|Timís Toyota Center in Prescott Valley was packed with wrestling for the state championships in February 2013. Look for more of the same atmosphere Friday and Saturday.|
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
|Colorado Mesa 44, Embry-Riddle 6 The Eagles lost nine of 10 bouts on their home mat Thursday night in Prescott in their first match of 2014. Embry-Riddle welcomed the Mavericks out of Grand Junction. The Mavs, an NCAA Division 2 program that wrestles out of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, are currently ranked No. 16 in the nation. ERAU got on the board when Jon Wiley (pictured) pinned Scott Verner at the 184-pound level. The Eagles will next take part in this weekendís Mile High Challenge in Prescott Valley. Riddle meets Simon Fraser (B.C.) University at 4 p.m. at Timís Toyota Center Friday.|
Photo courtesy Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier
|2014 Mile High Challenge|
|H.S. Wrestling Friday and Saturday|
@ Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley
1. Kendall Foster, CHINO VALLEY 30-0 record
2. Danny Vega, Ironwood Ridge 24-0
3. Hayden Uhler, CAMP VERDE 21-1
4. Jonah O'Connell, Thunderbird 12-1
5. Kade Williams, Mesa Mtn. View 19-3
6. Miguel Madrid, Maryvale 13-3
7. Foday Konjan, Clark (Nev.) 13-3
8. Isaac Cabrera, Coconino 17-4
1. Alex Cassillas, CAMP VERDE 13-2
2. Alex Calderon, Maryvale 17-1
3. Jacob Rios, Valley Vista 19-2
4. Patrick Klass, Ironwood Ridge 17-2
5. Brandon Vela, Willow Canyon 16-2
6. Ryan Henkel, Marana Mtn. View 20-4
7. Paden Mason, Mesa Mtn. View 19-4
8. Jose Valenzuela, North Canyon 12-3
1. Jacob Reyes, Valley Vista 26-1
2. Matt Mejia, CAMP VERDE 18-3
3. Aaron Herder, Parker 0-0
4. Matthew Pool, Tucson 19-1
5. Collin Anderson, Coconino 22-3
6. Bradley Greene, Wickenburg 19-3
7. Camden Garcia, Marana Mtn. View 21-4
8. Fredo Calzadillas, Ironwood Ridge 24-5
1. Trey Waltz, Marana Mtn. View 25-0
2. Alejandro Rivera, Tucson 18-2
3. Kyle Taylor, Ironwood Ridge 23-5
4. Ezekiel Cassillas, CAMP VERDE 18-4
5. Jerod Booth, Mesa Mtn. View 17-4
6. Travis Matt, Horizon 10-3
7. Marcus Jones, Chandler 11-5
8. Ian Zive, Thunderbird 11-2
1. Marco Dominguez, Ironwood Ridge 19-7
2. Talon Glasser, Willow Canyon 18-0
3. Ryan Sundrup, Marcos de Niza 23-1
4. Dallin McNabb, Payson 19-2
5. Raul Padilla, Tucson 18-2
6. Westyn Hamilton, Arbor View (Nev.) 13-2
7. Alex Noone, CAMP VERDE 18-4
8. Brandon Scharmer, Mohave 7-2
1. Chris Quiroz, Tucson 20-0
2. Tyler Werch, Marana Mtn. View 12-2
3. Joey Howard, Ironwood Ridge 22-6
4. Jack Reilly, Fountain Hills 13-2
5. Jacob Andrade, Gilbert 15-3
6. Kyle Robbins, Cesar Chavez 12-3
7. Chase Elmer, Payson 16-5
8. Josh Barton, Thunderbird 10-3
1. Ryan Allred, CAMP VERDE 5-0
2. Richard Florez, Marcos de Niza 15-0
3. Ryan Gallo, Mesa Mtn. View 19-3
4. Esteban Ulibarri, Chandler 16-3
5. Tate Sweeney, Payson 16-3
6. Logan Kellogg, BRADSHAW MTN. 12-3
7. Harold Johnson, Cesar Chavez 13-4
8. Matthew Alejandro, Arbor View (Nev.) 14-5
1. Dajour Reece, Chandler 18-0
2. David Uecker, Wickenburg 21-0
3. Blake Monty, Mesa Mountain View 23-2
4. Dan Markham, Highland 9-1
5. Tim LaMaster, PRESCOTT 7-1
6. Destry Talledo, Arbor View (Nev.) 20-3
7. Bayou Guzman, Ironwood Ridge 25-6
8. Kody Russell, BRADSHAW MTN. 12-3
1. Dakota Vaughan, PRESCOTT 19-1
2. Michael Morris, Brophy 21-2
3. Kiefer Sites, Valley Vista 23-4
4. Chance Weir, CAMP VERDE 21-4
5. Angel Ortiz, Tucson 16-4
6. Coleman Griffith, Marcos de Niza 8-2
7. Uriah Dobell, Coconino 18-5
8. Jake Wareham, Marana Mtn. View 18-5
1. Kiefer Taylor, Mesa Mtn. View 21-3
2. Jeremy McEachern, Camp Verde 23-3
3. Daniel Locke, PRESCOTT 17-3
4. Isaac Morales, Highland 11-2
5. Pat O'Donnell, Marana Mtn. View 21-4
6. Kenny Gay, Maricopa 25-6
7. Xander Perry, Mohave 7-2
8. Russ Dodge, BRADSHAW MTN. 11-4
1. Tristan Mordecai, Ironwood Ridge 27-1
2. Cesar Ledezma, Maryvale 17-1
3. Andrew Riffel, Arbor View (Nev.) 21-3
4. Brandon Dowland, Marcos de Niza 19-4
5. Phoenix Hollen, Mesa Mtn. View 19-5
6. Niko Long, BRADSHAW MTN. 7-2
7. Cooper Allen, PRESCOTT 15-5
8. Luke Ward, Valley Vista 20-8
1. Daniel Hernandez, PRESCOTT 19-1
2. Pete Hodan, BRADSHAW MTN. 13-1
3. Peter Carillo, Fountain Hills 11-1
4. Jack Garcia, Brophy 20-2
5. Raymond Vargas, Highland 12-2
6. Steven Doom, Wickenburg 12-2
7. Preston Lines, Gilbert 15-3
8. Michael Hervis, Clark (Nev.) 18-4
1. Bradley Burston, Cesar Chavez 15-0
2. Dallas Wells, Parker 22-3
3. McKay Huber, Mesa Mtn. View 18-4
4. Edwin Centeno, Clark (Nev.) 19-6
5. John Reynolds, Marana Mtn. View 18-6
6. Jonathan Molina, Arbor View (Nev.) 16-6
7. Andres Bajerno, Wickenburg 14-7
8. Zach Wilson, PRESCOTT 11-6
1. David Rupp, PRESCOTT 19-1
2. Adam Baca, Marcos de Niza 15-2
3. Alex Garcia, Mesa Mtn. View 21-3
4. Jamir Rowe, Thunderbird 13-2
5. Conner Fragozo, Marana Mtn. View 15-8
6. Steve Perry, Payson 12-7
7. Henry Hanson, Gilbert 11-7
8. Dakota Halverson, Maricopa 14-9
PRESCOTT VALLEY - The second annual Mile High Challenge Wrestling Tournament Friday and Saturday at Tim's Toyota Center has quickly become a massive event, featuring 33 high school varsity teams and a sturdy contingent of defending Arizona state champions from Divisions 1 through 4.
Now fielding double the number of squads that competed in the inaugural tourney, it begs the question: How did the fledgling Challenge grow so big so fast?
Mile High organizer and Chino Valley High coach Allen Foster said the answer is simple - Tim's hosts the divisions' state championships every February.
"We've got all the best teams in Arizona coming, and we actually even have a couple Nevada teams coming," he said. "I talked to a lot of coaches, and they like coming here. They like getting the same hotel and getting in the same routine so that when kids get here for the state championships they've already done it once that year and they're comfortable with it."
Weigh-ins for the varsity tournament last from 7-8 a.m. Friday and Saturday at Bradshaw Mountain High School's west campus.
Today, wrestling sessions will run from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. for the first three rounds of the individual pools, and from 7-9 p.m. for the first round of the 16-man championship.
From 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, the championship resumes with all subsequent rounds before the finals at 6-9 p.m.
Admission is $10 per adult and $8 per student and those ages 5-18. Children under 5 get in free.
Mesa Mountain View and Glendale Ironwood Ridge (defending D-2 champs), two of the best teams in Arizona, highlight the 2014 Mile High field.
At a prestigious tournament in Nevada recently, Mountain View placed fifth, defeating several nationally ranked opponents, Foster said.
"Mesa Mountain View's the team to beat (here)," he said. "They're going to be ranked nationally."
Yavapai County squads in the Mile High mix include host Chino Valley, Prescott, Bradshaw Mountain, Camp Verde, Cottonwood Mingus Union and Wickenburg.
Fans should keep an eye on Camp Verde, the defending Mile High and D-4 champs, as well as Phoenix Thunderbird, the defending D-3 titlists, as challengers to Mountain View and Ironwood Ridge, Foster added.
Individually, the grapplers to watch include Ironwood Ridge 106-pounder Danny Vega, who's a national champion, and the Taylor twins from Mountain View, two transfers who were Utah state champs.
As for the locals, Chino Valley 106-pounder Kendall Foster (30-0 record, the last remaining undefeated in the tri-city area this season), Prescott 195-pounder Daniel Hernandez (returning Mile High champ who has just one loss this winter), Badgers 160-pounder Dakota Vaughan, and PHS heavyweight David Rupp (defending Mile High champ) are all seeded No. 1.
Chino Valley 132-pounder Kody Davis, who would've been in contention, will likely sit out because of an injured foot, coach Foster said.
Prescott coach Eric Koehler said his Badgers are healthy and looking forward to the tournament.
Foster added that for his Cougars, the Mile High is more difficult than the state tournament because teams from every division are competing against each other.
This year, there are nearly five wrestlers in every weight class rated in the top 10 overall in the state rankings across all divisions, now making it arguably the toughest varsity-wrestling tourney in Arizona.
"If you can win some matches and place at this tournament, it puts you right on track to placing real high at state," Foster said. "There's going to be state champions that aren't going to win this tournament. It's impressive."
In addition to the varsity tournament, Foster said that the Mile High is putting on a JV tourney today, which Bradshaw Mountain organized, and an 18-team junior high tourney Saturday, which Prescott spearheaded.
While the JV wrestlers take a break from 3-6 p.m. today, Embry-Riddle's wrestling team will grapple in a dual at 4 this afternoon versus Simon Fraser University of Canada.
To begin the varsity tourney, the top eight wrestlers are seeded and put into eight different pools of four wrestlers each.
Grapplers will wrestle against everyone in their pool, with the top two finishers in each advancing to the 16-man championship bracket that starts tonight. Third- and fourth-place pool finishers receive a fourth match tonight, but won't compete on Saturday.
At the end of the tournament, awards will be given to the top three teams and the top six wrestlers in each weight class. Champions receive a belt buckle and a T-shirt, while runners-up get a T-shirt and a medal. Three outstanding wrestler awards will also be distributed.
"We call it the 'Battle for the Buckle' because it's kind of indicative of our area, kind of being the cowboy capital," Foster said. "We give away a real nice silver belt buckle instead of a medal or a trophy for the champions."
In the coming years, Foster thinks the Mile High Challenge's varsity tournament will grow. He said that he had to turn away some teams from California and Las Vegas this time around because they entered late.
If the tourney does expand, Foster said he would likely make it either a three-day event or exclude the JV tournament altogether. Foster would be most comfortable with 40 teams. He eventually wants the Mile High to be used as a fundraiser for Chino Valley, Prescott and Bradshaw Mountain's programs.
"We've got more teams that want to be in it next year, and we're going to open it up to a lot more out-of-state teams, too," he added. "This year, it's taken a lot of parent involvement. We've got parents and fans running it (as volunteers), so that's the great thing about it."