TV’s Miller using regional setback as motivation to excel

Teays Valley junior Ava Miller has qualified for the inaugural girls state wrestling tournament that is being sponsored by the Ohio High School Athletic Association. The girls tournament will be wrestled alongside the boys from Friday through Sunday inside Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.

Miller, who previously qualified for a girls state tournament that was sponsored by the coaches association and placed last season, finished third last weekend in a regional held at Olentangy Orange High School.

After losing her quarterfinal match by pin in 5:58 against Worthington Kilbourne’s Lillian Leis, Miller bounced back to pin Hilliard Bradley’s Maddie Smith in 1:42, recorded a 13-6 decision over West Holmes’ Cylie Couch and then pinned Watkins Memorial’s Megan Justice in 2:40 in the third-place final at 105 pounds.

Miller (37-2) is slated to wrestle West Union’s Scotlyn Adams (32-8), who is also a returning state-placer from the coaches association tournament, on Friday in a first-round match at 105 pounds.

Teays Valley junior Ava Miller on the awards stand after finishing third last week in a regional tournament at 105 pounds. Photo courtesy of Teays Valley athletic department

Question: Talk to us about your style of wrestling and how that leads to your success on the mat?
Answer: I like to put pressure on the opponent I am wrestling and to be aggressive in my approach.

Question: How did you feel about your finish at the regional tournament last Sunday and how do you want to build off or improve on that at the state tournament?
Answer: I really regret the first match that I wrestled during the regional tournament. I had a 15-2 lead in that match, but I got caught and lost in the last two seconds. Of course, that moment haunts me, but I am trying to learn from my mistakes. I definitely should have won that first match. I will let that fuel me moving forward into the state tournament.

Question: Chat with us about your practice and training routine and how that leads to your success wrestling?
Answer: I train year-round and sometimes I practice twice-a-day. The progress I make as a leader and person means everything to me. I have faced some tough challenges on-and-off the mat, but I am ever growing, and it helps me better compete.

Question: The state coaches association had previously administered the girls state tournament until the Ohio High School Athletic Association took over the event this school year. How does it feel to get to participate in the first OHSAA girls state wrestling tournament this weekend and competing at the Schottenstein Center? What do you feel this says about girls wrestling?
Answer: I am honored and excited to compete in the first OHSAA tournament for girls wrestling and to represent my school. Girls wresting has grown me as a person, and I am so glad that other girls will get to experience it.

Also, as team captain of our girls team at Teays Valley, I am so proud of how our team competed for the entire season and especially for Madi Hamilton, who also qualified for the state tournament.

Question: What is your expectation for the state tournament this weekend and what will you need to do to turn that expectation into reality?
Answer: I am aiming to place better than I did last year, when I finished fourth at 100 pounds. Every day, I strive to be better. I think right now it’s all about my mindset in a match, because I’ve done the work and I trust my training.

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