The Durango High School wrestling team competed in five duals and won all five Friday in the team’s home competition, the Durango Duals.
Durango beat Monticello, Utah, 48-18; Mancos’ nine-member squad, 49-24; Kirtland New Mexico, 45-24; Piedra Vista’s sub-varsity, 63-18; and Farmington’s sub-varsity, 48-33.
“It was a good start. We’re trying to get an event in Durango that people want to come watch,” said DHS coach Luke Morris.
Even though DHS went 5-0, Morris said there’s still room for improvement.
“We keep getting reminders that we’ve still got work to do,” he said. “We’ve got about five weeks left in the season, so we’ll be cranking it up a notch in practice and changing some things up.”
Ignacio’s wrestlers also competed in Durango, but didn’t wrestle a duals, just individual matches here and there.
Mancos, meanwhile, went 3-2, beating Piedra Vista 48-24, Farmington 48-29 and Kirtland 42-30, but falling to Durango and Monticello, 47-30.
“Unless we’re perfect, it’s hard to win duals,” said Mancos head coach Cole Allison. “We’re getting better. Were using each event to build toward the big prize. We’ve got big goals as a group.”
Tyler Woodworth went 5-0 at 160 pounds for DHS, which included an 11-0 win over Mancos’ No. 3-ranked Ayden Mathews.
“He’s a tough kid, so Tyler has to work for every point against him,” Morris said.
Chris McGrath also went 5-0 for the Demons at 132. “He’s really turned a corner the last couple of weeks,” Morris said.
At 182 and 195, Junior Garcia-Rodrguez went 5-0 with four pins.
Ryan Dugan went 4-1 at 106, pinning three opponents but also getting pinned once.
At 152, Dale Harris went 3-2. “He’s finally scoring some points and winning some matches,” Morris said, adding that Harris’ and McGrath’s performances stood out to him.
Izik Garett went 3-2 at 113 for Durango, including one pin.
Cole Pontine finished 4-1 at 120, pinning one of his opponents.
Riley Belt finished 3-1 at 138. Morris said they held out a couple wrestlers who will compete in Pueblo tomorrow out of the final dual against Farmington.
At 145, Oren Moore finished 4-1.
Ben Belt finished 3-1 at 170 pounds for DHS but also won an exhibition match against Ignacio’s Tyler Barnes, 5-1. Belt took a slim, 2-1 lead into the third period, but escaped and scored a takedown to secure the win.
Belt’s loss was to Mancos’ Cole Dainty-Guilfoyle, 10-4. Belt scored the first takedown, but Dainty-Guilfoyle escaped, took Belt down and cradled him to take a 5-2 lead in the first. Belt got in on a couple more deep shots, but Dainty-Guilfoyle was able to grab an ankle or scramble free to avoid getting taken down. Dainty-Guilfoyle added takedowns in the second and third period to win the match.
“You’d be hard-pressed to find a harder worker than Cole,” Allison said. “He can wrestle with anybody, and I think he showed that versus Belt.”
Later in the event, however, Barnes beat Dainty-Guilfoyle,12-6, but the Bluejay was hurt in the match.
“He was leading Ignacio before he got injured,” Allison said. “It looked like he rolled his ankle.”
Miguel Stubbs went 3-2, competing at 195 and 220 for the Demons.
Vicent Draper, meanwhile, went 3-2 at 285.
Durango did not compete at 126.
Manco’s 126-pounder, defending state champion Levi Martin went 4-1, losing only to Monticello’s Zachary Thayn by fall.
“He does the little things well and makes it a point to fine-tune some things for down the road,” Allison said.