PHOENIX – Before Marc Farina stepped on the mat against a two-time state champion Saturday, his coach told the Corona del Sol sophomore about a time he got a quick pin at the Olympic level.

In other words, the big stage requires big performances.

Farina was clearly inspired as he handled Coconino’s Gabe Galaviz 12-2 under the gaze of the spotlight during the 126-pound finals of the Moon Valley Invitational.

A win over Galaviz maybe wouldn’t have been surprising, but a major decision that included two takedowns, two reversals and two separate 2-point near falls was not expected.

“I just went out and wrestled my match,” said Farina, who finished seventh at Moon Valley last year and didn’t qualify for state. “I couldn’t let him (dictate) the kind of match he wanted to wrestle. I had nothing to lose.”

Corona coach Jim Martinez said he has seen Farina coming on ever since losing his initial match of his season.

“He’s been getting better,” said Martinez, who wrestled without a 103-pounder. “He lost that first one and he’s been a different wrestler since then. This was a big step for him.”

Corona had two other champions in Ethan Tursini (160) and Bridger Barker (184) and runner-ups in Glenn Farina (138) and Colton Winstead (152), but it wasn’t enough to come away with the team title as Dobson came away with the two-day, grueling event.

The Mustangs finished with 591 points, two champions and eight total players to edge the Aztecs, while Boulder Creek (517), Mountain Ridge (480) and Desert Vista (471) rounded out the top five.

“I’m really proud of the boys,” Dobson coach Steve Tannenbaum said. “They wrestled hard and competed. It’s one thing to wrestle good when you are fresh, but on the second of two long days is when you really see what you are made of and we came through.”

The Mustangs won seven of their eight medal round matches including two champions in Tyler Meraz (132) and Josh Jaramillo (145).

Meraz trailed 1-0 heading into the third period against Sandra Day O’Connor’s Taylor Rich before escaping to tie and then secured the winning takedown on a strong single leg with 1:32 left.

Jaramillo’s match was a little less drawn out as he decked Camp Verde’s Isaiah McReynolds in 35 seconds to clinch to the team title.

“That’s my partner, right there,” Meraz said as Jaramillo got the pin. “We work hard and it’s paying off.”

Other area finalists were Desert Vista’s Chad Porter and Mesa’s Robert Shrook, who finished second at 170 and heavyweight, respectively.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.


Team standings (top 10 only)

1. Dobson 591; 2. Corona del Sol 574; 3. Boulder Creelk 517; 4. Mountain Ridge 480; 5. Desert Vista 471; 6. Sandra Day O’Connor 441; 7. Mesa 434; 8. Camp Verde 404; 9. Moon Valley 391; 10. Sunrise Mountain 367.

106 – Crooks (BC) dec. Uhler (CV), 5-3; Third – Casillas (Dob) dec. Cain (MV), 11-4; Fifth – Kaye (Peoria) pin Lobenberg (BG), 2:06.

113- Mendez (MV) dec. Gomez (Glen), 6-5 ; Third – James (SDO) dec. Clary (Pin), 8-4; Fifth – Casillas (CV) default Carillo (DV).

120 – Reyes (VV) dec. Anderson (Coco), 7-2 ; Third – Crooks (BC) dec. Mortensen (Snow), 2-1; Fifth – Mejia (CV) pin Nava (Bay), 2:32.

126 – M. Farina (CDS) maj. dec. Galaviz (Coco), 12-2. Third – Tibbs (BC) dec. Mitchell, 2-1; Fifth – Quiros (Verr) pin Wood (Snow), 2:30.

132 – Meraz (Dobson) dec. Rich (SDO), 3-2; Third – Kasprzyk (Mesa) dec. Breeser (MR), 6-1; Fifth – Love (SunMtn) by default Churchill (CDS).

138 – McMenimen (Bay) by default over Farina (CDS) ; Third – Moore (Dobson) dec, Decker (SunMtn), 3-2; Fifth – Kautzman (BC) dec. Delgado (Kellis), 8-5.

145 – Jaramillo (Dobson) pin McReynolds (CV), :35 ; Third – Zuckerman (Kellis) dec. Coronado (SunMtn); Fifth –Spadafore (CDS) dec. Rowe (MR), 5-2

152 – Suwyn (MR) maj. dec. Winstead (CDS), 13-4; Third – Sherwood (Dobson) dec. Williams (Mesa), 11-4; Fifth – Pozniak (SunMtn) dec. Brady (BR), 6-3.

160 – Tursini (CDS) maj. dec. Sites (VV), 9-0. Third – Setter (SunMtn) dec. Ortiz (Mesa), 6-3; Fifth – Suwyn (MR) dec. DoBell (Coco), 3-1.

170 – Turk (SDO) maj. dec. Porter (DV), 13-3 ; Third – Davis (Dobson) dec. Fore (Snow), 9-3; Fifth – McEachern (CV) pin Rico (CDS), 3:44.

184 –B arker (CDS) dec. Byrd (BC), 4-0; Third – Imonode (DV) dec. Hansen (Liberty), 6-1; Fifth – Davis (SDO) dec. Ward (VV), 7-6.

195 – House (MR) dec. Erickson (BC), 5-4 ; Third – Clare (CDS) dec. Bonilla (Mesa), 3-2; Fifth – Berube (Pueblo) dec. Tanabe (Dobson), 6-4.

220 – Reyes (Goldwater) dec. Kiel (Pin), 1-0; Third – Grey (MV) dec. Arendall (Cent), 3-2; Fifth – Poisall (SDO)dec. Ezell (DV), 4-1.

HVY – Hawks (MR) dec. Shrook (Mesa), 3-2 3 OT ; Third – Ryan (CDS) pin White (BG), 1:35; Fifth – Elias (Dobson) by default over Blackwell (Liberty).

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