Proving he’s ready

Tyler Miles' last-match win lifts Mavericks past UNC

Colorado Mesa’s Nick Peterson controls Northern Colorado’s Keith Johnson on Thursday in the 184-pound match at Brownson Arena. Peterson eventually defeated Johnson 10-3 as the Mavs won their 12th straight dual, 18-17 over the Bears.

Tyler Miles thought he was done wrestling for the season, then Colorado Mesa University wrestling coach Chuck Pipher sent him a text message: “Be ready.”

“Coach Pipher is famous for telling you to be ready,” Miles said. “I said, ‘All right, I’ll be there.’ “

Miles, though, never imagined he’d wrestle in the final match of a dual with an 11-dual win streak on the line, but he did.

The Colorado Mesa 165-pound junior was indeed ready, rallying to defeat Northern Colorado’s Charlie McMartin 7-6 to lift the No. 10 Mavericks to an 18-17 victory Thursday night at Brownson Arena. Mesa (17-1) extended its school-record win streak to 12 with its first victory over the Division I Bears’ program, which is on probation.

“I’m glad I could keep us on our win streak,” an exasperated Miles said. “I saw it in the (news)paper. Yeah, it was (in the back of his mind during the match).”

McMartin, who pinned Miles in UNC’s Old Chicago Open in November, took Miles down twice in the first period for a 4-1 lead. McMartin took Miles down again for a 6-5 lead in the third period, but Miles didn’t allow McMartin to finish his move. A few moments later, Miles (10-7) scored a double-leg takedown for a 7-6 victory.

“I knew if I took him long enough (in the match), he’d get tired,” Miles said. “Coach pushes us hard enough so we won’t gas.

“Even when he took me down, I was more nervous about getting pinned again. I knew if I held out long enough, I’d hopefully win.”

Pipher knew it, too.

“He’s a gamer; he stays in there,” Pipher said. “He doesn’t have great technique, but he wears guys down. That’s his M.O. there. He’s a much better technician. Getting that last double-leg (takedown) was pretty awesome.

“That’s what it’s all about. We weigh in guys all the time and always have extras ready. Sometimes we go to meets, weigh them in, and they never wrestle. We’ll take six or seven extra guys.”

Northern Colorado (1-5) began the dual with an 11-3 major decision over Mesa’s Mitch Wyatt at 174 pounds. Wyatt wrestled in place of Zak Slotten, who has a minor hip injury.

Mesa’s 184-pounder, Nick Petersen, defeated Keith Johnson 10-3, but the Bears squeaked out a 7-6 victory with a riding-time point at 197 and an 8-2 decision at heavyweight for a 10-3 lead.

The Mavs’ Jonathon Stelling (20-8) and Tyler Nelson (9-6) came through with victories at 125 and 133 pounds, respectively, to get Mesa within a point at 10-9.

Northern Colorado’s Nick Adams picked up a 12-7 victory over Drew Schumann to push the Bears’ lead to 13-9.

James Martinez picked up a big win for the Mavericks, pinning Nick Alspaugh in 2:18 in the 149-pound match. Martinez (12-1) is on a 12-match win streak himself.

“Martinez is a pinner,” Pipher said. “He secures the win, then he goes for the pin. He’s tough with that. He’s very solid and having a good year.”

Mitchell Polkowske put the lead back in the Bears’ favor with a 9-0 victory over No. 2-ranked Jon Gappmaier, putting the win steak in Miles’ hands.

“Our guys, honestly are tired and beat down,” Pipher said. “We’ve been on the road for four weeks. We got in at 4 a.m. (Thursday).”

The Mavericks are home for two duals next week, beginning Thursday with No. 12 Grand Canyon (Ariz.) University. The dual is scheduled for 7 p.m.


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