CLARION — After both winning bouts in last Friday’s dual meet opener against Utah Valley, former Brookville Raiders state champions Brock Zacherl and Tate Ortz had strong outings at the annual Clarion Open Sunday at the Clarion University Student Recreation Center.
Zacherl was one of two Golden Eagles to reach the championship round of his respective bracket, winning five straight matches to claim the 141-pound championship.
Ortz, meanwhile, rebounded from an opening loss at 149 pounds, then won five straight consolation bouts before finishing his day without a place finish because of reaching the NCAA cap of six bouts in a day.
Another former Raiders state champion and freshman Gavin Park went 1-2 at 125 pounds. He opened with a 5-3 win over Ohio Valley's Anthony Tripke before losing to West Virginia's Zeke Moisey and Lock Haven's Luke Werner.
Zacherl started his day with a win by fall over Penn State-Behrend’s Dan Bishel and a 17-2 technical fall over American’s Dakota Roark, Zacherl had his first major test of the day with Kent State’s Tim Rooney. Zacherl held off the feisty Rooney in the third period for a 6-2 decision.
Zacherl cruised past Indiana’s Cole Weaver for a 10-4 decision in the semifinals, setting him up for a finals showdown with Penn State’s Nick Lee.
The championship match was power against power, with Zacherl taking a 6-3 lead at the end of two periods. Lee managed an escape in the third period to pull within 6-4, but Zacherl kept him at arms’ length in the remaining balance of time to take the win.
Freshman Jake Gromacki reached the finals at 125, but lost to Virginia’s Louie Hayes in a 7-4 decision.
Ortz dropped his opener to Utah Valley’s Matthew Ontiveros in a 5-0 decision, but then reeled off wins over Cleveland State’s Justin Mason (16-0 technical fall), Edinboro’s Christopher Matzke (10-2 major), Pittsburgh’s Dallas Bulsak (13-4 major), Indiana’s Davey Tunon (5-3) and Penn State’s Bo Pipher (7-5) before having to stop via the NCAA cap before a consolation semifinal matchup with eventual third-placer Samuel Krivus of Virginia.
Redbank Valley’s BryLee Shumaker was one of two Clarion wrestlers at 285 pounds and he finished 1-2 with a 2-1 loss to Virginia’s Robert Scherer, a pin of Behrend’s Nate Conti in 5:40 and a loss by pin to A.J. Jones.
Last Friday, the Golden Eagles dropped their dual meet opener at home at Clarion High School in a 22-14 loss to Utah Valley.
The Golden Eagles got four wins, two of them from Zacherl and Ortz. Zacherl majored Jarod Maynes, 12-3, while Ortz made his Golden Eagles debut with a 2-1 sudden victory win over Grant LaMont at 149.
Port Allegany graduate Mac Tanner’s 12-8 decision at 157 and Greg Bulsak’s 11-2 major at 184 were Clarion’s other wins.
Clarion is back in action Nov. 19 at the Wolfpack Open hosted by North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C. Then it’s off until Dec. 9 with the PSAC Championships hosted by Edinboro.
Cole Aaron in F&M lineup
Another former Raiders standout Cole Aaron started his season with Division I Franklin & Marshall, located in Lancaster.
Aaron, a red-shirt freshman starting at 149 pounds, dropped a 3-1 sudden victory decision to Hofstra’s Ryan Burkert. The Diplomats lost a 30-6 decision.
Next up for the Diplomats is the Bearcat Open in Binghamton, N.Y., this Sunday. Another tournament at Penn’s Keystone Classic on Nov. 19 at the University of Pennsylvania is followed by a Dec. 2 dual meet at Virginia Military Institute.
Wrestling unattached last year during his red-shirt season, Aaron finished 13-8 in five tournaments