HERSHEY — The Tri-County Area enjoyed a strong Friday morning at the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships, as five of the seven wrestlers who hit the mats guaranteed themselves of leaving Hershey with a medal around their necks.

Three of those wrestlers — Brockway junior Weston Pisarchick (114), Clearfield sophomore Brady Collins (139) and Brookville senior Jackson Zimmerman (189) — started their days in the quarterfinals Friday morning and captured victories to reach the semis and secure a medal.

Zimmerman then became Brookville’s latest state finalist when he bested Bishop McDevitt senior Jake Gilfoil, 4-1, in Friday night’s semifinals. Gilfoil entered the matchup ranked second in the state, while Zimmerman was is fifth.

Meanwhile Pisarchick and Collins both suffered losses in their respective semifinals but bounced back to win in the always tough consolation semifinals after those setbacks and will wrestle for bronze medals today.

Zimmerman’s semifinal matchup turned in the second period of a scoreless bout when the Raider turned Gilfoil from the top position for three nearfall points. That proved to be all the Raider needed to earn a shot at joining an elite group of Brookville wrestlers to win PIAA gold.

Gilfoil earned an escape later in the second, but it wasn’t nearly enough as Zimmerman tacked on an escape in the third to set the final.

Zimmerman reached the semis by decking Mount Union sophomore Josh Ryan in 2:34 from the top position in a scoreless bout for his second fall of the tournament. By doing so, Zimmerman gave the Raiders a semifinalist for the fifth straight year and 10th time in the last 11 seasons.

The Raider faces two-time defending state champion Rune Lawrence (44-3), a junior from Frazier, in today’s final. Lawrence set up the finals showdown by pinning General McLane’s Magus Lloyd in 55 seconds in the semifinals.

Pisarchick (30-1), who came to Hershey ranked No. 4 in the state at 114, scored a big 4-3 win in the quarterfinals against third-ranked Nico Fanello, a sophomore from Indiana, in a battle of returning qualifiers.

The pair wrestled a scoreless first period before Pisarchick grabbed the lead on an escape early in the second. The Rover then came up with a huge takedown in the final second to take a 3-0 lead to the final period.

Fanella returned the favor in the third with an escape and then a takedown with 56 seconds remaining to pull even at 3-3. However, Pisarchick worked free for a quick escape to go back up 4-3 and held off Fanella on his feet over the final 48 seconds.

The win not only propelled Pisarchick into the semifinals but also guaranteed him his first medal in his second trip to Hershey.

He then dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker in the semifinals to Notre Dame-Green Pond junior Ayden Smith (46-3), who made a second-period takedown and third period escape stand up to reach the finals. Smith, soon to be a three-time medalist, is ranked second in the state.

Pisarchick didn’t drop his head after the loss, his first of the season, and rebounded with an 8-0 major decision of Saucon Valley’s Cole Hubert in the consolation semifinals. The Rover racked up three takedowns and a set of nearfall points in the win, which set up a rematch with Fanelle for the bronze medal today.

Collins (38-4) made it two wins in two bouts at states Friday morning with a workmanlike 2-0 victory against Notre Dame-Green Pond senior Bryson Vaughn in a battle of state returnees.

Collins, ranked No. 2 in the state, scored the only points of the match on a reversal with 1:23 left in the third period. Collins then rode out Vaughn the rest of the way, after doing the same the full two minutes of the third quarter.

The Bison sophomore came back Friday night and suffered a 10-7 setback in the semifinals to Wyoming Area sophomore Anthony Evanitsky (40-4) in a battle of the state’s top two ranked wrestlers.

Collins led 3-2 after one period, but Evanitsky gained control in the second with three takedowns and went to the third up 8-6. Another takedown midway through the third all but sealed the win for Evanitsky.

The Bison bounced right back though and used a reversal with 16 seconds left in the third to upend Southern Columbia junior Mason Barvitskie, 2-1, to reach the third place match. Barvistkie, ranked fourth, escaped late to set the final.

Collins will wrestle Faith Christian Academy sophomore Chase Hontz (38-10) for third place.

The senior duo of St. Marys’ Waylon Wehler (172) and Brockway’s Gavin Thompson (285) will join that trio on the podium today. They navigated their way trough their respective consolation bracket and will wrestle for third and fifth, respectively.

Wehler had a Friday morning he’ll never forget, as the senior Dutchman notched his 100th career victory when he bested Lackawanna Trail senior Robbie Schneider (40-4) 6-0 in the second round of consolations. Schneider was a returning fifth-place medalist from a year ago.

The Dutchman couldn’t get too high from that milestone victory, though, as he had to come right back and wrestle in the blood round to secure a spot on the podium for the first time after coming up short in Class AAA a year ago.

And, Wehler did just that in emphatic fashion as he decked Towanda sophomore Mason Higley (40-9) in 1:36 while leading 4-0 to reach the consolation quarterfinals.

Wehler’s day got even better Friday night as he beat Bishop McDevitt sophomore Lucas Lawler, 7-2, in the consy quarterfinals. The pair went to third knotted at 2-2 after trading reversals in the second period.

The Dutchman put together a big third, though, reversing Lawler early in the period before sealing the win late by putting him on his back for three nearfall points.

Wehler (40-5) then bested Reynolds’ senior Jalen Wagner, 2-1, in the consy semis to reach the third place match. Wehler got a penalty point late in the first and an escape in the second to knock off the fourth-ranked Wagner.

The Dutchman will battle Fort Cherry sophomore Braedon Welsh (44-5) for the bronze this afternoon.

Thompson, who went 1-1 Thursday, opened his Friday with a bang as he pinned Berwick junior Bruce Hartman (37-9) in 3:22 while leading 2-1 in their second round consolation bout.

The Rover followed that up with a hard-fought 5-2 victory against Tyrone junior Braden Ewing (33-10) to secure his first trip to the medal rounds. Ewing came in ranked sixth on the state, while the Rover was 13th.

The bout looked to be you typical heavyweight match as the pair traded escapes in the second and third periods to be deadlocked at 1-1. However, Thompson scored two takedowns in the final 34 seconds for the biggest win of his career.

He followed that up with a thrilling overtime win in the consolation quarterfinals as he took Berks Catholic’s Owen Reber to his back and pinned him with three seconds left. The duo went to OT scoreless after holding each other down in the second and third periods.

The Rover was then pinned in the consy semifinals by Mifflinburg senior Emmanuel Ulrich (33-1) in 4:24 while trailing 5-2, a loss that sent Thompson into today’s fifth-place bout against Burgettstown junior Joey Baronick.

The area nearly had a sixth medalist, but Clearfield junior Carter Chamberlain fell one win short of landing on the podium for the second year in a row.

Chamberlain (37-8) started his day in the consolation bracket Friday morning and pinned Milton junior Cale Bastian (31-16) in 3:50 to reach the blood round at 189. The Bison was leading 3-0 at the time of the fall.

However, Chamberlain’s journey to become the only Bison to ever win a state medal in both Class AA and AAA was derailed a round later when Somerset sophomore Rowan Holmes recorded a defensive fall against the Bison in 2:34.

Chamberlain was leading the bout 6-4 at that time. but Holmes managed to reach behind him and grab the Bison’s head with Chamberlain till in control and forced his shoulders flat to the mat.

It was a tough ending for Chamberlain, who came in ranked No. 7 in the state. He will now have to wait until his senior year to try to pull off winning a medal in both classifications.

Brookville sophomore Cole Householder (36-8) saw his journey to win a second straight medal to start his Raiders’ career come to an end early Friday morning with an 10-3 loss to Pen Argyl freshman Collin Ramsey.

Householder has posted a record of 73-18 in his first two seasons.