Chagoya, Mills, Ochoa win Eagle Valley Invite titles
Hector Chagoya, Mike Mills and Brian Ochoa represented Glenwood Springs High’s wrestling team atop the podium at Saturday’s Eagle Valley Invitational.
At 113 pounds, Chagoya pinned his way through the tournament. He never let a match extend beyond the first period after receiving two byes to start the day.
Chagoya pinned Cedaredge’s Sam Williamson in 1 minute, 44 seconds and Rifle’s Rogelio Navarro in 1:30 in the title match.
Battling in perhaps the toughest bracket – 126 pounds – Mills fought his way to a title.
In the semifinals, he beat Rifle’s Dallas Rohrig. The first period ended in a 2-all tie. Mills chose down and quickly scored a reversal, riding out most of the period before getting caught in a cradle late and giving up five points (reversal plus three back points).
Rohrig chose neutral to start the third, and Mills went on the offensive, quickly taking Rohrig down and then cutting him loose twice to get within one. Mills scored a third takedown with 15 seconds left to win the match.
In the finals, Mills drew the bracket’s top seed – Buena Vista’s Eli Perez.
Mills scored an early takedown but gave up a reversal and two near-fall points before escaping late to make the score 4-3 after one.
Perez chose down and scored a reversal, then rode out the second period. The Buena Vista wrestler took a 6-3 lead into the third.
Mills chose his feet but was taken down early to fall behind by five points. He then escaped and took Perez down to pull within two.
After letting Perez up, Mills took him down a second time to slice the deficit to a single point.
When Perez stepped over Mills’ leg, Mills quickly locked up a Gehring and rolled Perez through, holding him on his back to the whistle to score a match-winning near-fall for three points.
The final count: 11-9, Mills.
The Glenwood senior went 4-0 on the day, winning by pin in the first two rounds.
“Mills put himself in the hole in each of his final two matches by giving up back points,” Glenwood assistant coach Miles Cook said. “It’s pretty tough to overcome giving up backs to top-level wrestlers, but we were sure proud of the way Mike battled in both of those matches, and his conditioning really paid off for him.”
The heavyweight Ochoa, like Chagoya, pinned his way though the tourney. Also like Chagoya, Ochoa didn’t let a match get past the first period.
Glenwood Springs advanced six wrestlers to the consolation semifinals but lost all six – Zak Stepniewski, Edwin Meraz, Joel Ordonez, Justin Barham, Connor McRaith and Erick Madrid – in that round.
Next up for the Demons is a trip to Denver South on Saturday. On Tuesday, Jan. 17, Glenwood will host Battle Mountain and Moffat County in a tri.
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A battle over COVID-19 precautions intensified in the mid-Roaring Fork Valley on Thursday. A private school contends parents alone should determine whether their children should wear masks. Eagle County will seek a court order to make the school comply if it continues in-person learning.