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Idaho wrestling state championships recap: Four future D1 wrestlers four-peat

Mack Mauger, Carson Exferd, Kolter Burton and Jason Mara all won fourth career state titles in Pocatello

POCATELLO, Idaho. - Mack Mauger, Kolter Burton,  Carson Exferd and Jason Mara all cemented their spots as some of the best wrestles in Idaho history. 

The four NCAA Division I signees each became four-time state champions and all did so in pretty dominant fashions.

The state now has 41 four-time state champions in history.


Mack Mauger, Blackfoot wrestling

Mack Mauger, Blackfoot

The University of Missouri signee did it first. 

He never trailed after jumping out to a 4-1 lead in the Class 4A 126-pound title bout against Bishop Kelly ninth grader Jake Mescher, who upset fellow Missouri commit Draven Johns of Caldwell in the semifinals. Mauger wrestled Johns in the 120-pound championship a year ago.

But Mauger (43-3) avoided the same fate by keeping Mescher at bay for the entire match, only allowing escape points in an 11-3 decision.

Mauger finishes his career with a 160-8 record, only losing once to an Idaho opponent, and is the first four-time champion in school history.

"It means everything," Mauger said. "My life is wrestling.

"This is special and I'm super grateful."


Carspn Exferd, Nampa wresling

Carson Exferd, Nampa

The University of Wisconsin signee was next.

He had arguably the most one-sided win out of the group with a 12-1 major decision win over Eagle's Wylie Stone in their Class 5A 138-pound championship bout. 

Exferd (50-4) gave up an early escape point. But when he was already up 7-1 at the end of the first period, the writing was on the wall.

The senior is the first four-time state champion for a program that's won four state titles. He ends his prolific high school career with a 157-9. Only two of those losses were to Idaho opponents and they both came to Burton this year.

"He's the epitome of everything that you want in a wrestler," Nampa head coach Roy Perales said. "Nobody works harder. 3.9 (GPA) student. He's a good team leader. He's a great big brother to the young guys on the team. And he's the example that you want. He's tough. He's smart. He's well-mannered. He does everything that you would ever want."


Kolter Burton, Century wrestling

Kolter Burton, Century

The Oklahoma State signee achieved his feat just seconds after Exferd.

He made Bishop Kelly's Manuel Valdez, who was the reigning Class 4A 138-pound champion, look like anything but a threat. Burton scored more than 20 points against him by nearly getting a tech fall in a 21-9 major decision win in the 4A 138-pound final.

All of Valdez's points came on escapes. Burton (62-1) employed the tactic early on of letting Valdez go only to quickly take him back down again. He nearly pinned Valdez in the second round after countering an arm drag.

Burton ends his career with a 228-8 mark.

"It's very exciting," Burton said. "I can't believe this scene right now. I'm very happy with the coaches and everything. They've helped me a lot. It's just an awesome feeling."


Jason Mara, Meridian

And last, but certainly not least, was the Stanford signee.

After pinning his way to his fourth straight state championship championship match, he had a little tougher time in his final high school match. But after a quick takedown, Mara was never really threatened in a 7-1 decision against Post Falls' Damion Hamilton in the Class 5A 152-pound final.

Mara (40-1) nearly capped a 172-8 career, that's included only two losses to Idaho opponents during his freshman year, in style. He put Hamilton on his back with a double-armbar move in the second round.

But he still became a four-time state champion for Meridian, which even after eight team titles in 66 years, had never had one.

"He's a special kid," Meridian coach Brad Muri said. "He's the complete package as a student athlete - super intelligent, a high wrestling IQ. There's a reason he's going to wrestle Division at Stanford."