Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2007

Durkin determined to finish career in style

February 15, 2007

A regular tournament and dual finalist all season, there's not much Eudora senior Tim Durkin hasn't accomplished. Not a one of those achievements can compare to his ultimate goal, however.

Durkin is out to prove he's one of the best 215-pound wrestlers in the state, and he's about to get his chance to do it.

None of that surprises Eudora wrestling coach Bill DeWitt, though, considering Durkin's work ethic.

"He's really worked at not making himself predictable," DeWitt said. "I'm proud of him for that. He's never missed a practice. He's always respectful, good-natured and has a good sense of humor. He is a very solid wrestler."

In addition to having more tournament medals than he knows what to do with, Durkin has also made two Kansas state wrestling tournament appearances. In both years, he made it to the second day of the tournament, but he has yet to realize the success he's craved.

In his junior year appearance, Durkin was favored to finish in the top six. However, Durkin lost a tight match to his Smokey Valley opponent.

Although making it to state is an impressive feat, Durkin said he was a little upset about not making it further in the tournament both years, but especially last year.

With some unfinished business to attend to, Durkin's gearing up for the two most important tournaments in the season for the final time.

"I have to stay dedicated to wrestling," Durkin said. "I'm very prepared, and I'm the best I've ever been. Nothing's holding me back, and I'm ready to go.

"But there's some really good competition."

Regardless of all the strong external competition, Durkin said he is his biggest critic. Because he likes to succeed, Durkin puts himself under a lot of pressure.

That's been a big help, DeWitt said, and those expectations have helped provide Durkin the necessary drive for him to blow through regionals and into state.

"Timmy is a punisher," DeWitt said. "He is a physical wrestler, but he should have a lot of pressure to do well because he's been to state twice before. But he's ready, and he's going to prove that at regionals."

The road to state isn't a direct route -- some roadblocks will be present at the regional tournament Friday and Saturday in Baldwin City. Namely, the highest ranked Class 4A 215-pound wrestler, Jake Kober from Santa Fe Trail.

There is also sure to be a few surprises along the way. Yet despite all of that, Durkin said all he could do was his best.

Durkin, who has wrestled since he was six years old, said he did have one or two tricks that would help him Friday and Saturday.

"I have a really awkward style of wrestling, but it seems to work," Durkin said. "Opponents don't really know how to counter the stuff I do because no one has seen what I do. I'm able to use different moves, which sometimes gives me the advantage."

After the season concludes, Durkin said he was probably going to hand in his singlet for good, save a few intramural matches in college. He said he was just planning to focus on plastics and engineering at either Kansas University or Pittsburg State University.

Despite all of his achievements, his determination to do well and his untraditional wrestling style, Durkin said wrestling was a huge part of his life and he would be sad to see it become a closed chapter in his life.

It would hurt him even more, he said, to go out without achieving his goal.

"I've been wrestling all my life, and there's a time to end it," Durkin said. "I think my time's now."

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