Payson High School wrestling standout Zack Lee battled his way to the Amateur Athletic Union 145-pound Cadet (15- to 16-year-olds) National Championship last weekend on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Lee, who will be a junior at PHS next school year, compiled a 4-0 record during the tournament. His toughest competition came during the finals, when he defeated a California opponent 9-6.
Lee advanced to the championship round by virtue of a technical fall win over a Texas wrestler, a pin of a Nebraska representative and a technical fall win over an Ohio teenager.
Also representing the Rim country at the mat showdown were Larry Wilbanks, Nathan Lee and Tyler Goodman.
Competing in the Elite (17- to 18-year-olds) 132-pound division, Wilbanks finished with a 6-2 record and in third place.
Nathan Lee, Zack's younger brother, took second place in the School Boy (13- to 14-year-olds) 148-pound division. In stringing together a 3-1 record, Lee's only loss was by a technical fall in the finals to a Pennsylvania wrestler.
A White Mountain League weight division champion last year, Nathan will be a freshman at Payson High next fall.
Goodman, a relative newcomer to the wrestling scene, was fifth in the School Boy 80-pound weight division with a 2-2 record.
Although local wrestler George Coleman qualified for the AAU championships, he was not able to participate due to family obligations, PHS coach Dave LaMotte said.