SKOWHEGAN — Moments after his victory in the 195-pound championship, Skowhegan Area High School senior Andrew Pineo didn’t want to talk about his match. Pineo wanted to talk about the success his teammates had throughout the day.
“Our guy at 106 (Mike Dourant), he cut a lot of weight to get there. He’s never done that before. Great job by a sophomore,” Pineo said. “A lot of us were in the finals, taking home first or second. The team title, that’s always nice. It’s always good to wrestle with a good group of guys, whether we win or lose.”
With 10 wrestlers in the finals and five winning individual championships, Skowhegan had little trouble winning the Eastern Maine Class A wrestling team championship Saturday.
Skowhegan ran away with the team title, scoring 221 points. Mt. Blue was second with 136.5 and Nokomis placed third with 108.5.
Pineo was the last of the Indians five regional champions, pinning Devon Grant of Westbrook 5 minutes, 38 seconds into their match. Pineo came close to pinning Grant late in the second round, but the feisty Grant held off defeat until the third. Endurance was a key to the match, Pineo said.
“Skowhegan always has the best cardio. I’ve got good coaches, and a lot of support here in front of the home crowd,” Pineo said. “It’s always a good match when I wrestle a 195 kid for a championship. It’s not the easiest weight class out there.”
Other Skowhegan winners included Kameron Doucette, who defeated Mt. Blue’s Kevin Moore 3-2 in the 132-pound final; Kaleb Brown, who pinned Mt. Blue’s Drew Blanchet at 2:43 in the 138-pound final; Julian Sirois, who pinned Danny Reed of Mt. Blue at 3:13 of the 120-pound championship; and Tyler Craig, who won the 113-pound title with a pin of Cordell Brooks of Oxford Hills at 3:22.
Craig said he tried not to let the moment become overwhelming.
“I just didn’t get too nervous before it. I went out there like it was any other match. I just wanted to perform where I’m supposed to be. That’s the main thing,” Craig said. “To me, it’s been pretty mellow. Just going out there and wrestling.”
Mt. Blue’s Khalil Newbill won his fourth regional championship, taking the 126-pound title with a 10-2 win over Skowhegan’s John Swett. Newbill made a point to keep the pace of the match elevated.
“I was trying to tire him out before I tire out,” Newbill said.
In the 182-pound championship, Rusty Wilson earned a point in the closing seconds to take a 5-4 win over Skowhegan’s Levi Hayden.
“I just kept on pushing. We were both pretty tired, but I kept on pushing to get that last move,” Wilson said.
It was the fourth match between Wilson and Hayden, and each has won twice.
“When we were on our feet, I was trying to throw him, because I’m the stronger one. He has better technique, though, so it’s kind of hard to do,” Wilson said.
Jacob Nichols of Nokomis won the 285-pound title, pinning Windham’s Jake Hodgkins at the 1:22 mark. The closest match of the finals was in the 145-pound class, where Mt. Ararat’s Felipe Gunter took an early 5-0 lead on Logan Stevens of Skowhegan. Stevens rallied and had a 6-5 lead late in the third round, but Gunter scored to send the match into overtime, then won 8-6 in sudden death.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242