PRESCOTT VALLEY – The big-school wrestling championships had a familiar look to it.
There were many repeat individual champions – although a few were unable to recapture that magic – and Sunnyside took back its state dominance with authority to capture its amazing 30th state title.
It was an interesting two days at Tim’s Toyota center as the action showed once again that just about anything can happen in six minutes, or longer in some cases.
The highlight of the night was Chandler’s Dalton Brady (138, Division I) becoming Arizona’s 28th four-time state champion, while Desert Vista’s Alex Bambic won his third, pulling off the rare feet of dropping a weight class each year this time at 182.
Brady was wrestling up two weight classes in order to help the Wolves attempt to win a second straight state team title, but they came up short when many of their consolation wrestlers were unable to advance as far as expected while Sunnyside had nearly a flawless morning session.
“If I was going to win my fourth it was going to mean more if we won a team title again,” Brady said. “It didn’t come together but I love our team and would do anything for them.”
Sunnyside finished with 151, while Chandler was next at 132, followed by Corona del Sol (127) and Mesa Mountain View (122.5).
Tommy John surgery and wrestling doesn’t quite resonate as much as baseball and ligament transplant surgery does.
Basha junior Trey Ronayne doesn’t care, but was happy that the surgery that ended his season last year brought him back stronger than ever for this junior year to go undefeated and win the Division I 170-pound title.
“I did it at sectionals last year and I never got a chance to wrestle at state,” he said. “It feels good to come all the way back. I’ll be coming back for more next year.”
Other repeat champions were Mesa Mountain View’s Seth Monty, who won three overtime semifinal matches in state action in his career, won his second title and Mesa’s Ben Andrew finished off a dominating season with his second Division I title at 220.
Corona had two champions in Glenn Farina (132, Division I) and Ethan Tursini (160)
Farina won what might have been the most controversial match of the finals as he appeared to secure a winning takedown against Cibola’s Luis Nunez in overtime but the referee let the action continue. About eight seconds later the two wrestlers went out of bounds and the two referees conferred.
Farina was awarded the winning two points for a 2-0 OT win.
Three former state champions were unable to repeat as Chandler’s Tristan Moran (126, DI) Highland’s Curt Done (145, DI) and Marcos de Niza’s Jesse Morales (132, Division II) were upended.
“I guess I have to change my goals and work harder,” said the sophomore Moran, who was shooting to win four and was dealing with a rib injury. “I’ll refocus and get back to work.”
Gilbert’s Keyley Ellis won one of the rare all-Southeast Valley finals with a 5-3 win over Mesa’s Robert Schrock for the Division I heavyweight championship.
The area Division II state champions were Queen Creek’s Hayden Moore (170) and Marcos de Niza’s Derek Crain (220).
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.