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Centre County mat men shine bright at Ultimate Warrior

By BRIAN CARSON

ALLPORT Six Centre County wrestlers advanced to the finals and came away with four champions and 15 medal winners at the Ultimate Warrior Tournament Saturday at West Branch High School.

Winning titles were Zack Witmer (138), Caleb Dowling (152) and Keegan Rothrock of St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy and Bald Eagle Area’s Gage McClenahan (145).

Tyler Stoltzfus (170) of the Wolves, along with Coen Bainey (106) of the Eagles came in second place.

Other medal winners from Centre County include BEA’s Jeffre Pifer (fifth at 113), Cooper Gilham (fifth at 120), and David Close (fourth at 220), and Philipsburg-Osceola’s Nick Coudriet (seventh at 113), Chase Chapman (sixth at 138), Aaron Foster (seventh at 145), Hunter Weitoish (third at 160), Parker Moore (third at 195), and Tyler Anderson (eighth at 220).

BEA finished sixth in the team race with 117 points – behind Southern Columbia (210.5), Mifflin County (189.5), Johnsonburg (131), Greater Latrobe (130.5), and Wilson Area (123.5)

St. Joseph’s placed seventh in the team race with 113.5 points, going 3-for-4 in the finals. The Wolves could have had a possible fifth finalist but fourth seed Amonn Ohl at 132 pounds injured his ankle on Friday and defaulted out.

P-O made the top ten with 90 points to finish in 10th with six medalists.

Witmer started the Centre County winners with a 10-0 major decision over Shippensburg’s Dom Fronteno. Not only did the junior win the Ultimate Warrior crown, he captured his 100th career win in the finals.

Top-ranked Gage McClenahan had a tougher than expected time with Richland’s Cooper Warshal, making an escape and takedown in the second period stand up in a 3-0 victory, his second Warrior title.

Dowling gave the Wolves champion number two with a hard-fought 7-5 win over Daniel Yetsick of Ambridge. The St. Joe’s senior won his second crown with two takedowns and an escape in the first period for the 5-3 lead. A reversal in the second and an escape in the third sealed the deal for Dowling, giving him win number 150 for his career.

Rothrock won his championship with solid mat wrestling from the top and the bottom, picking up the 5-0 shutout of Clearfield’s Mark McGonigal. Rothrock, headed to Brown University, had a takedown in the first for the 2-0 advantage. McGonigal chose bottom and couldn’t escape. A reversal and stall point for Rothrock in the third set the final score.

In the tournament finale, Stoltzfus met Mifflin County’s Trey Kibe for the fourth time in their careers and the second this season.

Once again, they didn’t disappoint.

Stoltzfus defeated Kibe 4-3 at Powerade back in December, but this time it was Kibe who came out on top in an exciting 2-1 victory.

After a scoreless first period, Stoltzfus chose down and escaped to make it 1-0. In the third, Kibe, well aware of his opponents prowess on the mat, chose neutral, and the strategy paid off. The Husky senior scored the winning takedown with just 12 seconds left in regulation. Stoltzfus was on his way for a reversal but ran out of time.

At 106, Bainey, the BEA freshman, ran into a buzzsaw in Nic Allison of Mifflin County. Allison, who defeated Bainey at King of the Mountain, scored two takedowns, a reversal and eight nearfall points off the cradle for the 15-2 major decision.

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