Dimick Wins National Championship In Wrestling


Front Page / Jul. 11, 2002 12:00am EDT

Dimick Wins National Championship In Wrestling


Even before his trip to Virginia early in July, Randolph's Joe Dimick was having a good year. First he won the Vermont state wrestling championship in his weight class, then he added the New England championship.

In Norfolk, he took the next logical step. He toppled six wrestlers from all over the country to come home with a national championship.

Dimick is believed to be the only Vermont high schooler ever to win a national championship in wrestling.

Furthermore, after wrestling in the 171-pound division all year, he moved up to the 189-pound division for the national championship.

He wrestled in the heavier division, he admitted this week, because it was looking too tough to get back to 171 pounds, and because he wasn't taking his chances too seriously.

"I wasn't expecting much at all," he said.

To his surprise and delight, however, he found that in the 189-pound division the wrestlers were "a lot slower." About 50 wrestlers competed in the division.

Quickness and endurance were the factors that carried him to six victories, Dimick said. Most of his points, he added, were scored from a standing position, taking down his opponents, rather than on the mat.

His first match set the pattern. Facing Lucas Strassburg of Minnesota, and still not expecting much in results, Dimick came away with a 14-4 victory, mostly by spinning behind him for takedowns.

He then defeated Illinois's David Hortsman (8-2), New York's Bob Mentz (7-6), Tennessee's Michael Marable (3-1 in overtime), and Idaho's Nick Balmforth (7-3).

The quarter-final match, which went into overtime, was a highlight, because winning it meant that Dimick would become an All-American. The two wrestlers were locked 1-1 after regulation time, and the outcome was decided only when Dimick achieved a 2-point takedown.

But though the match was close, Dimick said, he could feel that his stamina was wearing the heavier wrestler down.

"I thought I could get him eventually," he said.

His finals match against Lofthouse of Utah was also dramatic. Lofthouse was big and quicker than his other opponents, he said. Dimick scored a take-down with one second left to win it.

Only when he was in the quarter-finals, Dimick said, did he begin to let himself hope he could win it all, "which would be pretty amazing."

"But until the last take-down in the last match, I didn't believe it," he said.

Pretty amazing, indeed.

Dimick at first wrestled for Randolph Union High School but later enrolled at Mt. Anthony's of Bennington, taking advantage of a nationally-recognized wrestling program. He was accompanied to Norfolk by coach Scott Legacy and several other members of the wrestling team, in addition to his parents, Steven and Nancy Dimick of Wallace Hill.

In his choice of sport, Joe Dimick followed in the footsteps of older brother Justin, who was Vermont wrestling champion. The only previous Randolph wrestler to win the New England championship was Nick Haegele.

Joe is headed to Drexel University in Philadelphia in the fall with a partial wrestling scholarship. Though Drexel is a Division I school in wrestling, it hasn't been one of the top wrestling schools in recent years.

Dimick said he picked it largely for other reasons, including the school's co-op work program.

As for the rest of the summer, he's looking for a job. Heavy lifting would be OK.

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