Chagoya, Stepniewski and Mills pace Demons at West Grand Invite
Behind first-place showings by Hector Chagoya (113 pounds), Zak Stepniewski (120) and Mike Mills (132), Glenwood Springs High School’s wrestling team took third place as a team at the Dec. 17 West Grand Invitational.
Chagoya’s toughest match came against top-seeded Will Casey of Estes Park. Chagoya defeated Casey, 5-1, scoring a takedown in the first period, an escape in the second and a takedown in the third. He had only a penalty point scored against him.
“The whole match was a battle,” Demons assistant coach Miles Cook said.
Chagoya scored his first-period takedown with 9 seconds left. He quickly escaped in the second. In the third, Chagoya chose top and was able to convert early and then ride out the period for a win.
Stepniewski pinned through his bracket, defeating teammate Darwin Orellana in an all-Glenwood final.
Mills matched up with Lionzo Escabado of Saratoga, Wyo., in the finals.
An early takedown in the first gave Mills the early lead. Escabado chose down in the second but was unable to score. With the score tied at 2-all in the third, Mills chose bottom and quickly reversed, then completed his day with his fourth pin 5 minutes, 5 seconds into the match.
Cole Ryan placed second at 160 pounds, defeating Cade Carver of Norwood, Lathrup Hughes of Meeker and Nick Deluca of Hayden, all with first-period pins. He defeated Steamboat Springs’ Guerin Lewis by pin at 5:50.
“Cole’s win over Lewis was a real gut-check match, with the wrestlers being evenly matched and points going back and forth,” Cook said.
Up one midway through the third, Ryan let Lewis up to tie the score, then scored a takedown, forcing Lewis straight to his back for the pin.
Ryan’s only loss of the day was to Martin Fitzwater of Saratoga.
Also finishing second was Orellana.
Placing fourth were freshmen Cristian Gonzalez at 152 and Eddie Ortiz at heavyweight.
Gonzalez lost his first match to Casey Williams of Steamboat by an 8-1 decision and battled back through the consolation bracket, defeating Kolby Starks of Norwood and Tristian Paylo of Soroco before losing by decision (9-2) to North Park’s Derrick Richard.
Ortiz had a full day in his first varsity tournament, losing to Ty Laframboise of Norwood and Colt Sitig of Steamboat and pinning Wyatt Houston of Hanna-Elk Mountain (Wyo.) and Streun Escodado of North Park.
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The victim in a domestic violence-related shooting in downtown Glenwood Springs in April died in November, raising the possibility for first-degree murder charges against the shooter.