Florence's Yslas falls in final but enjoys tournament ride

By: Brent W. New preps@gazette.com
February 23, 2014 Updated: February 23, 2014 at 12:45 am
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photo - Valley's Ruben Lucero, top, wraps up Florence's Jake Yslas during the 3A, 126 pound Colorado Wrestling State Championship finals Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Pepsi Center. Yslas lost the championship match 6-3. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette
Valley's Ruben Lucero, top, wraps up Florence's Jake Yslas during the 3A, 126 pound Colorado Wrestling State Championship finals Saturday, February 22, 2014 at the Pepsi Center. Yslas lost the championship match 6-3. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette 

DENVER - Sooner or later, all good things must come to an end.

Florence wrestler Jake Yslas found that out the hard way when his dream journey through the Class 3A 126-pound state wrestling bracket ended in the finals with a 6-3 loss to Valley's Ruben Lucero at the Pepsi Center on Saturday.

"It really hurts right now," Yslas said.

It'll never taint his senior wrestling season, however. Yslas, who never placed at the state championship before this year, said his transformation as a wrestler came when he changed his attitude at the beginning of the season.

It was then he started looking into the mirror and convinced himself he was the best. It was then when he told himself he couldn't be beaten.

And with it, he ran through the bracket with three wins by decision as the second seed in 126 - all in front of his family and friends.

"This (experience) has been amazing. Like it's something, well, it's something you can't put into words," the Florence wrestler said. "Being here with all my family and friends watching like this ... well it means a lot."

At the end, however, there was only one 126-pound wrestler in the class better than him in Colorado.

In the wrestlers' first meeting, Lucero grabbed takedowns in each of the three periods, and allowed Yslas just three stand-up escapes - all by design, the Valley wrestler said.

"I didn't want him getting any reverses on me, so I let him take the one point and limit the damage," Lucero said. "I know I'm the best on my feet, so that's where I want to be."

As for Yslas, his wrestling days were "most likely" over.

Looking up at the filled-out stands of the Pepsi Center, however, he paused for a moment and said he'll never forget the time he proved he belonged with the best wrestlers in the state.

"I worked so hard to get here," Yslas said. "This was amazing."

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