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WPIAL Wrestling Roundup: Weekend Results and Takeaways

WPIAL Wrestling Roundup: Weekend Results and Takeaways

Saturday was jam-packed with postseason PIAA wrestling. On the Class-2A side of things, the Southeast Regionals took place at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. On the Class-3A side, the WPIAL Championships unfolded at Canon-McMillan High School.

Both tournaments lived up to the hype and validated why Pennsylvania, and the WPIAL In particular, are one of the best regions in the country for high school wrestling.

Here are some highlights and key takeaways from the action:

Southwest Regional (Class-2A)

The WPIAL schools were dominant. While the WPIAL always tends to fare well in the postseason, what we saw over the weekend at IUP’s Kovalchick Complex was truly special.

The WPIAL crowned nine champions among the 13 weight classes, advancing 27 wrestlers to next Saturday’s first-ever PIAA Southwest Super Regional, to be held at the same location. The Super Regional was added this season as an extra stop on the path to Hershey. This was done to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Not only did the WPIAL shine individually, it also crowned a team champion. After winning its 15th consecutive WPIAL Class 2A team title, Burrell captured the team championship at the Southwest Regional thanks to placing three in the finals and crowning two champions.

Freshman Cooper Hornack took home the 106-pound title  in an exiting overtime thriller.

Burrell senior A.J. Corrado earned the the same honor at 160 thanks to a fall. Fellow Burrell senior, Ian Oswalt, who became Pennsylvania’s 31st four-time WPIAL champ earlier this year, was a runner-up, falling 5-2 to Glendale’s Brock McMillen. Oswalt will still advance to the next round of the postseason.

A pair of freshman in Frazier’s Rune Lawrence (172) and Bishop McCort’s Mason Gibson (120) proved that they are two elite rookies and that their runs to the Powerade Tournament finals late last month were no fluke.  Both Lawrence and Gibson won their first Southwest Regional titles in dominant bonus-point fashion. Lawrence was 3-0 with two falls and a technical fall on the day. Gibson recorded three technical falls in as many matches on Saturday.

Another rookie, Bentworth freshman Chris Vargo was a WPIAL product that brought home a title during his first prep season. In the 113-pound finals, Vargo, who improved to 14-0 with the decisive win, took down Mount Union’s Bryce Beatty, 8-1. On the season, Vargo has amassed eight falls, one technical fall, and a major decision through 14 matches.

Other finals matches of note, in an all-WPIAL final at 145 pounds, Blackhawk senior Kenny Duschek (22-2) improved to 3-0 this season against Derry senior Ty Cymmerman (30-5) with a 3-1 decision win. These two met a week prior in the WPIAL finals. In that matchup, Duschek became the first WPIAL champ in Blackhawk history, while Cymmerman fell short of becoming a rare four-time WPIAL winner.

While Freedom senior Trent Schultheis (30-4) fell short of becoming a four-time WPIAL champ earlier this season, he bounced back this weekend.  Schultheis took home his second regional title when Quaker Valley junior Patrick Cutchember (26-5) chose to medical default out of the final as a precaution. Cutchember suffered a cut to his lip in his first-round match that required stitches.

Future Clarion wrestler, senior Joey Fischer, also won all three of his matches by a combined total of 23-6 margin to win the title for South Park.

Lastly, Mount Pleasant junior and former PIAA champion Dayton Pitzer (36-2) also claimed his second regional title with a second-period pin in the 215-pound final against Carlynton’s Collin Milko (19-7) after missing last year’s postseason due to injury. Pitzer’s crown helped the Mount Pleasant to a fourth-place finish in the team race.

Please click here to see all of the brackets, lists of placewinners, and match-by-match results, including the 13 finals matches.

WPIAL Championships (Class-3A)

As has been the case in 3A all season, the Waynesburg Raiders won, and often did so in convincing fashion. The Raiders brought 12 to the event and advanced seven to the West Super Regional next weekend in Altoona. Of the seven to advance, three were champions: Cole Homet (138), Wyatt Henson (145), and Luca Augustine (172), Additionally, two came in second, and another two finished third.

With respect to remarkable individual  accomplishments, Seneca Valley wrestlers Alejandro Herrera-Rondon and Dylan Chappell  won a third title at the Class 3A WPIAL/​Southwest Region tournament Saturday evening. Seneca Valley also saw another teammate, Tyler Chappell (106), brother of Dylan, atop the winner’s podium.

Herrera-Rondon (33-0) made his fourth appearance in the finals and claimed his third title with a 2-0 shutout of Waynesburg’s Rocco Welsh (22-3) at 152 pounds. It was the third time Herrera-Rondon had wrestled Welsh this season, and won all three times.

Others who won a second title were Franklin Regional’s Carter Dibert, Pine-Richland’s Cole Spencer, Hempfield’s Isaiah Vance and Belle Vernon’s Cole Weightman.

Dibert (30-0) made his third appearance in the finals and claimed his second title with an 8-5 win over Hempfield’s Ethan Berginc (28-4) at 126 pounds.

Spencer (20-1) made his third appearance in the finals and claimed his second title with a 3-1 win over Norwin’s Chase Kranitz (23-4) at 160 pounds. His previous title appearances were at 152.

Weightman (29-4) defended his title at 220 with a 7-0 win over Armstrong’s Logan Harmon (15-1).

Vance (30-1) beat Greensburg Salem’s William McChesney (21-4) in the heavyweight final for the second straight year, this time by a 1-0 decision.

The other winners were: Greater Latrobe sophomore Vinny Kilkeary at 113, North Allegheny junior Dylan Coy at 120, and Hampton senior Justin Hart at 189.

As a team, the Hempfield Spartans, who elected to skip the team portion of the postseason earlier this month for health and safety reasons,  saw all six wrestlers it brought place top-four. With that, the four that finished third or better will continue on the road to Hershey next weekend.

Denied their second titles were Waynesburg sophomore Mac Church and Hempfield senior Ty Linsenbigler. Both, however, advanced to the next tournament.

Sadly, injuries reared their ugly head. Two consolation bouts for third ended with participants reportedly suffering possible neck injuries, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Connellsville’s Mason Prinkey was injured in the 126-pound bout and Waynesburg’s Colton Stoneking was hurt at 132. Both were placed on a backboard and taken to the hospital to assess the extent of their injuries. The top three finishers in class advance Saturday to West Super Regional, which will be held at Altoona High School.

Please click here to see all of the brackets, lists of placewinners, and match-by-match results, including the 13 finals matches.

Looking ahead, there will PIAA 2A and PIAA 3A West Super Regional events on Sat. March 6th.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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