Sunnyside held a commanding 239.5 to 232 lead over Corona del Sol heading into the championship round of the Flowing Wells Invitational Saturday night but the Aztecs collected four individual championships and a runner-up finish to collect their first team trophy in the 51-year history of the tournament.
Zack Kvavle (108 weight class) beat Jesse Ybarra of Sunnyside, Jacob Garcia (140) defeated Denen Fernandez of Queen Creek, Vincent Dolce (154) beat Frankie Lee of Mountain View Marana and Brandon Konecny (162) beat Alejandro Torres of Marcos de Niza.
The Blue Devils kept pace with wins from Roman Bravo-Young (134) over Stone Crooks of Boulder Creek and David Salazar (147) over Hunter Carmona of Corona del Sol along with runner-up finishes from Ybarra, Manny Garcia (115) and Aaron Rodriguez (128).
Roman Bravo-Young (28-0) collected his 107th career win to keep his unbeaten streak alive. The Penn State commit is one of a handful of wrestlers in Arizona history to surpass 100 consecutive wins. Deer Valley's Jacob Swift won 179 in a row from 2013 to 2016.
Ironwood Ridge senior Patrick Klass (35-4) won an 8-2 decision over Rodriguez (26-5). Klass has had a successful senior season with a fifth-place finish at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, a second-place finish at Peoria and a championship at the Lake Elsinore Rumble at the Lake.
“I’m having a great year,” Klass explained. “We’re waiting for my West Point appointment to come in. Ann Kirkpatrick nominated me and now it’s just wait and see.”
Queen Creek took third behind wins by Xavier Rico (115) and Anthony Saba (184). Saba (30-2) was named the Outstanding Wrestler for his efforts. The junior beat Sunnyside senior Joe Hernandez (22-5) and Mesa Mountain View standout Brock Doolen (31-2) to set up his 7-2 decision over Thunderbird senior Curtis Stevenson (45-2) in the final.
“I feel pretty good,” Saba explained. “I took a year off and I’m right back at it. “I didn’t wrestle last year because I transferred but I went back to Queen Creek and decided to wrestle again.”
Saba competed in the 126-pound division as a freshman and finished 33-16 including a seventh-place finish in the state tournament.
The Flowing Wells host committee handed out some awards and scholarships prior to the championship round with Mountain View Marana standout Jace Cunha and Flowing Wells senior Anthony Padilla taking home the student scholarships.
Paul Vasquez was handed his 2015-16 Regional Assistant Coach of the Year certificate for his efforts at Ironwood Ridge last year. Vasquez is now at Pueblo. In addition, East Valley Tribune writer Jason P. Skoda was named “Honorary Caballero” for his continued and valued efforts to report on the wrestling scene. Skoda is regarded as the top wrestling writer in the state of Arizona.
Other winners from Arizona include David Castaneda of Kofa (172), Chad Porter of Desert Vista (197) and Tarik Sutkovic of Thunderbird (222).