David Hollis knew how it felt. Zack Tourangeau spent a year making sure he wouldn’t miss another opportunity.
Hollis repeated as 4A Division II wrestling champion in the 189-pound weight class, and Tourangeau turned last year’s third-place finish into first-place“bliss” in the heavyweight class at the state wrestling championships Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena.
“It was amazing. I worked four years for those six minutes,” said Tourangeau, a senior at Apache Junction High. “It’s the best feeling of my life. It’s just bliss.”
Tourangeau, a No. 2 seed, defeated top-seeded junior Elland Brokkoveof Buckeye with a decisive 7-1 win in the final. He credits his dedication to improving his physical form in the past year for the victory.
“When it came around football season, I went from 310 (pounds) to 270,” he said. “I’m a lot stronger, a bit more explosive and a little more technical.
“It’s all about wanting it. I wanted it more than anyone out there.”
Hollis, a senior at Queen Creek, didn’t win his match by as comfortable a margin as his heavyweight counterpart. It took a pin 31 seconds into overtime to defeat Phoenix Sunnyslope senior Matt Shillington.
But that kind of pressure is nothing knew for Hollis. It took an extra session for him to take the championship last year — and he said that made it a little easier this time around.
“I just kept fighting. I was digging for it,” said the topseeded Hollis, who enjoyed this victory as much as last year’s.
“It’s still one of the best feelings in the world,” he said. “The first one was amazing. The second made it a lot sweeter.”
As a team, Queen Creek finished in sixth place in the tournament. Apache Junction took fourth and Gilbert Higleycame in fifth. Cottonwood Mingus ran away with the team title.
A.J. had seven wrestlers finish in the top six of their weight class, the most of any East Valley 4A school. Higley had six top-six finishers, including runner-up Gannon Conway (215). Queen Creek had four in the top six, including runnerup JakeGoddard (160).
Just one East Valley school in 4A Division I had a representative in Saturday’s finals: Pinnacle junior Sean Land, who lost 10-2 to undefeated Glendale Independence junior Diego Bencomo.
Pinnacle finished ninth as a team, the highest of any 4A-I East Valley school, boasting a fourth- and fifth-place finisher as well. Phoenix Thunderbird claimed first.