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Jessey Lorentsen, runnerup in the 171 weight class, is headed to state.
By Doug Kates, Times Correspondent
Published February 10, 2008
TARPON SPRINGS - Jessey Lorentsen has a unique way of looking at Friday's region wrestling tournament - he had to settle for second place, but believes he may have been runnerup to the future state champion.
The Mitchell junior finished 3-1 at regions, and his only loss was 17-4 to Niko Brown of Kissimmee Osceola in the 171 title match.
"I got to see the best kid in our state," Lorentsen said. "He's strong. He's in better shape than me. He's ranked No. 1 and only has one loss, so it's not disappointing."
This will be Lorentsen's first trip to state, and he'll bring a 33-5 record. Brown improved to 45-1.
"I honestly did not plan on being champion, but I foresee him being the champ," said Lorentsen, who will be the only Pasco County representative in Class 3A at Lakeland.
Osceola won the team title with 185.5 points and four individual champs. Mitchell started with four competitors and placed 16th with 28 points.
From Pinellas County, Countryside led the way with a third-place finish with 160 points. East Lake was seventh with 73.5.
For Countryside, the region effort was a big change from districts, where the Cougars were the runnerup to East Lake. This time around, Countryside qualified eight for the state tournament, including four region champions. East Lake is only sending one.
"Ultimately, it's all about next week," Countryside coach Mark Prince said. "The eight kids who are going worked out every day in the offseason."
Asked if there was any revenge finishing ahead of the Eagles, and Prince said only in points.
"It's not about East Lake," he said. "It's about wrestling the best you can, qualifying for state and coming home with hardware. It's about doing our job. Even last week, I thought like we did our job, but they did a better job."
Qualifying as region champions were Dalton Dennis, Kyle Grueninger, Tyler Parry and Eric Deupree. East Lake's lone representative will be heavyweight champion Alex Dinielli, who went 4-0 with three pins to improve to 44-0 this season - 41 of those wins by pin.
At the tournament, there were 28 heavyweight matches, 25 of which ended in pins.