It’s one of five wrestling tournaments this weekend around the Valley and state, but it boasts the most prestigious field. Thirty-five teams comprise the competitors of the 41st annual Flowing Wells Invitational at Tucson Flowing Wells High School.
Top local teams entered are Mesa Mountain View, Gilbert Highland and Tempe Marcos de Niza. Mountain View was the runner-up in last year’s tournament, won by perennial power Tucson Sunnyside. Mountain View is ranked third in 5A Division I by the Inside Trip, an Arizona high school wrestling newsletter. Highland is ranked fourth in 5A-I and Marcos de Niza is fourth in 5A-II. Sunnyside is top-ranked in 5A-II and the favorite to win the tournament for the 26th time. Overall, 12 of the top 40 teams in 5A, 4A 3A and 2A are in the field.
Sunnyside is the state’s premier program, regardless of conference.
Mountain View gave Sunnyside a run last year, finishing second to the Blue Devils by seven points. Do the Toros — or any team for that matter — have the ability to upend Sunnyside in the individual tournament format?
“I’m not really liking the places (seedings), but with this tournament and the caliber of wrestlers, you never know,” Mountain View coach Bob Callison said.
“This is great preparation. It’s tougher than the state tournament. Pretty much all the seeded wrestlers are state champs or state runners-up. You can be a very good wrestler and not make it to the second day.”
Cottonwood Mingus leads all schools with 10 seeded wrestlers followed by Sunnyside (7). Mountain View has six of its wrestlers seeded — Tony Covert (112 pounds), Tim Jarman (125), Jadon (Gator) Johnson (130), Brendan Huber (152), Joe Farnsworth (189) and Ridge Nielsen (215).
Other seeded local wrestlers to watch: Highland’s Nick Mills (119) and Adrian Ramirez (145); Desert Vista’s Wes Osborn (125), Colton Kiernan (171) and Phil Donofrio; Marcos de Niza’s Josiah Stotts (119) and Aaron Pavlenko (171); Casa Grande’s Aaron Belloc (125); Chandler’s Enrique Cervantes (140); Basha’s Ryan Jimenez (145) and Kyle Flannery (171) and Paradise Valley’s Issa Mohammad (140) and David Mackey (160).
Flowing Wells Invitational
When: Today - 10:30 a.m. (first round)
through evening with quarterfinals (second round) beginning at 7 p.m.;
Saturday, 10 a.m. semifinals (thirdround); 6 p.m. finals (fourth round begins).
Where: Flowing Wells High School, 3725 N. Flowing Wells Road, Tucson.
Format: Individual tournament.
Competing schools: Amphitheater, Basha, Canyon del Oro, Casa Grande,
Catalina Foothills, Chandler, Cibola, Cienega, Desert View, Desert Vista,
Flowing Wells, Goldwater, Hamilton, Highland, Ironwood Ridge, Kofa, Marana
Mountain View, Marcos de Niza, Mesa Mountain View, Mingus Montwood,
Texas; Paradise Valley, Prescott, Pueblo, Rio Rico, Sabino, Safford, Sahuarita,
Sahuaro, Salpointe, Santa Cruz, Silver City, N.M., Socorro, Texas, Sunnyside and Thunderbird.
When: Today - 3 p.m. through the evening; Saturday - 8:30 a.m. through
Where: Corona del Sol High School, 1001 E. Knox Road, Tempe.
Format: Dual meet today through early afternoon Saturday; later on Saturday a mini-individual tourney takes place the rest of the day.
Competing schools: Boulder Creek, Brophy, Corona del Sol, Desert Ridge,
Dobson, Horizon, Mountain Pointe, North Canyon, Sandra Day O’Connor,
Westwood, Willow Canyon.
Apache Junction Invitational
Where: Apache Junction High School, 2525 S. Ironwood Dr., Apache Junction
When: Today - Noon through the evening; Saturday - 8 a.m. through the
Format: Dual meet tournament first 1 1/2 days, followed by individual tournament Saturday afternoon.
Competing schools: Apache Junction, Agua Fria, Chaparral, Higley, McClintock,
Peoria, Queen Creek, Saguaro, Skyline, Washington.