Aaron Lint wrestled 54 times this season.
Each time, Lint walked off the mat the victor. Of those 54 matches, Lint estimates that six or seven ended with a win by forfeit.
The rest? A pinned opponent, every time. But winning has become old hat to Lint.
The Winslow senior capped this season off with his third state championship in the 285-pound division. Andrew Lyman of Fryeburg Academy was the lastest in the road to a title, as Lint pinned Lyman in 45 seconds to win the title at the Class B state championships Feb. 16 in Bath.
For his accomplishments, Lint has been named the Morning Sentinel Wrestler of the Year.
Lint entered the season focused on winning another state title, not thinking of his previous accomplishments.
“I wiped (the previous two state titles) off my shoulders,” Lint said. “I told myself that it was a new year, I’ve got to come into it strong, practice hard. I pushed my teammates and my teammates pushed me. Really, everything just fell into place. That’s what happens when you work hard.”
It wasn’t as easy as previous seasons. A defensive tackle on the football team, the Black Raiders went deep into November, going to the Class C state championship game before losing to Leavitt. Lint had little time to collect himself and prepare for wrestling season.
“The only big thing was conditioning,” Lint said. “The conditioning for football is so much different than wrestling. Football is five to six second bursts. Wrestling, you’re going a full two minutes, a five second break, two minutes again and on and on. I was already part-way into shape because of football. Everything else fell into place.”
A typical high school wrestling match between 285-pounders involves strength and leverage, not unlike sumo wrestling matches in Japan. But Lint presented a different aspect that set him apart from his oppenents: Quickness.
“Quick feet and explosive,” Winslow head coach Terry Devereaux said. “He would throw around guys who were about the same weight as him. There was a kid from Fryeburg, he was 6’3″ and 270 (pounds). Aaron just threw him, pinned him two or three times during the season. He’s a deceptive kid in how he looks. He’s very strong through the arms and shoulders.”
Lint credited his quickness to wrestling with lighter wrestlers.
“I think for the past few years, I picked up my quickness working with our 220 (pound wrestlers),” Lint said. “Mixing it up with 220 and 285 (pound wrestlers) and just being aggressive. It really makes a difference.”
At 5-7, Lint’s height also presented an advantage, allowing him to shoot at the legs of taller wrestlers. Lint also credited assistant coach Kris Segars, who presented a regular 285-pound wrestler to practice on.
“With Kris Segars, he’s a full 285 (pounds),” Lint said. “He’s 6’4″, he wrestled for his high school down in Connecticut. When I’m wrestling him, I’m seeing stuff that he learned out of state. Him just being there and being my wrestling partner, I’m getting used to wrestling the big guys and using my quickness on them, (finding) out what works and what doesn’t.”
“To have Kris working with him, it was fully instrumental in Aaron’s development,” Devereaux said.
Being one of the most dominating wrestlers in the state, coaches were mindful to have their heavyweights take different approaches to Lint during the season. Lint said the preperation makes him more determined to win.
“I thrive off it,” Lint said. “Other coaches go up to heavyweights and tell them what to do, see if they can beat me. When I see or hear that, it motivates me big time.”
His work paid off in beating Lyman for the state title, a fitting ending to a dominating career.
“It was really exciting just to be there,” Lint said. “I had the mindset of just wanting to win. I knew I had a chance to win, I just had to go out there, wrestle my match. I couldn’t make any stupid mistakes and have good balance. I knew I could come out on top.”
Lint said he has offers to wrestle in college, but has not decided on his college plans as of press time.
Dave Dyer — 621-5639