First-round senior sweep for Demons |

First-round senior sweep for Demons

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Jeff Caspersen Post IndependentGlenwood Springs senior Miguel Vega, in red, wrestles to a win over Fort Lupton's Ben Medina at the state wrestling tournament in Denver on Thursday.

DENVER, Colorado – Wrestling is a labor-intensive sport. From the constant fight to make weight to the daily beatings one takes in the room, it tests an athlete’s mettle.

But, as Glenwood Springs senior Mike Mills was reminded on Thursday, it’s all worth it.

Mills and teammates Miguel Vega and Brian Ochoa won their Class 4A first-round matches at the state tournament in Denver on Thursday. All three are seniors.

“After Christmas break, it gets tough up here,” he said, pointing to his brain. “It’s tough going to practice every day, but the reward is this, being able to see that your hard work pays off.”

Mills, a 126-pounder, improved to 37-2 with a 14-7 win over Longmont’s Ivan Wolf. Mills will wrestle Broomfield’s Jonathan Stelling in today’s quarterfinals.

Vega won his 106-pound match, 11-7, over Fort Lupton’s Ben Medina to up his record to 19-3. Vega will square off against Broomfield’s Drew Romero in the quarterfinals.

Ochoa, a heavyweight, made quick work of Thompson Valley’s Jacob Veronda to close out a successful night for the Demons. Ochoa finished off Veronda in a mere 1 minute, 3 seconds.

The soft-spoken big man showed little emotion after his win, walking off the mat with a look of calm. That’s just Ochoa’s demeanor. He was equally even keel in the moments preceding the match, standing quietly in the Pepsi Center tunnel, staring out at 10 mats worth of matches in progress.

“Mostly, I try to not think about the actual match,” he said. “I just try to calm down and think about stuff I’m going to do during it. I’m not worried about winning or losing, just about really going after it.”

Next up for Ochoa, now 27-6, is a quarterfinals showdown against Greeley Central’s A.J. Polland.

At 113 pounds, sophomore Zak Stepniewski dropped his first-round match against Windsor’s Joel Salomon. Salomon scored a pin in 2:58.

Stepniewski will wrestle in the consolation bracket today.

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