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Barnett third Cougar this year to reach 100 wins
WINSLOW -- There's always room for improvement and in wrestling, the best way to gain experience is by being on the mat, so Dirigo was able to accomplish its objective against the competition at the Winslow Duals.
Throughout the day, there was numerous individual thresholds to strive for and none could outshine Thomas Barnett, who won his 100th career match in fine style with a pin in the Cougars' 63-18 win over Winslow.
Dirigo, which filled 13 of 14 weight classes, won the majority of matches in easy wins against undermanned Mount View, 66-12, George Stevens Academy, 75-6 and Bucksport, 72-4.
"Its been a goal for a long time,'' said Barnett.
The senior had entered the day four wins shy of reaching the milestone. A pin in the first period against Mt. View served to enhance the forgone conclusion. After a wait, Barnett stepped on the mat, needing a win and certainly didn't waste any time. Following a takedown, he secured a ball and chain and finished the Black Raider with an inside cradle in 1;38.
''A lot of work has gone in to this,'' said Barnett, who admitted feeling nervous. ''It meant going to all the practices and working hard. I also have had to keep my nose clean.''
For the third straight week, the Dirigo faithful held up '100' signs to highlight the moment. Teammates DJ Webber and Brett Whittemore each had reached the century mark.
In an inspiration match, Zack White of Dirigo competed against GSA's Allen, who is blind. Allen was escorted by referee Steve Swindells (41st year) to the center of the mat. White was instructed to stay in contact with Allen.
''Yes, it was different,'' said White, who stuck Allen in 38 seconds. ''I couldn't break contact, but he was strong, but he wasn't offensive. I had seen him win a match at Jay (super qualifier) two years ago.''
Against Winslow, the Cougars' Griffyn Smith remained unbeaten by pinning Rachel LaPointe in 46 seconds. Lucas "Bull" MacDonald rallied to stick Nathaniel Beckwith with a head and arm at 195.
“We needed to come up here to compete against them,” said Dirigo coach Doug Gilbert. “We don't see these teams and it's import for the regional seeding (Feb. 2).”
Dirigo's Jesse Hutchinson won three matches at 145; two had been higher seeded. Dexter Verrill dropped to normal weight for a pin at 126.