Mingus Union High School’s most experienced wrestlers wrapped up their seasons at the 2017 Arizona Interscholastic Association Division III State Championships on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 9 and 10, at the Prescott Valley Event Center.
The middleweight grapplers have been the pick of the litter for the Marauders this season, and three of the four who qualified for State advanced to the medal round on Feb. 10, which includes the top six wrestlers.
One Marauder, junior 145-pounder Lucas Svoboda, made it to the championship match. After two periods Svoboda was winning, 5-4, but with 40 seconds left in the third, he was pinned by Shadow Mountain High School senior Jacbo Trash.
“He had it right at the end,” Mingus first-year head coach Kirk Waddle said. “He got a guy who is really good at countering what he does.”
Svoboda ended the season with a 48-6 record.
Senior Charles Hardy  took fifth place in the final match of his career, beating Sahuarita High School senior Dylan Saenz. It was the second time the two grappled at the State Championships; Hardy pinned Saenz in their match in the first round on Feb. 9.
The second time around it was a slower match. In the first period the two were on their feet for the majority, until Saenz finished a takedown to go up 2-0.
During the second period Hardy spent most of the time in bottom position, but at the end scored five points in rapid succession to go up 5-2.
“He got tired and I didn’t,” Hardy said.
Saenz escaped for one point in the third, but Hardy scored two more points with 30 seconds left to emerge a 7-3 victor.
“I just did what felt good and I came out on top,” Hardy said.
“He didn’t just outmuscle him, but he outwrestled him,” Waddle said of Hardy.
Sophomore Trent Miller, in the 138-pound weight class, wrestled Show Low High School senior Max McKrill for sixth place. The first period ended 0-0, and in the second, McKrill pinned Miller.
“I think I did a lot of things wrong and just should’ve done better,” Miller said.
Miller said that he had hurt his shoulder on Feb. 8 and again reinjured it during the preliminary rounds on Feb. 9, which affected his performance. Despite that, Miller was satisfied with his season, ending with a 41-11 record.
The fourth Marauder to qualify for the State Championships was junior 152-pounder Nick Doerkson, but did not make it out of the preliminary round. Doerkson lost his first match in a 3-2 decision before winning the next in a 10-5 decision, but lost in the following round to end his tournament.
Reflecting on the tournament, Waddle credited his wrestlers’ stamina as a major factor to their success.
“I’m proud of the kids and their conditioning,” Waddle said. “They put in a lot of hard work and drilling and drilling.”
Waddle will return everyone from this year’s team except for Hardy, and perhaps Svoboda, who Waddle said will go off to boot camp and hopefully return for the season.
In the team standings, Mingus finished in 15th place with 43 points.
To view more photos of the Marauders in action at the 2017 AIA Division III State Championships, visit journalaz.com.
Mingus Union State Wrestling Championship Top 6 Individual Finishers
138-Pound Weight Class
Sixth Place —
145-Pound Weight Class
Runner Up —
182-Pound Weight Class
Fifth Place —