With an Alizae Mejia third place finish at 170 in the consolation championship, Plainview mathematically captured the Class D State Championship prior to the Thursday night state finals.
The Pirates head into the state finals with a commanding 27.5-point lead over second place Southwest (100.5-75). The Pirates have placed three in the championship round compared to Southwest’s one.
“It is good to relax a little bit now,” Pleasanton coach Dean Boyer said. “The adversity that our team has had to deal with this year and for our boys to come down here and perform the way they have is really incredible.”
Two days into the school year Boyer was diagnosed with Leukemia. Adding to the adversity was former Pirate Christian Miller, a four-time champion and NU wrestler Christian Miller passed away in a car accident late last year. Miller won his fourth title when the current Plainview seniors were eight graders.
An emotional Boyer said he is proud of his team and their effort this week.
“We did not wrestle well early in the year,” Boyer said. “For them to do what they have done the last two days is just great perseverance and hopefully teaches them a life long lesson….I’m really proud of them.”
The Pirates join an exclusive group as Class D three-peat champions. Mullen, Rushville, Howells and Amherst are the others. The Class D record is Amherst with seven from 2010-2016. Since 2000, only seven schools have won team titles. Winside and Weeping Water each have one. Howells (3), Amherst (8), Burwell (2) and now Plainview’s three.
“We wanted to join that group. Being able to talk about it and come down and do it is two different things,” said Boyer. “I am really proud of the way they got it together and the coaches and how they were able to work with things.”
The three Pirates looking to close out the season with state titles are Eli Lanham (43-0) at 106, Scott Ashburn (46-1) 120 and Keagan Mosel (39-9) 138. Lanham is looking for his second title after finishing runner-up as a junior and champion in 2019. Ashburn is a defending champion after winning 113 in 2020.