Skip to main content

Taylorsville Journal

Taylorsville wrestler wins nationals

Apr 12, 2024 02:01PM ● By Catherine Garrett

The Corner Canyon High wrestlers won two national championships and earned four All-American honors at the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals at Cedar Falls, Iowa March 15-17. (Photo courtesy John Fager)

Corner Canyon High junior Leimana “Mana” Fager and freshman Tanner Telford brought home national titles from the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals March 15-17 at Cedar Falls, Iowa. 

Fager won the 18U 190-pound division while Telford was tops in the 16U 106-pound category.

“This was our first ever national champions,” said CCHS assistant wrestling coach John Fager.

“It felt unreal,” said Mana Fager. “It was great seeing all my hard work pay off. It was definitely one of the best feelings I have ever had.”

“Seeing Mana win the title gave me a lot more confidence,” Telford said.

In his first nationals appearance, Telford defeated MWC (Nebraska) Wrestling Academy’s Cole Caniglia in the finals after a semifinal win over Greysen Packer, of Team Idaho Wrestling Club, and beating Alabama’s David Hill in the quarters.

“Watching Tanner, a fellow teammate, win nationals as a freshman got me excited to watch him grow and progress as a whole,” Mana Fager said. “He did something that I couldn’t do my freshman year and that’s amazing. Tons of respect for that guy.”

Mana Fager was introduced to wrestling 15 years ago because of his dad’s life-long involvement in the sport. “It’s kind of some sort of religion in our house, and I actually hated it all the way until my sophomore year,” Mana Fager, who also plays football for Corner Canyon, said. “It was then that I realized that I was raised and made to be a wrestler.”

Mana placed fourth twice in a national event previously. “It felt amazing to win, but it’s on to the next thing,” he said. “I have a lot of things to improve on.”

Parents, coaches and teammates have helped Mana Fager’s growth in wrestling and with the mental toughness required in the sport. “They have helped me to get where I am today and I couldn’t have done this without them,” he said. 

Telford has been wrestling since he was 5 years old when he “just decided to try it out” and his love of the sport has only grown from there.

The son of Paul Telford and Amber Telford, who lives in Taylorsville, said that wrestling has helped him learn about hard work, determination, discipline, commitment and gratitude. His continued goals on the mat include more national championships and being able to wrestle collegiately.

“I’m very grateful for my coaches and teammates and how much they have helped me to get better and make everything possible for me,” he said. λ

Follow the Taylorsville Journal on Facebook!