VERGENNES - For No. 25, it wasn't a matter of if they'd win, but by how much.
The Mount Anthony Union High School wrestling team had eight champions and extended their national-record championship winning streak to a quarter-century, rolling to another Vermont state championship at Vergennes High School on Saturday night.
"It's a magical, magical moment," said Mount Anthony coach Scott Legacy. "Twenty-five years ago, when we won the first one, if you told me that I'd be standing here talking about 25 in a row, I'd have said you were nuts.
"Then two happened and three. Some were close, some were big blowouts. I'm living in this world where I can't believe we've
Mount Anthony tied the second-highest score in tournament history with 324 points, matching their total from last season. They outpaced runner-up St. Johnsbury Academy by 217 points. The meet record remains 332.5 set in 2001-02, when Mount Anthony had a school- and state-record tying 10 champions.
"It's been a roller coaster ride to get here," Legacy said. "When we get on the bus and talk about it, I think they'll realize it. They know they won a state title, but I don't think they recognize they added to it."
In addition, 13 of the 14 Mount Anthony wrestlers reached the finals and will go to the New England tournament next weekend in Providence, R.I.
At 285 pounds, top-seeded Jesse Webb won his third straight state crown for MAU, pinning Essex's Joe Ramada in 1 minute, 42 seconds, pushing his stellar season record to 49-0. Webb hit one takedown, knocking the air out of his opponent and pinned him shortly thereafter.
Miguel Calixto also claimed a championship at 132 pounds and improved to 55-0 on the season. He pinned Bellows Falls-Hartford sophomore Steve Cerrone in 3 minutes 23 seconds. Calixto was the aggressor, scoring three takedowns in the first period. In the second, he used his legs to turn Cerrone to his back and win his first Vermont championship.
Tyler Mattison started the finals at 170 with a 9-4 decision over Harwood's Kaegan Pearsall. Mattison stormed out to a 4-2 lead after the first period, then scored a reversal with two seconds left in the second period to take a 6-2 lead into the third.
Following at 113, Troy Gassaway made it 2-for-2 for the Patriots, beating Spaulding's Brandon Tyson, 7-3. He built a 7-0 lead in the first two periods to win his second straight Vermont crown. He is now 49-3 on the season.
Brandon Marcoux-Schaefer battled two-time state finalist Gabe LaBerge from Middlebury at 195, overcoming two stalling penalties in the final 40 seconds of the match to win 4-3. It was his second-straight crown after topping the field at 152 last year.
Austin Price gave MAU four champions in the first six bouts with a 17-8 win over Vergennes' T.J. Simpson at 182 pounds. Price took a 6-1 lead into the third period and put the throttle down.
Sophomore Dylan LaFountain shut out this opponent, 11-0, for the 120-pound crown.
Jordan Felion, of Fair Haven, won the night's classic match at 160 pounds, beating Mount Anthony's Damon Young, 5-4, in double overtime. Young escaped with 1:22 left in the third period to tie the match at 4-4 and neither could score in the first overtime.
Vince Pagan fell in the third-place match to John Hart from Fair Haven, and finished fourth.
In the tournament's lightest weight class, 106 pounds, Mount Mansfield's Ben Bliss remained unbeaten at 43-0 after a 7-1 decision over MAU freshman Tyler Raetz.
Mill River's Zach Allen became the second non-MAU wrestler to win a title, scoring a 6-4 decision over Bailey Willard at 138 pounds. Allen earned a takedown with 31 seconds left to take the lead, then rode out the rest of the time to win the title.
In the 152-pound final, Dylan Shattuck won his first Vermont crown with an 11-4 decision over Bellows Falls-Hartford sophomore Kyle Record.
Harwood's Kyle Streeter stayed unbeaten at 43-0 with a 3-1 decision over the Patriots' Jack Luciano at 220. Luciano and Streeter traded escapes to go into the third period at 1-1. Streeter's perseverance paid off as he scored a takedown with 1:17 left in the third period for the victory.
Bellows Falls-Hartford's Nolan Viens ground out a 7-3 win over Houston Shaler (145). Ahead 3-2 after one period, Viens started from bottom and reversed to take a 5-2 lead.
Nine wrestlers were honored before the finals as members of the 100-win club. They were: Cody Jolley, Spaulding; Kyle Streeter, Harwood; Dylan Hemstead, Milton; Jordan Felion, Fair Haven; Pat Pfenning, Rutland; Brendon Giroux, Mount Mansfield; Gabe LaBerge, Middlebury; Kyle Fletcher and Brandon Marcoux-Schaefer, Mount Anthony.
Middlebury's Gabe LaBerge won the Vermont wrestling officials association award and Mount Mansfield coach Harley Brown won the coaches' award. MMU took home the sportsmanship award as well.