last summer. “Justin had a great weekend,” Kilpack said. “He was a little disappointed not to repeat three titles, but he’s up 20 pounds from last year, and it’s an all-new ballgame now. But he turned out consistently solid performances. That was particularly impressive, considering it was his first tournament in a month or so after an elbow injury.”

Earning third-place finishes in Greco-Roman and freestyle was 9-year-old Ethan Wood of Riverton at Midget 60 pounds. Wood finished fourth in folkstyle. “I’m extremely proud of Ethan for doing so well at his first national championship,” said coach Kary Wood, Ethan’s father. “It’s a long season but, he got stronger each day. Although he finished fourth in folkstyle, it was really his best day, winning some really close, tough matches. He maintained his focus and did very well.”

Finishing third in Greco-Roman and fourth in both freestyle and folkstyle was Kelly Glaubensklee of Sandy at Midget 70 pounds. Kilpack said, “Kelly, like Ethan, had a really interesting tournament, getting stronger with each day’s competition. It’s really tough for a kid so young to maintain intensity for three days of wrestling, but he did, finishing up with his best performance on day three of his first national-championship tournament. It’s very cool to see.”

Also of note is that the four Mountain Top athletes made a solid contribution to the Team Utah performance. Team Utah finished the tournament taking the national championship in the Small Team category, for combined results in all three styles, beating out Team Washington for the honor.

“This was an excellent trip,” said Wood. “A lot of fun and a lot of good competition. It was a great way to reward the boys and their families for all their dedication over the season.”

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