While the Mount View wrestling team may have come up short of winning a state Class C team championship Feb. 18 at Fryeburg Academy, the Mustangs still returned home with hardware, crowning an individual champion.

James Blanchette became the first athlete in school history to win a state wrestling crown as a freshman when he picked up a 6-5 victory over Nicholas Hallowell of Calais in the championship final.

That win also earned Blanchette a berth in the New England meet.

The individual state champions in Classes A, B and C, who include Blanchette, qualify for the New England championships, to be contested on Friday and Saturday, March 2-3 at the Providence Career and Technical Center in Providence, R.I.

At the state meet, Blanchette won his first match by pinning Foxcroft Academy’s Eli Olson before picking up a 3-2 decision over Dexter’s Dylan Hanscom to advance to face Hallowell. The championship match was a seesaw affair with both grapplers taking leads, but Blanchette grabbed the edge late and held on to win the state title.

“He really stepped it up this last weekend and the results show it,” said longtime Mount View coach Hamilton Richards. “He’d come in [as] the number two wrestler from the West and we knew he was going to have a tough day no matter how it went.”

Richards thought Blanchette would face Bucksport’s Matt Stewart, who had beaten Blanchette in the two athletes’ most recent matches. However, Hallowell upset Stewart in the semifinals, which proved a positive for Mount View.

“It was a surprise for all of us, but what I saw in the match was that Hallowell would actually be a better matchup for James,” said Richards. “I knew James had a solid shot at the title, provided he wrestled to potential and used his head.”

Blanchette did just that, as the youngster became the first state champion from Mount View since 2004, when Cliff Gardner won the 152-pound title and also won Class B’s most outstanding wrestler.

Additionally at the Feb. 18 states, Tyler Stevenson finished second in the 220-pound class for the Mustangs, while Roger Flannery, Matt Wheeler, Mark Dolloff, Scott Vaillancourt, Gavin Caler, Devan Fuller and Job Mesaric all competed for Mount View.

Stevenson pinned Foxcroft Academy’s Damien Small at 3:44 and earned a 5-4 win over Madison’s Ryan Malcolm before being pinned by Washington Academy’s Zachary Ragot at 2:28 in the championship final.

The Mustangs finished tied for eighth with Washington Academy of East Sullivan with 43 points, while Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft (157.5) ran away from Piscataquis County-rival Dexter (148.5) to win the state team championship. Bucksport (128), Dirigo of Dixfield (123) and Winslow (65) rounded out the top five.

The team scores were: Foxcroft Academy 157.5, Dexter 148.5, Bucksport 128, Dirigo 123, Winslow 65, Lisbon of Lisbon Falls 47, Madison 45.5, Mount View and Washington Academy 43, Piscataquis of Guilford 25, Fort Kent 24, Calais 18.5, Woodland 14, George Stevens Academy of Blue Hill 12.5, Spruce Mountain of Jay/Livermore Falls 12, Monmouth Academy 10, Hall-Dale of Farmingdale 3 and Penobscot Valley of Howland and Orono no score.

Richards said, provided the Mustangs, who finished fifth in the Western Class C regional, “work hard over the offseason, I am excited for next year.”

The individual state results for Mount View wrestlers included:

106 pounds — Blanchette pinned Olson, FA, at 1:48; beat Hanscom, Dex, 3-2; and beat Hallowell, Cal, 6-5 in the championship final. Blanchette finished first.

126 pounds — Wheeler lost to Alex Turanski, GSA, 10-4; and lost to Isaac Whittemore, FA, 3-0.

132 pounds — Flannery was pinned by Trevor Weymouth, FA, at 1:58; pinned Michael Lersom, Calais, in the first period; and lost by technical fall to Seth Blais, Dex, 18-1.

138 pounds — Dolloff was pinned by Forrest Law, FA, at 3:52; and was pinned Wyatt Rush, HD, at 1:51.

145 pounds — Vaillancourt was pinned Wesley Stinson, FA, at 0:40; and was pinned by Jeremy Boisine, FK, at 0:22.

182 pounds — Caler was pinned by Corey Bjornson, FA, at 0:57; and was pinned by Michael York, Buck, at 1:42.

195 pounds —Mesaric was pinned by Corbyn Bruce, FA, at 4:32; and was pinned by Alex Snowman, Dir, at 4:26.

220 pounds — Stevenson pinned Small, FA, at 3:43; beat Malcolm, Mad, 5-4; and was pinned by Ragot, WA, at 2:28 in the championship final. Stevenson finished second.

285 pounds — Fuller won by forfeit over Alex Sedore, FA; was pinned by Aaron Lint, Win, at 1:50; and was pinned by Kyle Lockhart, Dex, at 0:43.

Photos from the state championship meet will appear later with this story. To view photos, click on the link below.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@villagesoup.com.