Mountain Ridge wrestler Michael Suwyn focused on repeat title

Mountain Ridge wrestler Michael Suwyn focused on repeat title

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Mountain Ridge wrestler Michael Suwyn focused on repeat title

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The breakout performance by Glendale Mountain Ridge High’s Michael Suwyn last year at the Division I wrestling tournament seemed to come out of nowhere.

He overcame tough tournament competition before defeating Gilbert Highland’s Curt Done 8-5 in the 145-pound title match and catapulting himself to the top of the podium.

This year as a senior, his journey to state has been far less inconspicuous but the defending champion is looking for the same result come February.

And so far, so good. Suwyn has moved up to the 152-pound division and is 48-0 with four major-tournament wins.

“It’s harder to win it twice than it is to win it once,” coach Corey Whitten said. “No one was really counting on him to win it last year. We proved them wrong. Now, they’re coming after us.”

Whitten said Suwyn is handling the newfound limelight well and is wrestling with a lot of confidence. He took down Avondale Westview’s Richard Miranda III to win the Peoria Invitational on Jan. 11 in convincing fashion, defeating Miranda 15-0 in the second round.

“Any time he’s been in that final championship match, he’s so focused and prepared,” Whitten said. “He doesn’t let kids get into the match.”

Miranda was last year’s Division I runner-up at 152 pounds. He and Chandler’s Dajour Reece are among Suwyn’s biggest competition the year. Reece was a state champion his sophomore year and finished second last season at 138 pounds. Whitten said Suwyn is not overlooking anyone.

“There’s no coasting off what we did last year,” he said. “He doesn’t take anyone lightly. He’s his biggest critic.”

Whitten said he has worked a lot with Suwyn this year to improve his tactics on his feet. And although he is a threat in any position, the defending champ is most dangerous on top.

Suwyn is the standout on a team with the strongest group of seniors Whitten has ever seen. He said team chemistry helps push all the wrestlers to be better. The goal for the team is to win sectionals and to finish in the top five at state. Mountain Ridge was 13th last year.

In practice and in competition, Suwyn sets an example that his teammates see as the path to success, the coach said.

“One hundred percent every time, every go,” he said. “They look at him and know that’s what it takes to be a state champ.”

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Mountain Ridge wrestler Michael Suwyn focused on repeat title
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