ERIE — A total of six area wrestlers came home with medals from the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling State Championships at Erie Insurance Arena over the weekend.
In the 8 and under age group, Clearfield’s Brady Collins (75, second), Brookville’s Gavin Hannah (90, eighth) and Clarion’s Derek Smail (110, third) all earned places on the medal stand.
St. Marys’ Waylon Wehler (95, third) was the lone area wrestler to place in the 9 & 10 age group.
In the 11 & 12 age group, DuBois’ Chandler Ho (85) and Brookville’s Elliot Park (200) placed eighth and third, respectively.
Collins, the highest placewinner from the area, earned three decisions and a major decision on his way to the finals. He allowed just four points before the finals. He was pinned by Southmoreland’s Gabe Kubasky in the championship match.
Hannah had a setback in the first round as he fell to Mark Effendian of Philadelphia, 6-0, who eventually ended in third place.
Hannah battled back with three straight wins before falling to Effendian again in the fifth round consolations, this time by a 2-0 score.
Hannah ended his tournament with a 3-2 loss to Nazareth’s Brayden Zuercher.
Smail had just one loss in the 8 and under 110 pound tournament as he fell to Forest Hills’ Jacob Yatsky, who went on to win the state championship.
Smail turned in pins at 2:13 in the preliminaries, and in 13 seconds in the fourth-round consolations before rattling off 11-1 and 8-1 wins to get to third place match. Small pinned Shaler’s Bradyn McConneha in 1:07 for third.
Wehler started his tournament with three straight wins –a pin and two decisions –to get to the 9 & 10 95 pound semifinals. There, he fell to Nazareth’s Sonny Sasso, 5-0.
Wehler collected himself in the consolations with a pin in 2:50 of Forest Hills’ Cole Plummer, and a 6-1 decision over Everett’s Sidric Grove.
Ho earned a 16-1 technical fall to start his tournament in the round of 32 before dropping into the consolations with an 8-3 loss in the prelims.
Ho won his next three matches, and only gave up one point in those three bouts to earn a medal. He ended the rest of the tournament with a 1-0 and a 3-0 loss for eighth place.
Park received a forfeit in the first round, and followed with a fall in 1:16 over Canton’s Conner Davis in the preliminaries before dropping his quarterfinal match to Hempfield’s Isaiah Vance, 1-0.
But Park didn’t have any more setbacks as he finished the tournament with a pair of falls and a couple 2-0 victories for third place. He defeated Eisenhower’s Cael Black in the third-place bout.
St. Marys’ Jayce Walter, a 55-pounder in the 8 and under age group, was just one win shy of a medal as he went 3-2 in the tournament. Walter fell to eventual state champion Joe Bachmann of North Penn in the round of 16 before losing to fourth-place winner Antonio Boni of Central Valley.
Curwensville’s Trenton Guiher was also only a win short of coming home with a medal. Guiher dropped his first match of the tournament before rallying for three straight wins through the consolation brackets. He lost in the fourth-round consolations to Reynolds’ Jalen Wagner.
Also participating from the area from the 8 and under age group were Clearfield’s Matthew Rowles (45) and Xavier Lutz-Glace (50), Johnsonburg’s Avery Bittler (65), Clarion’s Mason Gourley (75) and Redbank Valley’s Bailey Bowser (110).
From the 9 and 10 age group, the area had St. Marys’ Cole Neil (60) and Isaac Dellaquila (90), Johnsonburg’s Wyatt Shaffer (65) and Ty Lewis (85), Clearfield’s Will Domino (75), Curwensville’s Logan Aughenbaugh (80), Brockway’s Seth Stewart (105) and Jack Smith (120), Brookville’s Hunter Greeley (105) and Jackson Zimmerman (120) and DuBois’ Tycen Roy (150).
Area participants in the 11 & 12 age group were Brookville’s Brayden Kunselman (70), Clarion’s Owen Reinsel (75), St. Marys’ Lane Dellaquila (80) and Jeremy Garthwaite (115), Clearfield’s Nolan Barr (85), Mark McGonigal (100) and Oliver Billotte (145), Johnsonburg’s Caden Smiley (90) and Dalton Stahli (105), Redbank Valley’s Kristofer Shaffer (95), Brockway’s Tanner Morelli (95), Dustin Flinn (135) and Weston Smith (160) and DuBois’ Garrett Starr (100).
Next year’s PJW State Championships will be held at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre.