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Glenwood’s Mills, Ayala win titles in Leadville

Post Independent staff report
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Mike Mills and Chris Ayala were crowned weight-class champs, helping Glenwood Springs to a fourth-place finish at Saturday’s Jim McCall Invitational in Leadville.

All told, the Demons placed eight wrestlers at the Lake County High School-hosted wrestling tournament, which was won by Florence.

Mills, a junior, won the 125-pound title. He defeated Austin Tate of Golden by major decision in the semifinals and squared off against Florence’s Dylan Martinez.



Martinez scored a takedown and two near-fall points early, jumping out to a 4-0 lead.

Mills worked his way back into the match, scoring a reversal late in the first period, then reversing quickly off the bottom position to tie the score at 4.



After Martinez chose down to start the third period, Mills rode out the period, scoring three near-fall points on a half-suplay to win going away, 7-4.

“I think it was only the third time this season that Mike has given up points off his back, but he did a great job of limiting the damage, then controlling the match the rest of way,” Glenwood assistant coach Miles Cook said.

At 160 pounds, Ayala faced his toughest match of the night in the semifinals against West Grand’s Chase Hill.

Ayala, a senior, scored an early takedown with a foot sweep and two near-fall points in the first. He then added to his lead with a reversal in the second and a takedown in the third to win by major decision.

In the final, Ayala wrestled Scott Sandoval of Florence. The match was tight early, with the only first-period points coming on a takedown by Ayala.

Ayala chose down to start the second period, adding. a bunch of points. He quickly escaped on a standup and then scored a takedown out of a scramble before turning Hill twice for four near-fall points.

Ayala gave up a reversal at the second-period buzzer.

Sandoval chose top to start the third, and an Ayala reversal finished off a major decision.

“Chris is starting to wrestle the way we know he can,” Cook said. “Earlier in the season, he was wrestling a bit tight.”

Junior Miguel Vega placed third at 103 pounds. Also finishing third for the Demons were sophomore Arturo De La Cruz (130) and senior Casey Montoya (140).

After losing in the first round to Florence’s Cal Cole, Vega worked his way through the consolation bracket to again meet up with Cole in the consolation finals.

Vega won by pin in 2 minutes, 50 seconds.

De La Cruz also lost his first match, mirroring Vega’s performance by wrestling his way into the consolation finals and facing the wrestler who had defeated him earlier. De La Cruz won by decision over Golden’s Tony Zaba to secure third place.

Montoya wrestled into the semifinals before losing to Battle Mountain’s Mario Rodriguez by pin.

It was the third time that Montoya lost to Rodriguez, and all have come by pin in the third period with Montoya leading the match.

“Hopefully we can break the streak the next time we see him,” Cook said.

Montoya then won out through the consolation bracket, pinning Gregorio Munoz from Summit in 1:58 in the consolation finals.

Finishing fourth for Glenwood were senior Victor Mondragon (119), freshman Jonathan Duarte (215) and junior Luis Perez (heavyweight).


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