Bellefonte and State College participated in the North West AAA Regional tournament to kick off the month of March at Altoona High School. Four Centre County wrestlers won titles in their weight classes and four more punched their tickets to join them at the PIAA AAA Championships tournament in Hershey Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 7-9.
As a team, the Red Raiders placed third out of 26 schools participating in the regional tournament with 121.5 team points. Two Bellefonte wrestlers earned regional titles and three others placed, totaling five that will head to Hershey.
Lane Aikey won the 120-pound North West AAA regional title by forfeit over Christian Fisher of Mifflin County. Aikey started his weekend strong with a pin over C.J. Boyer of Selinsgrove in 2:28, followed by a 17-2 technical fall in 3:48 over Warren’s Avery Smith. A victory by injury default sent Aikey to the finals. This will be the sophomore’s first state tournament.
Ethan Richner defeated Mark McGonigal of Clearfield by a 15-0 technical fall in 1:42 to earn the 152-pound title. Richner started his weekend with another shutout technical fall victory, defeating Johnny Wittman of St. Mary’s 17-0 in 3:31. He added a pin in 3:06 during the semifinal round leading into the title bout. This will be the sophomore’s first state tournament.
Cole Stewart placed third in the 138-pound weight class by pinning Tylor Herzing of St. Mary’s in 2:59. It was his second pin of the weekend as he ended his first bout with a pin in 1:20, following that up with an 8-0 major decision victory. Stewart fell in the semifinals by way of pinfall but bounced back with a 4-0 decision victory for the chance at third. This will be the senior’s second state tournament after placing third in the region his sophomore year as well.
Ethan Rossman also placed third, taking a 17-7 major decision victory over Garrett Eddy of Punxsutawney in the 182-pound weight class. Rossman pinned his first opponent in 2:16 followed by a second pin, in 1:52. He slipped in the semifinals, going down in 1:59 before a 4-0 decision victory sent him to the third-place bout. This will be the sophomore’s first state tournament.
Kyle Myers rounded out the Red Raiders heading to states as he placed fourth, falling to Evan Bingaman of Shikellamy by a 3-2 decision in the third-place bout. Myers fell to Bingaman in the quarterfinal round as well, by a major decision, before fighting his way back with a 6-0 decision, a pinfall victory in 3:40 and a 13-2 major decision victory. This will be the senior’s third straight state tournament after placing fourth and second in the region his past two seasons.
The Little Lions wrestling team placed fifth at the regional tournament on March 1-2, scoring 84.5 total team points. Two State College wrestlers earned titles in their weight class and three total Little Lions will be traveling to Hershey.
Cole Urbas won the 195-pound weight class title with a 1:45 pin over Brayden Crocker of Cranberry. It was Urbas’ second pin, the first coming in 55 seconds during the semifinal round. He also added a 16-1 technical fall in 3:24 in the quarterfinal round. Urbas is on his third straight state tournament. He finished his sophomore year with a third-place finish and junior year in second place.
Jude Swisher won the 113-pound regional championship with a 4-2 decision victory over Vincent Rinella of Meadville. Swisher kicked off his tournament with an 18-2 technical fall in 3:08, followed by two decisions to place him in the championship bout, 6-2 and 21-14. As a freshman, this will be Swisher’s first state tournament.
Owen Woolcott placed second in the 126-pound weight class to punch his ticket to Hershey, falling to Matt Sarbo of Altoona by a 7-4 decision. Woolcott started his tournament with an 18-3 technical fall in 3:08 in Round 1, followed by a 12-0 decision victory and a 3-2 decision heading into the championship bout. This will be the sophomore’s first state tournament.
PIAA AA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Thirteen Centre County high school wrestlers will represent four AA schools in the area at the AA state championships on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 7-9. Start times for each day of the tournament is to be announced.
BALD EAGLE AREA
The Eagles have two wrestlers participating in the state tournament, Cooper Gilham (113) and Garret Giedroc (120).
Two Rams will participate in the state tournament, Malachi Duvall (138) and Baylor Shunk (120).
Two Mounties will be in Hershey for the state tournament this weekend, Chase Chapman (132) and Hunter Weitoish (152).
SAINT JOSEPH'S CATHOLIC ACADEMY
Seven wrestlers will represent the Wolves this weekend: Caleb Dowling (145 regional title), Kolby Franklin (195 regional title), Amonn Ohl (120), Tyler Stoltzfus (160), Zack Witmer (132) and Keegan Rothrock (152).