Glenwood’s Ayala headed for state
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
DENVER, Colorado – Glenwood Springs High School junior Chris Ayala took his father’s words to heart.
While attending the state wrestling tournament as spectators last year, Ayala’s dad wanted his son to take a good look.
“He said, ‘Every time you go out on the mat next year, think of here. You could wrestle here,'” Ayala relayed.
By finishing second in the 160-pound bracket at Friday and Saturday’s 4A Western Regional at Mullen High School, Ayala will wrestle at the state meet, which will run Thursday through Saturday at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
“I’ve seen it the first two years and it’s always fun to watch,” said Ayala, who added that he’s taken plenty of mental notes while observing. “Not even just watching teammates, but watching other kids wrestling there. That’s the best experience.”
Ayala’s path to state started with a first-round pin of Delta’s Josh Holveck. He followed up with a second-round pin of Summit’s John Ramirez and a 5-2 win by decision over Moffat County’s Scott Mann in the region semifinals.
The final didn’t go quite as swimmingly, as Roosevelt’s Blake Nygren ended the match with a second-period pin to claim the region title. Ayala was seeded No. 2 in the bracket. Nygren was seeded first.
Regardless of how Saturday ended, Ayala will still get his chance to attend state as a participant.
“Ever since my freshman year, I’ve been wanting to get to state,” he said. “I get to go to state this year. I had a good seed and just went out and wrestled.”
While they missed out on the top-four finish needed to get to state, Glenwood’s Taylor Parsons (130 pounds), Emilio Alcala (135) and Brian Ochoa (215) all nailed down top-six regional finishes.
Alcala took fifth, while Parsons and Ochoa each took sixth.
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