PRESCOTT VALLEY – Jake Swift usually feels good going into a wrestling match. After all, the Glendale Deer Valley junior hasn’t lost since the seventh grade.
But just before he stepped onto the mat Saturday to wrestle for his third straight state championship, Swift felt even better than normal — and it showed.
Swift manhandled Gilbert Campo Verde senior Parker Hawk for the 152-pound title, pinning him 27 seconds into the second period at the Division II wrestling championships at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
Swift led Gilbert Campo Verde senior Parker Hawk 10-3 when he overpowered him for the pin 27 seconds into the second period.
“Before that match, I had the best warm-up that I’ve had this season,” Swift said. “I just knew I was going to go out there and do something big with it.”
Yuma Cibola won its second consecutive team title with 142 points.
Cibola was locked in a tight battle with Peoria Liberty, the Division II runner-up with 130 points, but pulled away toward the end Saturday, advancing four wrestlers to the finals and getting two state-champion seniors in Andres Gandara at 145 pounds and undefeated Vicente Guerrero at 182.
Cibola’s move down to Division II before the most recent two-year scheduling block has paid off with a pair of titles, and after accepting the trophy Saturday, coach Mike Jankowski acknowledged it’s time to step back up.
“We’ll be in Division I for (the next scheduling block),” Jankowski said. “We want to go back up. We want to challenge ourselves and challenge the big boys.”
In other Division II highlights, Goodyear Desert Edge senior Josh Kramer (126 pounds), Prescott junior Daniel Hernandez (195) and Phoenix Barry Goldwater senior Danny Reyes (220) all added another title to their resumes after also winning last season.
And an early warning for anyone unlucky enough to wrestle in Swift’s weight class next year – despite completing a perfect season and capturing another title, he still feels there’s room for improvement.
“I didn’t get a pin in the semis,” he said. “So next year I plan on pinning everybody.”
Other champions Saturday included: Jesus Urqidez, senior, Tucson Cholla (106 pounds); Brandon Courtney, sophomore, Desert Edge (113); Gator Groves, freshman, Tempe McClintock (120); Marco Groves, freshman, McClintock (132); James Deitz, freshman, Liberty (138); Talon Vaughn, senior, Prescott (160); Cameron Wells, senior, Gilbert Highland (170); Darrin Kauer, senior, Campo Verde (285).
Photos: State wrestling tournaments
Jason Holmes (R) and Roman Bravo (L) wrestle in the 106 weight class of the Division 1 State Finals at the Arizona Prescott Valley Events Center in Prescott Valley, Ariz., Saturday Feb. 14, 2015. Roman Bravo of the Blue Devils would take the victory.