Following his NJSIAA 152-pound championship bout Sunday, Gary Dinmore took some time to think about his future.
He slowly walked off the mat, made his way to the warm-up area on the Boardwalk Hall stage, and did some stretching.
“I was getting ready for the NCAAs,” said the Hunterdon Central senior, who will attend Penn State in the fall and wrestle for coach Cael Sanderson. “I’m just thinking about college now.”
After falling short against former South Plainfield great Anthony Ashnault the past two years, Dinmore took on St. Augustine Prep senior Jack Clark and the two put on a bit of a show, with multiple high-paced scrambles. Unfortunately, Dinmore fell short once more, this time 3-1 in overtime.
Dinmore finished his career with a 142-15 record as a three-time state runner-up, along with his four Region V titles and four District 17 crowns.
“I couldn’t care less about my high school accolades,” he said. “Besides the fact they’re helping me get into college, I don’t see much of a purpose in saying anything about high school. It’s all a buildup for college. This is all just practice for me.”
Following a scoreless first period, Dinmore chose defense to start the second period and easily worked up to neutral, taking only six seconds to do so and grabbing a 1-0 lead. In the third, Clark also chose defense to start and needed only six seconds to get to his feet, tying the bout at 1-1.
As the third period progressed, Clark seemed to push the pace and Dinmore was up to the defense challenge, fending off several charges from Clark. Late in the third, Dinmore shot in and snagged Clark’s right leg, and managed to work up on Clark, but after the referee initially signaled a takedown with seven seconds to go he waved it off.
“Honestly, I didn’t think it was two,” Dinmore said. “I was so confused. I had two people telling me I did and two people telling me I didn’t. Even if I would have won, I would have thought I didn’t win because that wasn’t two.”
Nearing the halfway point of overtime, Clark got in on Dinmore’s right leg and took him down for the victory.
Afterward, Dinmore simply didn’t have much to say about his last high school match and talked more about his future.
“Out of high school, it’s not so much the technique or wrestling I’m taking from it, it’s enduring the mental aspect of the sport,” he said. “No matter what level, when you lose or win, you feel a certain way and that carries on the same through college and life.
“I’m hoping Penn State prepares me for success in life, just to teach me how to work hard and what it takes to succeed.”