Trey Meyer captured the 152-pound freestyle title at the Cadet Freestyle National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota, to become the first East Valley wrestler to win a national championship.
Meyer was undefeated, recording three technical falls, a pair of pins and scored a 9-7 decision in the championship match.
“He had a match where he pinned the guy in eight seconds flat,” East Valley coach Craig Hanson said. “I’ve never seen anything like that at a national tournament.”
Meyer was a heart-breaking loss away from placing at last year’s Class 2A state championship tournament as a sophomore.
“That was a tough, tough loss for him and he went through some self-doubts after that,” he coach said. “But I think it also made him want to dedicate himself to getting back and winning that tournament next year.
“Trey wasn’t really on anyone’s radar for this tournament. He has credentials, sure, and people could look him up and see his record. But the only real national exposure he’s had was at the National Cadet Duals.”
Meyer focused his efforts on wrestling in the freestyle competition only, and Hanson said that decision was a good one.
“Trey is a good Greco-Roman wrestler – he may not think he is, but he is,” Hanson said. “He’s good enough that he could have placed in Greco.
“But he looked fresh in all his matches. He hadn’t wrestled all those (Greco) matches before freestyle started. I think it made a difference.”
The win at Fargo will catapult Meyer onto college wrestling coaches’ collective radar, Hanson said.
University heavyweight Tate Orndorff added a third-place finish in the freestyle tournament to go with his third-place trophy from Greco-Roman.
“Tate shakes off losses so well – I’m impressed,” Hanson said. “He lost a tough, tough match and had to – I kid you not – turn around and wrestle again 15 minutes later in a placing match. It’s insane to ask a kid to turn it around that fast, but Tate does that.”