Miles magic in the Mile High City
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
DENVER ” Tyler Miles’ arms shot up in the air, his hands formed fists with the exception of his index fingers pointing up toward the ceiling of the Pepsi Center.
A few minutes later, his older brother Cody had the exact same reaction.
For two brothers who do almost everything the same and everything together, it’s only fitting that the pair enter Grand Valley High School history together as the first state champions to wrestle as Cardinals.
“I can’t imagine doing this without him,” Tyler said as the brothers sat down next to each other on a table in the Pepsi Center tunnels.
The sophomore’s and senior’s wins sent Grand Valley head coach Rick Gallegos into euphoria, jumping in the air, pumping his fists and putting bone-crushing hugs onto two wrestlers he sees as more than athletes on his squad.
“They are like my sons. I have been working with these boys since they were little,” Gallegos said of the brothers who also wrestle steers in rodeos together. “You dream of this to happen someday but for it to actually happen, to get two state titles and the team title, it’s unbelievable.”
Tyler’s win, a 9-6 decision over top-seeded Nick Segura of Dolores-Huerta for the 152-pound title, set the scene for Grand Valley’s historic night. With one minute left to wrestle, the score was knotted at six, but Tyler had a clear advantage. Segura, who had already taken two injury timeouts with a foot injury, was belly down on the mat and unable to escape Tyler’s grasp. With less than 10 seconds left, the referee awarded Tyler a three-point near fall and inevitably the win.
Cody, who was watching in the corner before taking the mat for his 160-pound match, saw his little brother win and his demeanor changed immediately.
“Once Tyler pulled that one out, I looked at the look on Cody’s face and he had tears in his eyes, he had tears of joy for his brother, but he had a switch go off in his head and there was no way he was going to lose that match,” Gallegos said.
How right the coach was, although the win was slightly delayed. Cody, the top-seed at 160, took a 4-2 lead with only second left in the first period. He got a hold of Crowley County’s Brogan Walters and put him on his back. One referee slapped the mat signaling a Cardinal pin, but the other referee called it off, saying time had expired.
The call may have erased the pin, but all it ended up doing was postpone the 11-4 Cody win.
“I kinda thought I had it won, but they said no so I had to keep wrestling, but I pulled it out,” Cody said.
The state titles were the first for Grand Valley wrestlers in the five-year history of the Cardinal program. While Todd Jacobs became the first Grand Valley wrestler to win a state title in 2001, he was wrestling for Rifle High School. The Miles’ wins on Saturday were pure Cardinal.
After Tyler stood atop the podium to collect his medal, he was reunited with his brother under the stands of the Pepsi Center. The brothers hugged and were soon swarmed by congratulating parents and teammates. Gary Miles, the state champions’ father, shared the results over teary-eyed phone calls, Jeanne, their mother, hugged everyone in sight.
The Cardinals celebrated their titles, both team and individual, but Tyler and Cody just kept sitting on the table, letting their accomplishments soak in.
“I can’t explain it,” Cody said.
“It’s unbelievable,” Tyler added.
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