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Dirigo repeats as Mid-State champs
RUMFORD -- Nelson Pepin and the Dirigo wrestling team scored 168 points to repeat as Mid-State League champions Saturday over bridesmaid Fryeburg Academy at 143.
Dirigo champions were Griffyn Smith (106 pounds), Thomas Barnett (160) and Pepin (182).
"It was a good day,” said Barnett, who was voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler after pinning Teddy Durfee of Wells in the finals. “Everyone wrestled up to their seeds. I feel the team is beginning to peak. The kids are keeping their noses clean and are coming to practices.”
Mountain Valley finished a respectable third 110.5 points, led by champion Zach Cross (195), while Wells and York rounded out the top five with 106 and 91, respectively.
Pepin, who won his 100th career match, started attacking early and finished with a 14-2 major decision over Zach Handley of York. It ended a long day for Pepin, who was sick during his first match, after having eaten Chinese food the previous evening.
“It doesn't feel like I've even wrestled 100 matches,” said Pepin, the fourth Cougar wrestler to reach century mark this month. “I contribute much of my success, but Handley was strong also, I couldn't pin him. When I wrestled him at Kennebunk Duals, it went the distance.”
In the lone head-to-head finals match. Jake Thurston of Fryeburg decisioned Brett Whittemore by 5-2 at 152.
Smith had started off with a 15-0 technical fall on Cody Baraneis of Lisbon, but the Greyhounds Zach Stevens (132) scored a five-point move at the end of the second period for an 8-3 decision against Dakota Jacques of MV.
Cross bumped up a weight class and the move paid off with an 8-3 decision against Mark Slusher of York. "I knew I needed to get a takedown," said Cross. "Because I know that I'm not that strong on my feet."
Falcon teammate Brandon Gill lost an 11-0 major decision to Colin Sevigney of Wells at 126. Michael Curtis of Wells stuck DJ Webber of Dirigo at 170.
“We took some hits early,” said MV coach Chris Bean. “There were some basic mistakes, but some kids are coming back from sickness. We didn't do as well as expected, but as long as the kids continue to wrestle hard.”
Fryeburg brothers Connor Sheehan (113) and Zach each stuck MV wrestlers Mike Provencher and Jake Thornton (120).
In a grudge match, Stewart Buzzell of Monmouth decisioned Hutchinson of Dirigo Buzzell as he escaped in the second period and survived a near fall as the end. The Mustangs James Gambinio was a champ at 138.
Those placing third were the Cougars Reilly Lombardi (132), Lucas MacDonald (195) and Zach White (215), along with Ian Austin (152) of MV.
In the final match, Cliff Boynton of Dirigo lost 3-1 in overtime to Ryan Malcolm of Madison.