Chad Porter

Former Desert Vista High and current Arizona State wrestler Chad Porter (back row, second from left) earned a spot on the national team at 97kg during USA Wrestling’s junior Greco-Roman world team trials in Indianapolis this month.

A year after graduating from Desert Vista High, Chad Porter has earned a 97kg spot on USA Wrestling’s junior Greco Roman world team.

Porter is heading to the Junior World Championship Sept. 17 in Trvana, Slovakia.

The Arizona State student was unseeded heading into the trials, but he quickly turned heads this month in Indianapolis after defeating the two top-ranked wrestlers in the United States.

“It was great. It didn’t feel real,” Porter said. “I just felt like I won another tournament. It didn’t hit me at first.”

Count David Gonzalez, Porter’s former coach at DV, among those impressed.

“I’m just happy for him. Things are looking up,” Gonzalez said. “His position was great in every match.

“I sent him a text right after the win and he didn’t answer me,” Gonzalez added with a chuckle. “He was probably answering a lot of different people. To my surprise, he gave me a call that evening and we walked through his matches. It makes a coach feel good.”

For Gonzalez, watching Porter dominate is nothing new. While wrestling for the Thunder, Porter claimed state titles as a junior and again as a senior. Gonzalez believes that a near-miss in Porter’s sophomore season motivated him for those final two years.

Porter enrolled at ASU for the start of the 2017 school year. He redshirted as a freshman, making his qualifying for the U.S. team more impressive.

Next up on Porter’s docket is a long and grueling process leading to the Junior World Championships.

Porter and teammates will attend camps in Wisconsin and Colorado this summer.

That is in addition to Porter competing for the Sun Devils. He hopes to become an NCAA champion, among several lofty goals the Phoenix native has set for himself.

While Gonzalez and Porter don’t want to get ahead of themselves, a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team is on their minds.

“That’s the ultimate goal for every wrestler,” Porter said, adding:

“I know I have to work really hard to even have a chance, but I like the way I’m progressing right now.”

Contact Brian Benesch at 480-898-5630 or bbenesch@timespublications.com.

(1) comment

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