Amy Fuller of American Leadership Academy

Amy Fuller of American Leadership Academy – Gilbert North placed third at 130 pounds in the girls division at the state wrestling meet on Feb. 15 in Prescott Valley. 

Hundreds of wrestlers from all over Arizona flocked to the Findlay Toyota Event Center in Prescott Valley for the 2020 AIA State Wrestling Championships. 

In one of the most difficult sports testing both physical and mental strength, they left everything on the mat for both themselves and their respective teams. 

Schools in the East Valley had a strong presence in the arena during the boys’ final medal rounds on Friday evening with 63 wrestlers medaling at the event. The girls also had a strong showing on Saturday, with 15 wrestlers from the East Valley medaling. 

While everyone’s path to the state championships are different, the goal is still the same: To go out and win. 

For some, it may have been the first time they’ve ever competed for gold, while for others, it was an opportunity to defend their title and show why they were the reigning champion of the weight class. 

For Campo Verde senior Jayden Fletcher, it was an opportunity to leave everything he had out on the mat at the high school level for the last time before departing to Montana next year to attend Rocky Mountain College on a football scholarship. 

Fletcher had never before won gold at the state meet. But in his final round with just seconds left in the match, he secured the extra points needed to earn a 5-3 victory for the state title. 

“When I got it, I felt all the gratitude. It wasn’t just for me, it was for my parents, my coaches, and everybody who helped me get there. I wasn’t thinking about me at the moment, just everybody else,” Fletcher said. “It was just one of the most magical feelings. All the hard work is put in and you feel it all come out in one moment. It was amazing.”

After the final buzzer sounded, Fletcher ran over to his coaches. He hugged them before running over to his brother Nathan, one of Campo Verde’s student athletic trainers, and celebrated by hip tossing him onto the mat. Having his brother be there on the floor with him to celebrate his success made it even more special. 

“He’s been to every one of my matches ever since I was in fifth grade and just being a champion, it’s so gratifying he was there,” Fletcher said. 

Fletcher’s first-place finish helped Campo Verde finish eighth overall in Division II as a team. Higley, led by Atticus Lee Jackson Solomon’s second-place finishes in their respective weight classes, placed fourth overall at the state meet with 117 points. The Knights had six wrestlers in total place at the meet. 

Higley’s rival, Williams Field, also had a strong showing as the Black Hawks had five wrestlers on the medal stand to finish ninth with 86 points. 

It was only the second year there was a state wrestling championship for girls, but the number of participants was up a significant amount from the year before. 

Some wrestlers had the opportunity to step out on the mats and represent their school at state for the first time, while others returned to the championships this year looking to finish in a better position than they did last year. 

Tori Miller from Gilbert placed second in the 101-pound weight class, while Amy Fuller of American Leadership Academy – Gilbert North placed third at 130. Nina Sandoval of Campo Verde also had a strong showing as she finished third at 160. 

Complete list of Gilbert placers

D-1 Schools

Gabriel Corrales, Desert Ridge High School, 5th place

126-pound weight class

Cael Figueroa, Highland High School, 6th place

145-pound weight class

Joe Kisting, Desert Ridge High School, 4th place

152-pound weight class

Jacob Kimling, Perry High School, 6th place

160-pound weight class

Caleb Milnes, Perry High School, 4th place

170-pound weight class

Ikaika Maldonado, Perry High School, 2nd place

Keaton Steck, Desert Ridge High School, 6th place

182-pound weight class

Cooper Call, Perry High School, 5th place

285-pound weight class

Dante Smith, Desert Ridge High School, 2nd place

Alex Edjourian, Perry High School, 3rd place

D-2 Schools

120-pound weight class

Rodrigo Saenz Payan, Williams Field High School, 5th place

126-pound weight class

Noah Wasserbeck, Campo Verde High School, 2nd place

138-pound weight class

Seth Cobb, Williams Field High School, 6th place

152-pound weight class

David Goodman, Higley High School, 4th place

Alex Ruffentine, Williams Field High School, 5th place

160-pound weight class

Brandon Guzman, Higley High School, 4th place

170-pound weight class

Allyn Tuey, Williams Field High School, 4th place

Bric Jobe, Campo Verde High School, 6th place

182-pound weight class

Jayden Fletcher, Campo Verde High School, 1st place

Mason Hulme, Higley High School, 4th place

195-pound weight class

Atticus Lee, Higley High School, 2nd place

Connor Calloway, Campo Verde High School, 4th place

220-pound weight class

Joshua Gale, Williams Field High School, 2nd place

Ryan Nardozzi, Higley High School, 6th place

285-pound weight class

Jackson Solomon, Higley High School, 2nd place

D-3 Schools

126-pound weight class

Damian Hosokawa, Mesquite High School, 2nd place

170-pound weight class

Jess Champman, Mesquite High School,4th place

D-4 Schools

132-pound weight class

Trevor Tenney, ALA-Gilbert, 6th place

145-pound weight class

Broden Harrold, ALA-Gilbert,6th place

152-pound weight class

Hans Heidenreich, ALA-Gilbert, 5th place

170-pound weight class

Nash Jobe, ALA-Gilbert, 5th place

195-pound weight class

Salesi Morello, ALA-Gilbert, 2nd place

Girls Division

101-pound weight class

Tori Miller, Gilbert High School, 2nd place

130-pound weight class

Amy Fuller, ALA-Gilbert, 3rd place

160-pound weight class

Nina Sandoval, Campo Verde High School, 3rd place