Gram Schomker knew what he wanted to do: get his opponent in a cradle hold, pin him to end the match and walk away a champion.
The only problem was, his opponent wasn’t cooperating.
So Schomker dug deeper and found the extra energy he needed to carry out the maneuver, and victory was his.
The Tempe Marcos de Niza senior defeated Chase Riddle of Phoenix Maryvale in the 171-pound final Saturday, one of 14 individual championships at the 2012 McClintock Wrestling Invitational at Tempe McClintock High.
Schomker and Riddle were tied 2-2 when Schomker got the pin with 1:03 left in the third period.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Schomker, who was named the tournament’s outstanding upper-weight wrestler. “I was on top of him, and he almost got out, but then I got him in the cradle, and I took him back. And then I got the pin.”
Tucson Sunnyside, with two individual champions and eight semifinalists, beat 30 other teams at the tournament for the team title, finishing with 230 points to top Chandler’s 218.5 and Marcos de Niza’s 163.5.
Sunnyside had its streak of 14 consecutive state championships snapped last season, and while second-year coach Anthony Leon was pleased with the win Saturday, he knows what the larger goal is.
“It’s a big deal, but it’s small in retrospect,” Leon said of the McClintock tournament. “We’re focused on winning the state title.”
Chandler senior Dalton Brady continued his mastery of Arizona wrestlers, claiming the 133-pound championship by defeating Marcos de Niza senior Jesse Morales by an 18-2 technical fall.
Brady was named the outstanding lower-weight wrestler of the tournament, winning five matches to improve to 22-0 on the season.
“I just stuck with my game plan and it worked out for me,” Brady said.
Other champions Saturday included: Alejandro Calderon, Jr., Maryvale, (107 pounds); Ted Rico, So., San Tan Valley Combs (114); Daniel Ramirez, Jr., Mesa Red Mountain (121); Sergio Miranda, Jr., Sunnyside, (127); Raul Moraga, Sr., Sunnyside (139); Justin Parada, Sr., Gilbert Perry (146); Dalton Moran, Sr., Chandler (153); Mason Darveaux, Sr., Gilbert Highland (161); Trey Ronayne, Jr., Chandler Basha (183); Travis Howard, So., Marana (196); Derek Craig, Sr., Marcos de Niza (221); Keyley Ellis, Sr., Gilbert (heavyweight).