The champion at the inaugural Steve Blackford Duals at Arizona State was Chandler, but the real winner just might have been Campo Verde
The Division III program is just in its third year of varsity competition and has seniors for the first time.
While the program may not resonate like Chandler, Mesa Mountain View, Horizon, host Queen Creek and many of the other programs in the 32-team field, Campo Verde showed it can hang with the big boys as it finished second in the dual meet tournament.
"If it was an individual tournament I don't know that we would have done as well but in a dual format I think we can compete with anyone," Campo Verde coach Chris Bishop. "We have quality, tough competitors all through the lineup."
It showed as the Coyotes won their pool, defeated Gila Ridge, 36-23, in the championship pool first round and knocked off Horizon 36-34 in the semifinals.
"After beating some of these bigger schools, it should give us confidence when we compete against Division III teams," Bishop said.
It came to an end in the finals when Chandler won 40-30, but Campo Verde made an impression.
"We wrestled them during the summer and we knew that had some tough, strong kids," Chandler co-coach Curtis Owen said. "I told them they better not take them lightly. They are going to be a great program."
Chandler jumped out to a 21-9 lead after six matches, including pins by Tristan Moran (106), Dalton Brady (126) and Dalton Moran (138).
Campo Verde, which won six of the 14 matches, made it close down the stretch with first-period pins at 182 and 195 by Alex Braden and Alex Buppert, respectively.
Then Chandler 220-pounder Drew Lattner decked his opponent in 29 seconds to secure the team victory.
"It's a great event and the kids stepped up and wrestled really well," Owen said. "We have some things we can work on but this was a good test for us."
In the match for third and fourth, Mountain View should have beat Horizon 36-35 but an assistant coach was nailed with an unsportsmanlike conduct and it led to a loss of a team point.
It made it 35-all and the first tie breaker criteria is penalty points.
One of the matches of the tournament came at 145 between the Toro defending state champion Seth Monty and Horizon's Bryant Wood, who finished third at state last year.
Wood jumped out to an 8-2 lead before Monty made a late comeback only to lose 10-9.
Chandler 40, Camp Verde 30
106 - Moran (C) pin Gnadt, 1:37
113 - Sanchez (CV) dec. 11-5
120 - Reyes (C) dec. Nevarez, 13-5
126 - Brady (C) pin Doll, 1:24
132 - Faber (CV) pin Devine, :49
138 - Moran (C) pin Hawk, 1:46
145 - Stryker (CV) by injury default Hale
152 - Buelna (C) dec. Cox, 8-6.
160 - Savage (C) pin Hess, :31
170 - Alvarado (C) dec. Jensen, 7-3.
182 - Braden (CV) pin Miranda, :35
195 - Buppert (CV) pin Nakiso, 1:13
220 - Lattner (C) pin Duffy, :29
HVY - Sokhy (CV) dec. Hoyt, 3-1.
Third and fourth place match
Horizon 35, Mt View 35 (Horizon wins on first criteria - penalty points as a Toro assistant had unsportsmanlike conduct that took away a team point)
106 - Ford (H) pin Stevens, 2:17
113 - Matt (H) pin Atwood, 1:03
120 - Maxson (H) pin Anderson, 3:08
126 - Penuvri (MtV) pin Ong, 1:50
132- Nielson (MtV) pin Bender, 1:45
138 - B. Monty (MtV) forfeit
145 - Wood (H) dec. S. Monty, 10-9
152- Imonode (H) dec. Mason, 11-3
160 - Huber (MtV) dec. Bolton, 7-2
170 - Ryan (H) pin Segal, 2:24
182 - Imonode (H) dec, Welch 11-3
195 - Huber (MtV) pin Duran, 1:30
220 - Overly (MtV) pin Fiskel, 1:07
HVY - Vasike (MtV) dec. Los, 4-1.