Qualifying for the finals at the state wrestling tournament was the achievement of a goal, Cole Hannan said.
Hannan, a Brookings-Harbor High School senior, had been working most of his life to make that goal a reality, and he achieved it after defeating Trevor Olson of Sweet Home in the semi-finals, 8-6.
"It feels awesome," Hannan said of the win. "Now I just need to keep it close and win by one."
Hannan was unable to keep it close enough as he was pinned with just 10 seconds remaining in the first period of the championship match by four-time state champion Lucas Randall of North Marion, but he was upbeat about it.
"I just have to put a smile on my face and walk out as a champion," he said. "Even though I'm not the champion, I'll always know that I trained like a champion. That kid has some incredible abilities, just outstanding. I give it to him, he beat a great wrestler."
As Hannan was put to his back, he thought the pair would go out of bounds and relaxed slightly, just enough for the ref to slap the mat for the pin.
"I told him that he had to go out and give him hell," Head Coach Dave Freeman said. "Cole is amazing on his feet and when he controls the pace, kids can't keep up with him."
While Hannan admits that it would be nice to have been standing on the top of the podium, he said it feels good to be one of the best wrestlers in the state.
"It feels good," he said. "I'm going to keep my head high and walk away with a smile."