HERSHEY – Dallas senior Cole Dixon found a special setting for his 100th career high school wrestling victory.
Dixon got his 100th win March 10, the first of three days of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Individual Championships.
Both Dixon and Tunkhannock senior Mike Manley went 2-2 at the Giant Center, losing to the eventual fourth- and fifth-place finishers in the state in Class AAA in their weight classes, to have their seasons end late on the second day of the tournament.
Dixon, at 182 pounds, and Manley, at 152 pounds, each finished in a four-way tie for ninth place out of 20 wrestlers in their weight classes. The top eight in each weight class received state medals.
After losing in the Northeast Regional final and his first match at the PIAA Championships, Dixon came up with the milestone win in a match that would have ended his high school career at 99 wins if he had lost.
“Thirteen years of wrestling and for that to eventually happen after I lost my first match here, it’s awesome,” Dixon told the Times Leader following the win. “It’s an awesome feeling.”
Reaching the regional final gave Dixon a bye in the preliminary round of the state tournament. He lost his first state match to Chambersburg’s Drew Peck, 9-0.
Dixon, who finished 43-6, came back with a 5-1 victory over Quakertown’s Nick Bonomo for the 100th win.
Another win, this one 3-2 in overtime against Northwest Regional champion Brinton Simington from Altoona, extended Dixon’s season and put him within one win of a state medal. Instead, he fell, 7-1, to Boyertown’s Gregg Harvey and was eliminated.
Manley (43-12) finished fourth at the Northeast Regional, meaning he had to start in the preliminary round at the state tournament. He advanced with an 8-5 win over Southwestern’s Gage Thomas.
Southwest Regional champion Derek Verkleeren from Belle Vernon pinned Manley in 1:50 to drop him into the consolation bracket.
Manley came back to defeat New Oxford’s Nolan Poust, 7-2, before finishing his career with a 1-0 loss to Southcentral Regional champion Jonathan Ross from Northern York.