Mesa wrestlers dominate at state meet The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Mesa wrestlers dominate at state meet

Mesa wrestlers dominate at state meet

By Brittany Bowyer, Tribune Contributing Writer

Hundreds of wrestlers from all over Arizona flocked to the Findlay Toyota Event Center in Prescott Valley for the 2020 AIA State Wrestling Championships. 

In one of the most difficult sports testing both physical and mental strength, they left everything on the mat for both themselves and their respective teams. 

Schools in the East Valley had a strong presence in the arena during the boys’ final medal rounds on Friday evening with 63 wrestlers medaling at the event. The girls also had a strong showing on Saturday, with 15 wrestlers from the East Valley medaling. 

While everyone’s path to the state championships are different, the goal is still the same: To go out and win. 

For some, it may have been the first time they’ve ever competed for gold, while for others, it was an opportunity to defend their title and show why they were the reigning champion of the weight class. 

For wrestlers like freshman Joey Jarman of Mesa High School, it was a great ending to his first high school wrestling season. 

Jarman finished second at state in the 106-pound weight class, putting himself on the map as one to look out for in years to come. Jarman comes from a family with several former wrestlers from the Mesa High wrestling program, including his older brother John Jarman, who took fourth this year in the 113-pound weight class. 

“I’m the first freshman in my family to have placed at state and it’s great being able to be with all my uncles and my cousins and know what they felt like on the podium and having their arm raised after matches at state,” Jarman said. “Being able to be with the best and compete with the best is awesome.”

Mesa finished tied for tenth overall as a team in Division I with Chandler at 70 points. Other Mesa schools also had strong showings at state, including Mountain View, Desert Ridge and Red Mountain. 

The Toro wrestling program finished third overall in state after finishing with 128.5 points. Mountain View had eight wrestlers medal in the championship rounds on Friday night, with Kimball Begay having placed the highest overall as the runner-up in the 195-pound weight class. 

Desert Ridge had four wrestlers medal at state, led by Dante Smith’s second-place finish in the 285-pound weight class. Red Mountain, meanwhile, also had four wrestlers medal at state. Tanner Castillo placed the highest for the Mountain Lions, as he finished second overall in the 132-pound class. 

It was only the second year there was a state wrestling championship for girls, but the number of participants was up a significant amount from the year before. 

Some wrestlers had the opportunity to step out on the mats and represent their school at state for the first time, while others returned to the championships this year looking to finish in a better position than they did last year. 

Mountain View had one state placer in the girls division, as Karstin Hollen finished fourth at 145. Darwin Dewitt of Red Mountain finished sixth in 125-pound girls weight class. Westwood’s Taliyah Armstrong was the only girl from Mesa who won a title at the state meet, as she was crowned champion of the 145-pound class.

Complete list of Mesa placers

DI Schools:

106-pound weight class

Joey Jarman, Mesa High School, 2nd place

113-pound weight class

John Jarman, Mesa High School, 4th place

120-pound weight class

Gabriel Corrales, Desert Ridge High School, 5th place

Gabe Ortiz, Mountain View High School, 6th place

132-pound weight class

Tanner Castillo, Red Mountain High School, 2nd place

Gunnar Luke, Mountain View High School, 6th place

138-pound weight class

Braxton Luke, Mountain View High School, 5th place

145-pound weight class

Joe Kisting, Desert Ridge High School, 4th place

Adam Booth, Mountain View High School, 5th place

152-pound weight class

Connor Blakeman, Red Mountain High School, 3rd place

160-pound weight class

Brandon Ramsey, Skyline High School, 5th place

Monet Walker, Dobson High School, 6th place

170-pound weight class

Dallin Larson, Mountain View High School, 5th place

Keaton Steck, Desert Ridge High School, 6th place

182-pound weight class

Wayne Dunn, Mountain View High School, 4th place

195-pound weight class

Kimball Begay, Mountain View High School, 2nd place

Preston Arriola, Mesa High School, 4th place

Bobby Brookins, Red Mountain High School, 6th place

220-pound weight class

William Durbin, Dobson High School, 3rd place

James Huber, Mountain View High School, 5th place

Julius Thomas, Red Mountain High School, 6th place

285-pound weight class

Dante Smith, Desert Ridge High School, 2nd place


Girls Division

125-pound weight class

Darwin Dewitt, Red Mountain High School, 6th place

135-pound weight class

Brooke Stratman, Dobson High School, 6th place

145-pound weight class

Taliyah Armstrong, Westwood High School, 1st place

Karstin Hollen, Mountain View High School, 4th place

160-pound weight class

Seanna Roland, Dobson High School, 5th place

185-pound weight class

Stefany Valencia, Westwood High School, 5th place

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