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LITTLETON — The 160-pound bout during the Class 5A Jeffco League dual just looked different then all the other wrestling matches Jan. 18 at Chatfield High School.
Lakewood’s two-time state champion Gabe Dinette locked up with Chatfield’s three-time state qualifier E.C. Manzanares. Dinette is ranked No. 1 and Manzanares is No. 8 in the 5A 160-pound rankings put out by Tim Yount’s On the Mat rankings.
“You’ve got to appreciate good wrestling,” Chatfield coach Paul Peronard said of the 160-pound match that Dinette won with a 9-1 major decision. “Dinette is a horse. He goes out and gets after you. He is heavy on the head, kind of old-school in a way. I just love that.”
Dinette got out early with a first-period takedown and never trailed. Manzanares managed an escape in the second period, but Dinette got another takedown and then a reversal to close out the match.
“Taking every match as a learning experience is what it is,” Dinette said about his approach as he attempts to become Lakewood’s first three-time state champion in the school’s history. “Win, lose or draw it’s about learning from every match.”
After not placing at state his freshman season, Dinette went on a mission to become one of the state’s top wrestlers.
“He (Dinette) is really confident and works really hard,” Lakewood coach Daren Stennes said. “His attitude has been the same since the end of his freshman year.”
The future Stanford University wrestler racked up a 95-2 record his sophomore and junior seasons on his way to 5A titles at 145 and 152 pounds.
Dinette has dropped two out-of-state matches at a tournament in California this season. He went on to win the 160-pound title Jan. 20 in his first career trip to the Top of the Rockies two-day tournament at Centaurus High School.
When it came to the team points in the dual Thursday night, Lakewood edged Chatfield 44-36.
One of the turning points in the match was at 138 pounds. Lakewood’s William Wallace trailed Chatfield’s Will Guess 17-7 in the third period, but Wallace was able to get a reversal and pin with under a minute to go to get the victory.
“We put some young guys in there. They looked young, but they did well,” Stennes said. “We were happy with the matches.”
Dennis Pleuss is a communications specialist at Jeffco Public Schools with a focus on athletics and activities. For more Jeffco coverage, go to CHSAANow.com/Jeffco.
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