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Davis Journal

Viewmont High wrestlers named All Americans after national tournament in Virginia

Jul 07, 2022 01:24PM ● By Alec Cipollini

CENTERVILLE—Even though they didn’t take home the championship in both of their weight classes, Viewmont High School junior wrestlers and twin brothers Marcus and Moses Espinoza Owens were deemed All-Americans after their semi-final performances in the National High School Coaches Association’s National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia in late March.

The competition was an after-school tournament where the best wrestlers from across the United States battled it out to see who would be crowned the winner of the 14 weight divisions ranging from 106 pounds to 285 pounds for freshmen through seniors. 

The brothers, alongside their club teammates at Sanderson Wrestling Academy, located in Farmington, went to Virginia to see how far they could go against elite opposition.

“It is really fun since we have been going to the tournament every year since we were freshman,” Moses said. “Wrestling against the top guys is always fun and we both trained really hard for it, so we were ready going into it.”

Moses won his quarterfinal match 7-1 against Patrick Jackson of Bolivar, West Virginia, before losing to Luke Barker from Dodge City, Kansas 8-5 in the semis and had a record of 7-2 overall in the tournament.

As for Marcus, he went 6-1 in the tournament as he won 6-3 against Raphael Knapp from Northborough, Massachusetts and eventually lost in the semi-finals to Ashburn, Virginia native Raphael Hipolito 12-9.

Marcus finished third out of 100 high school wrestlers in the 160-pound division of the tournament while Moses came in fifth out of 100 in the 152-pound division. 

When talking about being named All-Americans for their efforts at the tournament and also being crowned state champions at Viewmont High this past school year, Marcus said that he liked the recognition, but still wanted to win the whole thing. 

“I thought it was pretty cool,” Marcus said. “But I thought I could win it. I wouldn’t say I was disappointed because I was happy with what I did, but I expected more out of myself since I really wanted to win.” 

The competitive mindset that Marcus has made him believe he was the better wrestler throughout the competition.

“I think I am better,” Marcus said. “It's just like, I can’t chill and sit back to wait for them, I just have to fight them. I should have gone out there and got points instead of trying to coast.”

After making the trip back to Utah, their family, friends, teammates and coaches were all excited and proud of the twins as they showcased their skills against other elite wrestlers on the national stage. 

“They were really excited for us and proud of us which was really cool,” Moses said. “We were super appreciative of it. One of my friends gave me a poster that said that I didn’t have to cut weight anymore and gave me candy since I could have eaten whatever I wanted.”

Both twins are heading into their final year at Viewmont High as they will be seniors coming up this fall, and both look forward to finishing out their high school careers before going off to college. 

Marcus and Moses have the same dreams of becoming computer science majors once they make their decisions to go to a university so that they can become web developers or programmers.

Multiple highly-regarded colleges have reached out to the twins including Stanford, South Dakota State, Princeton, Campbell, California Polytechnic State and Utah Valley University. 

Right now, however, Viewmont High School’s last day of this school year was on May 27 and after that, the twins planned on training before heading up to Fargo, North Dakota to compete in the Fargo Junior Nationals freestyle tournament at the end of summer in July. 

“I want to go back to the tournament next year in Virginia and win, but I want to also win the Fargo tournament at the end of the summer,” Marcus said. “We are training a lot since that tournament is something we want to win as well.” λ