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Local Schools Do Well In Mile High Wrestling Challenge

04 January 2017  
Prescott High School had six wrestlers place in the Mile High Challenge at the Prescott Valley Event Center on January 3rd, 2017. Photo by: Torrence Dunham
Fourteen Local High School Wrestlers Place at Mile High Challenge

PRESCOTT VALLEY- Sixteen wrestling teams competed at the Prescott Valley Event Center on Monday and Tuesday looking to bring home medals. The local schools were well represented on the winner’s pedestal as fourteen wrestlers across Prescott, Chino Valley and Bradshaw Mountain placed.

Six wrestlers placed for the Prescott Badgers under first-year head coach Max Payne. The variety of competition was important for Payne’s team as it continues to build.

“In wrestling you got to be ready to wrestle anybody,” Payne said. “It’s really good to keep these guys on their toes.”

Freshman Colton Tomitz placed 6th in the 113-weight class, freshman Darian Bowyer took the silver medal in the 120-weight class, Andrew Salberg took 5th place in the 132-weight class, sophomore Koby Coates placed 6th in his weight-class of 138 and junior Gavin Nelson got 4th place in the 285-weight class.

Additionally, John Dwyer took home first place in the 195-weight class after switching from the 184-weight class earlier in the season.

“It was a hard decision to either go to 84s or 97s and it feels right now,” Dwyer said. “I’m excited for the rest of the season to stay in the weight class.”

It has been a busy couple of weeks for Bradshaw Mountain who competed in a tournament at Arizona State University a week before the challenge. However, the team was able to battle past fatigue as four wrestlers ended up placing.

“It’s been a grind,” Bradshaw Mountain wrestling coach Brad Grauberger said. “I’m proud of the guys, they should be proud of themselves.”

Senior Olijah Sally is enjoying his first year at Bradshaw Mountain High School, only losing a couple of matches, and is considered one of the better wrestlers in the area if not the state. In his weight class of 182, Sally came in first place beating Josh Grasmick from Windsor High School in Colorado.

This was Sally’s first Mile High Challenge and he knew the importance of his competition as he prepares for state and later matches in college as the tournament featured not only players across Arizona but out of state as well.

“I got here and kind of got the tournament vibe and they told me state was here so I was like ‘I got to win this to see what it feels like to win state’,” Sally said. “When I get to wrestle those guys, I really take advantage of it because I see who my real competition is because I want to wrestle in college.”

Meanwhile, Jacob Kidd, who was undefeated for a majority of the season before a loss earlier, also took home a first place “buckle” in the 220-weight class.

“I was super tired in the last match, we’ve been going non-stop this whole week,” Kidd said. “It was really nice to be a champion and get something out of it.”

Freshman David Medevielle took home second place in the 106-weight class while his brother Daniel Medevielle, a junior, placed 6th in the 170-weight class.

The team is a fairly young squad who still has room to grow but these victories are stepping-stones to get the program at Bradshaw where they want to go.

“We’re getting closer and closer to where we want to be,” Grauberger said.

Finally, Chino Valley’s team of talented young wrestlers took home five medals. Zach Giese placed first in the 106-weight class, Austin Elhert won his match to take third in the 120-weight class, senior JC Mortensen placed fourth in the 132-weight class while Kyle Lund placed sixth in the 145-weight class.

Freshman Keller Rock did well at his first crack in the Mile High Tournament placing second at the 138-weight class and losing to one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the county in his class.

“I wrestled alright in my first three matches then made mistakes in my last match,” Rock said. “Just go to work harder in the room and fix those mistakes so I can be there.”

The success of the young Chino Valley team at the tough Mile High Challenge provides a foundation to build off for Cougars head coach Allan Foster.

“For being as young as we are, we outperformed what I thought we were going to do,” Foster said. “My young guys stepped up and every time they get a tournament under their belt, they get a little bit better.”

Prescott High School will participate in the Prospector Invitation on January 13th-14th. Bradshaw Mountain wrestlers are back at home January 12th against three others schools. The Cougars are back in Chino Valley on January 11th against Page and Payson. 

The Prescott Valley Event Center will host the AIA High School Wrestling Championships on February 9th-11th.

Photos by: Torrence Dunham