Medal caps debut year
Nick Flynn wasn't surprised to find himself standing on the winner's podium at the Class 5A state wrestling tournament.
That's exactly where the Lansing High wrestler expected to find himself at the end of his freshman year.
"My goal at the beginning of the year was to place," said Flynn, who finished in sixth place at 112 pounds. "I ended up getting it, so I guess I'm happy with that."
Still, there is a part of Flynn that desired more out of his first trip to state.
"I think I should have been in the finals because I know I could have beat Broadbent," Flynn said, referring to state runner-up Justin Broadbent of Mill Valley. "But there's nothing you can do about it."
Flynn isn't going to worry about what could have been. Instead, he said he would enjoy the moment and appreciate the success he experienced during his first year as a prep wrestler. And why shouldn't he? After all, he posted a 35-9 mark this year, was the Kaw Valley League runner-up, a regional champion and a state medalist. If he continues at that pace, he could finish his career as one of the most decorated wrestlers in Lansing history.
"We've just watched him blossom throughout the season," LHS wrestling coach Ron Averill said. "Through it all he has a great work ethic, he has a great attitude, and he's one of the hardest workers in the practice room."
Flynn said he learned plenty about being a competitor from his experience at the state meet. The main thing, he said, was learning to bounce back from a loss. He went 3-3 at the state meet but responded each time with a hard-fought match. His final one was a 1-0 loss in the fifth-place match.
The ironic thing about Flynn's season, Averill said, was that despite the steady success that he had, it seemed like he was a relative unknown to other wrestlers and coaches across the state.
Judging by the performance at the state meet, Averill said people now know who Nick Flynn is.
"It's set the state for the rest of his prep career," Averill said of Flynn's state showing. "He's opened the eyes of a lot of people around who didn't know he was coming in, so that was pretty cool."
If anybody forgets about him in the coming year, Flynn said he planned to give them a reminder again next year.
"I'm hoping to be in the state finals," he said.