HERSHEY — The area duo of Clarion senior Tom Wurster and Redbank Valley junior Mason Songer each went 1-1 Thursday to remain alive at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.
Both won their respective pigtail bouts before losing in the first round, which dropped them into today’s second round of consolations.
Wurster (29-8) started his day off with a convincing 10-1 major decision of Salisbury Township junior Jonah Niesenbaum (18-14) in their 220-pound pigtail contest. After a scoreless first period, Wurster seized control in the second with a reversal and two sets of backpoints to lead 8-0.
The Bobcat tacked on a takedown in the third before Niesebaum managed a late escape to set the final.
That win earned Wurster a matchup with Northeast Regional champ Hunter Poust (41-1) of Muncy. The pair wrestled a wild first period that saw the Bobcat score both a reversal and takedown en route to a 4-4 score after two minutes.
Poust reversed Wurster to his back from the bottom position early in the second period to go up 8-4. The Bobcat worked free for an escape in the second but Poust put things away in the third with an escape and takedown — both in the final 35 seconds.
The loss dropped Wurter in the consolion bracket, where he faces Wilson sophomore Kolby Flank (35-7) today.
Songer (28-14) put together a strong day in the 113-pound bracket in his states debut.
The Bulldog built a commanding 11-2 lead after two periods in his pigtail bout against Northern Lebanon senior yler Anspach (34-19). He scored nine of those points in the second period.
Songer then reversed Anspach to his back in the third before pinning him in 4:53 to reach the first round against Bishop McDevitt sophomore Nate Smith (29-1), the Northeast champ who placed fifth at states a year ago.
That pedigree didn’t phase Songer, even after he fell behind 4-0 after one period. The Bulldog battled back with a second period reversal and got even closer in the third when he was awarded two stalling points — the second coming with 29 seconds left — to pul lwithin two at 6-4.
Smith also was called for two cautions in the final 20 seconds, but he held off the Bulldog for the 6-4 victory.
Despite the loss, Songer will look to carry the momentum of a strong opening day into his second-round consy bout today against Southern Columbia freshman Patrick Edmondson (41-10).