The Durango middle school wrestling team had an unprecedented weekend at the Rocky Mountain National Events Middle School Regional in Alamosa on Saturday as the team qualified 12 for the state championships in Denver.
The team, which consists of wrestlers from Escalante, Miller and Mountain middle schools, is coached by Durango High School head coach Leo Garand. All 12 wrestlers earned a podium spot, and six had top-three finishes.
Bayfield Middle School had three qualifiers, including one champion, while Ignacio Middle School will have four representatives and also had one champion.
DurangoBeau Brunson of Escalante won the 100-pound weight class after he pinned Diego Rodriquez of Sierra Grande in just 52 seconds. The other champion for Durango came from the 171-pound weight class: Miguel Stubbs also of Escalante defeated Robert Morley of Mountain Valley in both rounds, the first coming in a sudden-victory 8-6 decision. In the second round, the match went the distance, and he won in a 10-8 decision.
Oren Moore (Escalante, 85) took second after he lost a 16-3 major decision to Luke Tressler of Pagosa Springs Middle School, while Riley Belt (Escalante, 95) also finished in second after he lost to Kyler Liddell of Oretga Middle School of Alamosa in a technical fall.
James Storm was Miller Middle School’s highest finisher, taking third at 145 pounds. Storm pinned Alexis Villagomez of Center Middle School in 48 seconds. Miguel Garcia-Rodriguez (Miller, 152) also finished in third after he lost in a 4-2 decision to Cael Ruggles of Center Middle School.
Julian Rodriguez (Miller, 95), Ivan Silva (Escalante, 115) and Brett Franklin (Escalante 198) finished in fourth-place in their respective weight classes. Rounding out the qualifiers from Durango were Dylan Hennberger (Escalante, 140) who finished in fifth, Payson Albrecht (Escalante, 125) who took sixth in his weight class and Collin Christensen (Mountain, 80) who finished in seventh.
With 118 points, Durango finished in sixth place out of 22 teams.
BayfieldDeegan Barnes of BMS won the 125-pound weight class by forfeit over Aaron Aucoin of Pagosa Springs Middle School. The other qualifiers included Keaton Pickering (80) who finished in second and was defeated by Caleb Camp of Buena Vista Middle School in a narrow 6-5 decision. Darron Boling (75) snatched the last spot and finished in seventh after he pinned Michael Thomas from Pagosa Springs Middle School in 56 seconds. Daxson Michaeli and Cooper Taylor narrowly missed out at the 90-pound weight class after they tied finished for eighth.
IgnacioKeaton McCoy of IMS won the 120-pound weight class after he pinned Ricardo Maldonado of Center Middle School at the 3:38 mark of the match. Nate Hendren finished fourth in the same weight class after he lost to Cayden Schulz of Ortega Middle School and was pinned at the 1:44 mark of the match.
Devante Montoya (75) took fourth and was pinned by Jase Young of Salida Middle School in 39 seconds, while Kyle Rima finished in fifth after he received a bye in his podium match.
The Colorado Middle School State Championship will be held Friday and Saturday at the National Western Complex in Denver.