The Durango High School wrestling team rebounded Saturday at the annual Delta Invitational.
“We wrestled better (Saturday),” DHS head coach Doug Cuddie said.
“Much better than (Thursday),” he said of a tough dual loss to visiting Bloomfield (N.M.) on its home mats.
“All in all, we had a decent day. It’s nice in a (individual bracket) tournament like this, where our good kids can get out there and do their thing.
“Right now, this format is better for us,” he said.
Durango finished fourth in the 12-team Delta tournament that was won by Class 2A powerhouse and defending state champion Paonia.
The Demons crowned three individual champions Saturday at the Delta Invitational.
Another Demon, 220-pounder Daniel Gustavson finished second.
Two Durango High School wrestlers extended their unbeaten records in the 2012-13 season: Clay Dillon, 126 pounds, won the Delta Invitational title with a 3-0 record Saturday; Nick Tarpley, 152 pounds, went 3-0 at Delta with two pins and one decision.
Both wrestlers are 9-0 this season.
“(Dillon is) wrestling outstanding right now,” Cuddie said.
Just as he was in a dual win Thursday over Bloomfield, Tarpley dominated on his feet, scoring multiple takedowns.
Durango sophomore Matthew Lavengood won the 113-pound bracket at the Delta Invitational, beating two state placers from last year in the semifinals and finals.
“He had a great day,” Cuddie said. “And that (113 pounds) was the toughest weight class by far.”
Lavengood beat Olathe’s Austin Shank in the semifinals. Shank was fourth in the CHSAA Class 3A Wrestling State Championships last year.
“Then, he avenged his loss earlier (in the season) to the Paonia kid (Jesse Reed),” Cuddie said.
Reed won the 113-pound Class 2A state championship last year as a freshman with a 35-8 overall record. Reed’s only loss this season came at the hands of Lavengood in Saturday’s Delta Invitational championship match.
Lavengood is 8-1 this year.
Durango’s Dillon Anthony placed fourth in the 132-pound bracket.
“He looked a lot better (Saturday),” Cuddie said. “He’s getting there.”
Anthony, a sophomore, qualified for state last year along with Lavengood and Tarpley. Dillon qualified for state two years ago.
“Our other guys ... are getting matches,” Cuddie said.
“Three firsts, a second and a fourth ... in this format, we can let our studs shine,” Cuddie said.
The Demons will head north again next week for the annual Warrior Invitational in Grand Junction, a big multiclass, multistate tournament – the biggest tournament of the season for the DHS wrestlers.