After a 39-1 regular season record, Mountain View High School’s Bailey Janis, won the match that meant the most when he captured first place in the Division II State Championships, becoming the top wrestler in the 113-pound weight class.
Having defeated his first three opponents, Janis had Sunnyslope High School’s Pablito Sanchez to get through. Going into the match, Janis said he felt confident.
“In wrestling, anything can happen, but I never had any doubt I could win,” he said. “The hard work put in throughout the season was already done.”
Before the final match, Mountain View wrestling coach PJ Ponce told Bailey he needed “six minutes with no mistakes.”
Janis listened, and when all was said and done, he came out on top to capture his first state title.
“Bailey is a competitor, said Ponce. “His hard work, dedication and positive attitude each day in practice helped him reach the top.”
The win was the first individual championship for Mountain View since 2007. Janis said the support from his coaches and teammates was a big reason for his successful season.
“You can always hear them from the sidelines or bleachers,” said Janis. “My teammates respect me, and I respect them back. Having that support there is amazing.”
For Janis, the win was the highlight of his high school wrestling career, but he said the state tournament came with a mixture of emotions. When Janis was seven years old, his father passed away.
“The tournament was a happy and sad moment,” said Janis. “I’m feeling good about the win, but it was a little hard because some of my dad’s family was there.”
With the win, there is no doubt Janis would have made his father proud, as he has done with Mountain View High School.
“We are very proud of the character our kids showed at the state tournament,” said Ponce. “The Mountain Lions wrestling team represented Mountain View High School with honor this weekend.”
As a team, Mountain View finished fifth out of 48 teams in Division II, with Tanner Waltz and Ricky Alvarez earning runner up honors to end their senior year. Ty Waltz upset three ranked wrestlers to take down the fifth- place medal.
Ponce said the coaches would like to thank the Mountain View administration and faculty for their support throughout the season. The wrestling program continues to have a deservedly optimistic outlook.
“We will continue to work hard to stay an elite team in Arizona, and we hope to compete for championships down the road,” said Ponce.
As a junior, Janis said he plans to work hard this off-season in hopes of another big appearance at next year’s state competition.
“There will be a lot of training in the wrestling room, and a lot of running,” he said. “But I will keep the same attitude I had this year to get the job done.”