Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009 | 11:55 p.m.
Having his hand raised by the referee in the state finals was the top moment in Allen Haines' wrestling career.
Haines, a Boulder City High junior, captured the 130-pound division title to make amends for last year when he lost in the finals.
"This was something I wanted my whole life," he said. "And it happened. It still feels too good to be true, but it's the best feeling in the world."
The championship match featured the state's top two wrestlers in the weight class as Haines faced Lowry Hugh senior Sean Raynor. Both were coming off titles in their respective league tournament.
Haines finished in second place at 130 pounds in 2008, while Raynor was a returning state champion, having won at 119 in 2008.
Haines pinned Raynor 1 minute, 19 seconds into the match for the title.
"He was a state champion last year, and that solidified the win for me. I beat the best," Haines said.
His other two matches in the state meet also resulted in first round pins. He pinned Tahoe-Truckee High junior Kyle Mullen at the 1:00 minute mark in the quarterfinals and pinned Sparks High senior Jacob Miller at 1:24 in the semifinals.
Haines also pinned all three of his opponents in the first round during the 3A Southern League tournament.
Boulder City coach Kevin Ruth said Haines' win was well deserved.
"We're proud of Al and what he accomplished. He was on fire, just pinning everyone," Ruth said.
His success on the mats and in the classroom is paying off. With a grade point average of 4.325 (weighted), he said he's received letters of interest from Stanford the last two years.
"I plan to keep working hard so I can get a scholarship. If I were to wrestle in college, it would be at Stanford," he said.
While getting a shot to compete collegiality is a goal, Haines is taking a break from the mats to recover from the season, and let his victory sink in. He's playing golf for the Boulder City golf team, which begins its season on March 3.
"I'm just looking forward to kicking back after all those intense wrestling practices," Haines said. "I want to try and keep wrestling fun, so I'm taking a break."
Brent Hinckley can be reached at 990-7822 or email@example.com.