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D-I wrestling: IRWRidge, Mesa Mtn. View, Sunnyside scramble for supremacy

February 10, 2016 by Les Willsey, AZPreps365


Mesa Mountain View has ruled the Division I roost the past two years, last year in convincing style given the competition D-I brings. The Toros shoot for a third successive title come Thursday (Feb. 11) and Friday (Feb. 12) at Prescott Valley Event Center in Prescott Valley.

Last year's top three -- two-time defending champ Mesa Mountain View (13 qualifiers), Ironwood Ridge (12 qualifers) and Sunnyside (11 qualifiers)  -- are most prominent in the team chase again. Of added interest is how last year's D-II champ, Cibola (14 qualifiers), will fare moving up to D-I.

It's usually about depth and maybe an upset or two to the plus-side for a team as to who wins. Mountain View and Sunnyside placed seven wrestlers in the top four last season with Sunnyside having the most champs (three). Ironwood Ridge had five top-4 placers as did Red Mountain. Those were the top four teams, respectivel, at the state tourney. Mountain View was a relatively easy winner with 10 wrestlers placing (top six) last year. Cibola won a tight battle with Liberty for the D-II team title. Cibola placed eight (two champs) and Liberty seven (1 champ).

This year Mountain View has eight wrestlers among the top-four seeds followed by Cibola (7), Ironwood Ridge (5) and Sunnyside (4). Sunnyside and Ironwood Ridge have the most No. 1 seeds (three each) and Corona del Sol has two.

Mountain View bested Ironwood Ridge in a couple duals earlier in the season, but Ironwood Ridge came out on top at the Flowing Wells Invtiational last month. Ironwood Ridge also bested Sunnyside at the D-I Section I meet last weekend with another strong showing. D-I Section 1 is arguably the strongest overall of the four D-I sections.

Here are the top four seeds in each weight class and a list of champions returning from last season. All the aforementioned teams competed at Flowing Wells and  finished in the top-8. Ironwood Ridge won the tournament edging out Mountain View (2nd) and Sunnyside (3rd) among the 30-team field that included lower-division powers Seton Catholic (D-II),Thunderbird (D-II) and Safford (D-III).

Last year's returning champions: Danny Vega, Ironwood Ridge senior (113). Vega is again competing at 113. He is the only two-time state champ in this year's D-I field. Hisother title came in 2014 in D-II. Vega is working a on a third consecutive unbeaten season and has signed with Grand Canyon University. Roman Bravo-Young, Sunnyside sophomore (106). Angel Laguna, Sunnyside senior (120). Laguna is competing at 132. He was 30-5 last year and brings a 12-5 record to competition this year. Bravo-Young is competing at 120. Bravo-Young was 47-0 last year and is 34-0 this year. Ryan Farina, Corona del Sol junior (126). Farina is competing at 132. Farina was 28-6 last year and finished fifth as a freshman in 2014 at 119. He lost in the first round that year to eventual champ Alejandro Calderon of Maryvale. James Williams, Mesa High senior (152). Williams is competing at 160 and is 35-0 this season. He finished 47-2 last year, upsetting the top-seed in the finals.

106-pounds: 1. Colton Labrant, Mtn. Ridge. 2. Carlos Gerard, Cibola. 3. Vicente Loaiza, Sunnyside. 4. Bowen Doolen, Mtn. View. 113: 1. Danny Vega, Ironwood Ridge. 2. Ray Ramirez, Red Mountain. 3. Andres Duran, Cibola. 4. Luke Jacobs, Brophy. 120: 1. Roman Bravo-Young, Sunnyside. 2. Cruz Crawford, Sandra Day O'Connor. 3. Rylan Evans, Mtn. View. 4. Alejandra Arteaga, Cibola.126: 1. David Salazar III, Sunnyside. 2. Davie Wuertemberg, Cibola. 3. Paden Mason, Mtn. View. 4. Peter Rossi, Desert Mountain. 132: 1. Ryan Farina, Corona del Sol. 2. Josiah Kline, Ironwood Ridge. 3. Kade Williams, Mtn. View. 4. Christian Sulit, Brophy. 138: 1. Marc Farina, Corona del Sol. 2. Jared Booth, Mtn. View. 3. Nico Braswell, Basha. 4. Anthony Brady, Brophy. 145: 1. Kyle Taylor, Ironwood Ridge. 2. Cory Crooks, Boulder Creek. 3. Dallin Thorton, Mtn. View. 4. Hunter Carmona, Corona del Sol. 152: 1. Anthony Wokasch, Mtn. View. 2. Patrick Schmitz, Basha. 3. Mariner Merrill, Sandra Day O'Connor. 4. Mason Perkins, Centennial. 160: 1. James Williams, Mesa. 2. Marco Dominguez, Ironwood Ridge. 3. Brendan Kaufman, Mountain Ridge. 4. Mario Neblina, Cibola. 170: 1. Marco Frias,  Sunnyside. 2. Jason Moore, Red Mountain. 3. Nathan Suwyn, Mountain Ridge. 4. Alexis Ramos, Cibola. 182: 1. Jeremy Berson, Ironwood Ridge. 2. Brock Doolen, Mtn. View. 3. Nick Ruffalo, Corona del Sol. 4. Ari Watson, Desert Mountain. 195: 1. Chad Porter, Desert Vista, 2. David Tilley, Marana. 3. Jaylen Howard, Dobson. 4. Brogan Smith, Brophy. 220: 1. Andre Elmore, Deser Ridge. 2. Tommy Mommer, Cibola. 3. Sam Pepper, Chandler. 4. Parker Reiser, Mountain Ridge. HWT: 1. Ezequiel Valles, Red Mountain. 2. Zach Budzik, Desert Ridge. 3. Harold Colbert, Chandler. 4. Brian Olmedo, Brophy.