TACOMA - Odds are, no moment in a high school athlete's athletic career can bigger than what was riding on Mikey Antczak's shoulders during his heavyweight state-title bout at Mat Classic XXVI on Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Tacoma Dome.
Not only was Antczak looking to clinch a state championship, his Borderites needed the win to seal Blaine's first team state title since 1990.
During the last match of the entire Classic, Antczak captured the moment, became a state champion and elevated his Borderites to the top of the Class 1A rankings.
"I still can't believe I just won state," Antczak said. "I've never felt that before, that feeling. It's crazy."
Antczak took down the defending state champion with a 3-0 decision in the semifinals and then beat Chewelah's Dustin Olson with a 5-1 decision in the state championship.
"It was just solid, smart," Blaine coach Craig Foster said of Antczak's match. "He kept his composure. He just pulled it off. I can't believe it."
Antczak took a 2-0 lead into the second period, went up 3-1 and late in the third period scored two points to seal the win.
Blaine's state wrestlers came down from their seats in the stands and were pressed against the railing watching their 285-pounder.
They began chanting "Mikey, Mikey, Mikey" as the final seconds ticked away.
Antczak said he realized the pressure facing him after Forks 220-pounder Joel Ward lost his title match. It gave Antczak an opportunity to give Blaine a team title with a win.
Still, he managed to tune it out and focus.
"Coach just told me to go out there and wrestle and have fun," Antczak said. "I just went in there knowing I could win the match and visualized myself winning state. The fact that I helped the team win is unbelievable."
Antczak placed third at state last year and was Blaine's top returning medalist, but Foster said he wasn't having his best year before the Mat Classic.
"He just put it all together here and sucked it up," Foster said. "He was dialed in. He won a state title for us and himself in the last match of the night. It's pretty incredible."
Reach Andrew Lang at email@example.com or call 360-756-2826. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for Whatcom County sports updates.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.