1/6/2014 8:00:00 AM Prescott, Chino Valley finish in top 10 at solid Mile High Challenge
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier Chino Valley’s Kendall Foster gets put into a hold by Ironwood Ridge’s Danny Vega in the 106 pound championship match Saturday night in Prescott Valley.
Matt Hinshaw/The Daily Courier Prescott’s Dakota Vaughan, top, battles with Coleman Griffith of Marcos De Niza for fifth place in the 160-pound weight class at the second annual Mile High Challenge wrestling tournament Saturday night in Prescott Valley.
2014 Mile High Challenge Varsity Wrestling Tournament
Friday and Saturday at Tim's Toyota Center in Prescott Valley
Three Prescott High wrestlers took home runner-up honors, as did another from Chino Valley, in the varsity championship finals of the second annual Mile High Challenge Saturday night at Tim's Toyota Center.
The Badgers' David Rupp (heavyweight), Daniel Hernandez (195 pounds) and Daniel Locke (170), and Cougars sophomore Kendall Foster (106), led the locals from the tri-cities, snaring second place medals at the 33-team tournament that drew some of the best grapplers from across Arizona.
Powerhouse Mesa Mountain View won the Mile High's team crown, followed by second-place Glendale Ironwood Ridge and third-place Chandler. Marana Mountain View was fourth and Tempe Marcos de Niza was fifth.
Camp Verde and Prescott finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the tournament, which is at the site of the Divisions 1 through 4 state championships next month.
What follows is a breakdown for the wrestlers from the tri-city area as well as those from Camp Verde that advanced to the finals of the Mile High Challenge.
106: Chino's Kendall Foster succumbed by technical fall to Ironwood Ridge's Danny Vega, 16-1, in the title bout. Foster suffered his first loss of the season after rattling off 36 straight wins to start the season. Vega, who won a freestyle national championship in 2013, improved to 31-0.
"For the most part, I did pretty well," Kendall said. "The loss is going to make me better, and I'm hoping everything will work towards helping me for state."
Cougars coach Allen Foster, Kendall's dad, said Vega's fast and strong for his size. While the coach was proud of Kendall for his victories over defending state placers at the tournament, he thought Kendall should've been more aggressive in the final.
"He (Kendall) wrestled really sharp until that last match. I was a little disappointed that we didn't go out there and press him (Vega) a little bit," Allen said. "(Kendall) went in there a little shell-shocked it looked like to me."
113: Camp Verde No. 1 seed Alex Casillas placed sixth after losing to second-seeded Alex Calderon of Maryvale, 12-3.
145: Camp Verde's Ryan Allred, a No. 1 seed and two-time defending Division 4 state champion, blanked Tempe Marcos de Niza's Richard Florez, 16-0, for the first-place medal. Allred's all-time record improved to an impressive 115-1.
152: Prescott's Tim LaMaster claimed fifth by upsetting Wickenburg's David Uecker, 6-0.
160: Prescott No. 1 seed Dakota Vaughan placed fifth after pinning Marcos de Niza's Coleman Griffith with about a half minute left in the second period.
"I'm pretty proud of myself - I was sick throughout the tournament," Vaughan said. "I just pushed through."
170: Prescott No. 3 seed Daniel Locke was pinned by top-seeded Phoenix Moon Valley's Kieffer Taylor, 15-3, en route to second place.
"I have a lot to work on before state, and I'm just going to take this and try to get better, so I can place at state," Locke said.
195: Prescott's top-seeded Daniel Hernandez, a defending Mile High champion, lost 16-11 to Buckeye Youngker's D'Angelo Calderon, to capture a runner-up medal.
"The guy was pretty good," Hernandez said of Calderon. "I admit that he had me there on some moves. I gave it my all. I had six minutes of hell out there on that match. Whoever earns it earns it."
285: Prescott No. 1 seed David Rupp suffered a narrow upset, 2-1, to Youngker's Austin Beanland Kirk.
Tied at 1-1 with 27 seconds left in the match, Beanland Kirk pulled out of a hold for what was ultimately the winning point.
However, as the final seconds ticked away, Badgers coach Eric Koehler thought Rupp should have been awarded two points as he took down Beanland Kirk toward the outer edge of the mat. The official did not award any more points as time expired.
Rupp didn't make any excuses for his performance.
"I knew I'd make it to the championship match," a distraught Rupp said afterward. "I just didn't work hard enough for it. I need to work harder."