BYFIELD — It took Mark Boyle only 2 minutes and 32 seconds to become a champion.
This past weekend at the Division III State Championships, Boyle had one of the most dominant tournament performances in Massachusetts wrestling history. Boyle pinned each of his four opponents in under a minute to capture the state championship, setting a new state record for total mat time in the process.
After breezing through his first three opponents in the 182-pound division, Boyle saved the best for last. Facing No. 3-seeded Johnny Colon from Mt. Greylock, Boyle executed a perfect hip toss to score the pin and win the state championship match in a mere 18 seconds.
“It was one of the best moments of my life,” Boyle said. “It was something that I’ll always remember.”
Boyle said he came into the match knowing exactly what he was going to do, and for him it wasn’t a question of how he would win but how long it would take. The win doubled as the 150th of his career, and after the match was over he said he hugged his coach, teammates and family.
“It’s hard to put into words,” said Triton coach Shawn McElligott. “To see the culmination of what he’s done in four years, people might have more wins, but in four years to have 150 wins is incredible.”
The state championship is effectively the icing on what was already a well-decorated cake. Boyle has already earned just about every honor that can be bestowed on a high school wrestler: He has won three Cape Ann League championships, was named CAL Wrestler of the Year and won the Division III North sectional tournament prior to placing first at States.
It wasn’t always this way, however. McElligott said that Boyle was more or less an average wrestler his freshman year and didn’t really start to take off until he was a sophomore.
As a sophomore, Boyle tasted his first real success at the high school level, winning the CAL Championship and placing second in the Division III North Sectional at 145 pounds. His season ended in disappointment, however, after Boyle went into States as the No. 4 seed but failed to place, missing out on All-States entirely.
Going into his junior year, Boyle moved up to the 160-pound weight class and hit the gym hard to take his game to the next level. McElligott said the work he put in really showed and was one of the main reasons why he was named captain.
“Last year you could see he was on a mission,” McElligott said. “He was clearly one of the hardest workers in the room. He was named captain as a junior, and in 16 years I’ve never had a junior captain, but he earned that status.”
Boyle wound up doing better at States, placing fourth to qualify for All-States, but a mixed showing resulted in an eighth-place finish. This year, Boyle is going into the tournament as the second seed, and he said his goal and expectation is to win the whole thing.
“I’m going to go into every match with the same mindset, same wrestling ability and make everyone wrestle my style,” Boyle said. “That’s the plan and I don’t take anyone likely. At All-States everyone is good.”
The All-State tournament is being held Friday and Saturday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, and joining Boyle will be teammates Jake Durkin and John Boyle, Mark’s younger brother.