Durango taking the long way to the podium

Matthew Lavengood decided to take the hard road to a medal.

Durango High School’s 113-pound wrestler won two consolation matches in Day 2 of the CHSAA Class 4A State Wrestling Tournament on Friday to keep alive his hopes of placing.

He’s one of two Durango wrestlers left with a shot at a medal, along with Daniel Gustavson. Nick Tarpley was eliminated with a pair of losses Friday.

“It’s not what we hoped for, but we’ve still got a shot to get on the podium,” DHS head coach Doug Cuddie said.

After getting pinned in Round 1 on Thursday at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Lavengood beat Brandon Rivas (33-14) of Greeley Central 8-6 on Friday morning, then beat Jesse Ortiz (35-6) of Frederick 5-0 in the afternoon to improve to 31-11 on the season.

He wrestles Sage Budd of Mead, who beat David Brown of Delta 8-0 on Friday afternoon, today in the consolation quarterfinals. The winner of the quarterfinal matchup will secure a spot in the top 6 with a chance of wrestling into third place.

“Come in here and get two wins was really nice,” Cuddie said.

Gustavson (29-13) is following Lavengood’s lead.

Durango’s 220-pounder reached the quarterfinals with a win on Thursday but was pinned by Evan Lancelot (30-9) of Pueblo Central in 1 minute, 58 seconds on Friday.

But Gustavson bounced back with a 5-1 win over Mason Barber (31-20) of Mountain View to reach the consolation quarters and keep himself within reach of the podium today.

“Regardless of how they got here, they’re ready to wrestle and place,” Cuddie said.

Tarpley entered the day with just four losses on the year. He exists with six.

At 152, Tarpley lost by 6-5 decision to Kennen Lanteri (45-7) in the winner’s bracket, then lost to Devin Rothrock (37-3) of Golden in the consolation round by a 12-1 margin to be eliminated from the tournament.

“Things happen here,” Cuddie said. “Just didn’t get it done. Bottom line is you got to come her and wrestle and get it done, and if you ask him, he’ll tell you the same thing.”

After Day 2, Discovery Canyon leads the 4A field with 105 points. Windsor is close on its heels with 100 points, and Durango has tallied nine.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com