Taylor Vargas of Apache Junction took third place at 138 pounds, and Gabe Marquez claimed fifth place at 170 at the AIA Division III State Wrestling Tournament, held Feb. 8-10 in Prescott Valley.
Vargas and Marquez are seniors. Also wrestling at state was sophomores Kamryn Mudd (113) and Ethan Wright (195).
At 138, Vargas (50-5) lost his opening round match 10-9 to J.C. Mortensen of Chino Valley. In the consolation round, Vargas defeated Nathaniel Quinones of Cactus by major decision 12-2, pinned Daniel Frost of Snowflake in 3:28 and Steven Dortch of Thunderbird in 1:40, and earned a 10-2 major decision over Mortensen in the consolation semifinals.
Vargas pinned Christian Penrod of Page in 1:52 to claim third place.
Marquez (41-16) was pinned in his opening match at 170 by Jacob Sanchez of Yuma, and won his consolation opener by forfeit. From there, Marquez defeated Dominick Carillo of Pueblo 6-1, and pinned Ricardo Avelar of Walden Grove in 3:00.
Marquez was pinned in 1:41 by Sanchez in the consolation semis before taking the fifth place match on a 10-2 major decision over Francisco Mata of Peoria.
At 113, Mudd (26-18) was pinned in the opening round by Juan Campista of Pueblo in 1:14, and was pinned in the consolation round in 2:48 by Oscar Sepulveda of Peoria.
Wright (44-10) lost by 4-1 decision to Justin White of Snowflake in the opening round at 195. In the consolation round, Wright won 8-1 over Arturo Alcaraz of Salpointe, pinned Omar Ibanez of Pueblo in 1:45, and was pinned in the consolation quarterfinals by Jackson Edwards of Walden Grove in 1:59.
Photo above: Apache Junction’s Taylor Vargas is declared the winner of the third place match at 138 pounds at the AIA Division III State Wrestling Tournament at Prescott Valley. (Photo courtesy AJHS/Facebook)