College Spotlight: Taylor LaMont

Taylor LaMont currently wrestles at Utah Valley University, but that’s not all. He’s also on the 2019 Men’s Greco World Team for the United States. In fact, he’s made six straight world teams!

His success started early as he won his first state title in February of 2013 as a freshman in high school for Maple Mountain HS. This was very special because that year, his brother, a senior, also won a state title. To make matter’s more exciting, his team ended up shattering the record for most points put up in the state tournament of all time.

Taylor was so consistently good that he ended up winning another state title, and another, and even one more to finish high school at Maple Mountain as a four time state champ! He was even able to win his last state title alongside one of his childhood best friends, Tanner Cox (who won his 3rd).

Aside from his insane amount of high school success, he was able to go out and make SIX straight world teams! He made the cadet greco world team from 2013 to 2015, and the junior greco world team from 2016 to 2018. (That blows my mind).

During those years he was able to take fifth twice, but also win his first world bronze in 2016 when the championships were held in Macon, France.

His first college match was during a dual meet in November of 2017 against Zeke Moisey (previous NCAA finalist and All American) who Taylor was able to PIN!

Some other college highlights were beating All Americans Sean Russell, Connor Schram, and NCAA finalist Ethan Lizak.

In December of 2017, Taylor ended up tearing his ACL but waited to get surgery so he could compete during the Big XII tournament as well as NCAAs. Unfortunately he fell short of his goal during NCAAs, getting beat in the round of 12 ironically to Zeke Moisey. He then ended up taking time off to get a full reconstruction of his ACL.

May of 2019 was big for LaMont, as he made his first senior national team. He beat Randon Miranda and Dalton Roberts to claim the #3 spot in the US at 60kg. Taylor stated “Those were really my first good wins over very tough opponents since my surgery, so that was a very big day for me.”

When asked about his future plans Taylor said “This season will be a hybrid year of working to make the Olympic team and winning an NCAA title. It’s going to be a unique season trying to do both throughout.”

Taylor attributes some of his motivation and drive to succeed to getting through the death of one of his closest childhood friends, Caleb, that actually lived with Taylor’s family, back in 2008. Taylor said he still wear’s Caleb’s dog tags to this day, in honor of him.

Wrestling Questions

How did the loss of your childhood friend change your mentality going forward?

“The loss of Caleb was really my first trial in life. Is taught me lots of things. Some of these are that I can through any trial, be grateful every second I have on the mat and life in general because it could disappear so easily. And also that one person can literally transform an entire community.”

Going into high school, did you really think you could win 4 state titles?

“Going into high school 4 titles was the only goal for me. I knew that no one could stop me if I continued on my trajectory.”

3. What kept you motivated going into college after being so successful in high school?

“My earliest memories of wrestling are obsessing over winning an Olympic championship as well as NCAAs so that’s the goal I’ve been working towards as long as I can remember. High school was honestly something that I had to do to get to the next level. I always knew that I was capable of my goals I set.”

4. Favorite takedowns?

“Favorite takedown in folkstyle is a lefty single leg. Favorite Greco takedown is armdrag from a Two-on-one.”

5. For wrestlers that want to wrestle in college, should they do Greco?

“Tricky question. It depends on the individual. I think that every college wrestle could improve a lot by learning basic Greco positions and techniques. But I think when you start approaching the pinnacle of both Greco Roman and folkstyle the crossover isn’t the same. I honestly see them as separate sports. I consider myself a two sport athlete because international Greco Roman and division 1 wrestling are very different in a lot of ways.”

6. What time in your life did you make the most improvements?

“I think I made the most improvements my second year at UVU after my redshirt season. I had taken a few losses my redshirt year that I wasn’t expecting and my coaching staff helped me improve in a lot of areas. Two that comes to mind is finishing my single leg and moving my hands and feet in the third period of the match.”


Other Questions

1. Favorite fast food restaurant?

“McDonalds. (McDouble, hot and spicy McChicken, 6 piece nugget, large fry and coke). That’s my order every time.”

2. Favorite hobby outside of wrestling?

“I love mountain biking, walking my pug with my wife and playing fortnite.”

3. Favorite place to travel?

“My favorite place I’ve been is Cuba.”

4. Waffles or pancakes?

“Pancakes all day. Sorry Yianni. I bet I can eat more pancakes than Yianni can eat waffles…”

5. Favorite movie?

“Batman: the dark knight.”

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