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Carson: Day one in the books for local wrestlers


HERSHEY – The Giant Center crackled with intensity as the 2024 PIAA Wrestling Championships kicked off with a flurry of takedowns, pins, and narrow escapes.

Class AA

Bald Eagle Area came to the Giant Center with three Eagles ready to get on the podium and they didn’t disappoint. BEA went three-for-three in the opening round to advance to the quarterfinals.

Tanner Guenot (107) ground out a 2-0 victory over Cranberry’s Aiden Thompson, while Caden Judice (114) pulled off a thrilling 9-6 decision against Saegertown’s Carter Beck. Caleb Close (189) punctuated the performance with a crushing pin over Montgomery’s Coy Bryson in just 3:01.

Despite some early setbacks, Penns Valley displayed trademark resilience. Colten Shunk (133) outlasted Warrior Run’s Max Wirnsberger in a nail-biter, winning 3-2 in the ultimate tiebreaker to reach the quarters.

Gage Wentzel held off Penn State commit Ty Watson, securing an 8-4 decision at 152 pounds. In the consolations, Erik Carlile(114) and Watson rebounded strongly, earning major decision and pin victories, respectively, while Ethan Fetterolf (160) gutted out a 5-4 decision over Hudson Spires of General McLane.

Philipsburg-Osceolas Marcus Gable (139) beat Blain Puchalsky of West Perry by an 8-6 decision in sudden victory in the prelims. The Mountie fell in a razor-thin 3-2 loss to Faith Christian Academy’s Mason Wagner in the first round. After a 6-4 setback to Jordan Mayette of Trinity in the first round., Caleb Hummel (106) rallied back in consolations, eking out a 4-2 sudden victory win against Cranberrys Aiden Thompson.

Sophomore Ezra Swisher (139) suffered successive defeats, ending his PIAA tournament for Bellefonte.

Class AAA

The Class AAA tournament erupted in a whirlwind of high-level wrestling and established stars rising to the challenge.

State College asserted itself with a powerful display from its big three hammers. Pierson Manville (145) dominated with a 14-5 major decision over Cade Campbell. Asher Cunningham (160) kept the momentum going with a pin in 1:23 over Hersheys Christian Burd. Nick Pavlechko (285) added to the tally with an 11-0 major decision triumph over Maxwell Roy of St. Josephs Prep.

Freshman Noah Young (107) is still alive after winning his consolation match. James Whitbred (133), another Little Lion freshman, went 0-2 and was eliminated.

It was a disappointing day one for the Mifflin County wrestlers as all six Husky wrestlers: Andrew Alexander (107), Colby Seiler (145), Parker Kearns (152), Deakon Schaeffer (160), Avery Aurand (172), and Gavin Mickey (189) lost either in the preliminaries or first round to drop into the consolations.

In the consolations, Alexander, Schaeffer, and Aurand picked up wins to stay alive and move into the second round of consis. Mifflin County went 3-9 on the day.

Seiler, Kearns, and Mickey lost in the consolations and saw their seasons end.

Day two Class AA action begins at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, while Class AAA kicks off at 2:30 p.m.

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