DENVER Rudy Peterson won a fifth-place medal and a Pepsi.
Trevor Gillen won a fifth-place medal and a chance to return next year.
The two Durango Demons wrestled onto the podium at the CHSAA Class 4A State Wrestling Championships on Saturday, ending an extended DHS wrestling drought at the Pepsi Center.
Getting a couple of medals here is huge for our program, said Durango third-year head coach Doug Cuddie.
We had a good season, but I dont think it would have been a success without medals here, Cuddie said after Gillen won his fifth-place match with a thrilling overtime victory over heavyweight Justin Reedy-Hansen of Longmont.
Trevor stayed in that match all the way. He made no mistakes, Cuddie said of the low-scoring bout that saw the two wrestlers tied 1-1 after regulation.
You get in a tight match like that, you cant make a mistake. That guy did, and Trevor capitalized, Cuddie said.
Gillen was awarded a penalty point after the Longmont wrestler clasped his hands together (an illegal move).
Gillen also added an escape and a buzzer takedown to win 5-2 in triple overtime.
He was pretty strong, Gillen said. I tried not to make mistakes.
Youve got to keep working once you get your points, but if you get a lead ... it works to your advantage, said Gillen, who started Saturday with a 3-1 overtime victory over Dakota Gulley of Golden in the consolation bracket.
Gillens takedown 11 seconds into OT led to the pin in the battle of the not-so-gentle giants.
The DHS junior heavyweight then lost 12-6 to big Terrell Stanley of Widefield, sending Gillen to the fifth-place medal match, where his perserverance in overtime of the final match left his coach overjoyed.
Losing your first match at state, you know youve got to go every match, every period, Cuddie said.
Trevor was ready for that. We could have gone eight overtimes, and we would have won that match.
Same thing with Rudy ... winning his match in the last few seconds. That was a great match, Cuddie said when his 112-pound senior defeated Aaron Trowbridge of Thompson Valley 6-2 for fifth place.
It feels good to end my high school career with a win, Peterson said. Its awesome.
Peterson won Durangos first match at the 2011 state tournament, turning the tide after the Demons went 0-for-6 on Day 1.
Peterson had to wrestle all the way back through the consolation bracket, finishing 4-2 at state.
He defeated Austin Krier of Sterlng 6-0, then topped Dalton Hanningan of Palisade before edging Frank Vigil of Air Academy 5-3 in overtime. A 6-2 loss to Brendan Unitt of Windsor sent Peterson to the fifth-place match, which he won over Thompson Valley.
I went into that match knowing it was my last one ever, Peterson said. It was everything or nothing for me.
Everything for Peterson included a complimentary Pepsi, handed to the three-time state qualifier as he exited the main arena after winning his final match as a Demon.
Peterson closed his DHS careeer with a 43-8 record as a senior.
Thats a lot of matches, said Peterson, paying tribute to his parents Joel and Linda Peterson.
They go to every match, Peterson said.
They were here (this weekend); they were crying, he said of the joyful Peterson family celebration in honor of Rudys state medal.
I credit everything to Coach Cuddie, Peterson said. My freshman year, I wasnt even on varsity. Then Cuddie came in with the hard-work mindset.
Peterson subsequently qualified for state as a sophomore, junior and senior.
I attribute everyting to Cuddie, he said as he watched teammate Gillen take his fifth-place match.
If everything goes like it has, theres no reason Trevor cant be in the finals here next year, Cuddie said.
Gillen, a junior, was 45-4 this season. He entered as the No. 2 seed. And he beat the top seed in the fifth-place match.
Elliott Salazar, Durangos other remaining wrestler after the first consolation round, lost in the second round of consolation. The senior dropped a 9-6 decision to Keith Cays of Mesa Ridge (35-11).
One round earlier, Salazar ousted Jake Atkinson of Vista Ridge with a 9-6 decision. He wrapped his senior campaign 35-12, incuding a victory in the CHSAA Class 4A State Wrestling Championships.