Tyler Miles got the full treatment last year at the Pepsi Center.
Then a sophomore, Miles won the 152-pound bracket, and his Grand Valley teammates took the Class 2A team title. Now up in 3A, Miles realizes recent history is long gone.
Miles pinned Yuma senior Seth Brown in 2 minutes, 53 seconds Thursday in the first round of the state tournament.
Miles' reward is a second- round matchup today against Florence junior Matt Addington, who is 45-0 this season and a fellow returning champion.
"I didn't win regionals, so I knew . . ." Miles said of drawing such a tough test before the semifinals or final.
Miles, who lost to Olathe sophomore Kyle Piatt at the regional tournament, improved to 32-8 after sticking
Addington, an unorthodox grappler who capped an undefeated season last year by winning the 140-pound bracket, scored a 15-0 technical fall Thursday over Clear Creek's David Gerhardus.
Centauri 130-pound junior Cahlen Keys advanced toward a probable showdown in the finals with Estes Park senior Jake Eitzen after a first-round victory over Josh Birch of The Classical Academy.
Keys is the middle of three wrestling sons for longtime Falcons coach Randy Keys and wants nothing more than winning the team title for Dad. If Cahlen has to pick between an individual or a team title, he doesn't hesitate.
"He's put in years here, and
The coach can't help but smile at that.
"I don't know if I deserve it or not, but I think we finally got the team to do it," Randy said. "We're not going to win it with the (Phillip) Sheridans and the Keyses; we've got to win it with these other kids."
Returning champions Josh Jaime (119 pounds) of Lamar, Nick Adams (125) of Discovery Canyon and Zach Diaz (160) of Yuma all advanced via pins. Jaime improved to 28-0.
"It gave me a huge confidence boost," Jaime said of winning a title last year, "but you always need to keep your eye on the match and never get too overconfident."
Unbeatens Elliot Copeland of Bennett and Joe DuCharme of Pagosa Springs also advanced. Both are in the bottom half of the 160-pound bracket.