Flynn not satisfied with second place
Wichita During his first three trips to the state wrestling tournament, Sean Flynn wondered what it would be like to sleep in Saturday morning before competing in a state championship match.
As a Lansing High freshman, sophomore and junior, Flynn was one of the numerous early-risers who had to be at the Kansas Coliseum at the crack of dawn and make his way through the consolation bracket.
As a senior, Flynn finally got to live the championship experience. He slept in Saturday morning, headed to the Coliseum a little bit later than the others and saved his energy for his one match of the day - the Class 5A state finals at 140 pounds.
"It went by a lot faster than I thought it would," Flynn said of the day. "I thought it'd go by pretty slow, but everything kept going fast. It was a good day though. Nice and relaxing."
The goodness ended when Flynn stepped on the mat against Mitch Arnold of Bishop Carroll.
Arnold opened the match on the offensive. He recorded the first takedown with 17 seconds left in the first period for a 2-0 lead.
"Getting that last takedown at the end of the first period kind of threw me off," Flynn said.
A quick escape in the second period extended Arnold's lead to 3-0. Then, another takedown with six seconds left in the period pushed the lead to 5-0 before Flynn finally scored a point on a late escape.
Flynn never stopped looking for ways to trim the deficit. He took his shots. He tried everything, but he only was able to score escape points after Arnold scored on takedowns and reversals. The result was a 9-5 loss for Flynn and a second-place finish.
"The only thing we can really do on Sean's match is give that other kid some credit because he wrestled a good match," LHS coach Ron Averill said.
Flynn was disappointed with the runner-up finish because his dream had been to be a state champ. Flynn's frustration showed on the medal stand as he struggled to muster a smile.
"It didn't feel good at all," he said of finishing second.
What did feel good, Flynn said, was the support of about 25 Lansing High students who made the trip to state to support he and the other LHS wrestlers.
"It mademe feel good that they care about wrestling and that they care about me," he said. "I'm glad they came out to show their support."
Although Flynn was frustrated with the end result, Averill said he was proud of Flynn for the way he competed throughout the state tournament. He won his first three matches at state with a pin and two technical falls before falling in the finals.
"There's nothing anybody can do but be proud of the way he got in here and competed throughout the tournament," Averill said. "It's sad that he can have such a stellar performance and go home unhappy because of the last time on the mat."
Flynn finished the season with a 40-2 record. His only loss to a Kansas wrestler came in the state finals.