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Kibe has historical moment at D6 championships

By BRIAN CARSON

ALTOONA – Trey Kibe captured his fourth district title and Nic Allison his third to lead Mifflin County at the District 6 Class AAA wrestling championships on Saturday.

Kyler Everly, a district champion a year ago, came in second at 145 as the Huskies advanced three to the Northwest Regional championships next Saturday back in Altoona.

Casey Smith (106) became the first district champion in eight years for Juniata. The sophomore was the lone qualifier to regionals for the Indians.

Kibe dominated the competition at 172 pounds. He opened the tournament with a 23-8 technical fall over Hollidaysburg’s Aaron Sleeth and then hooked up with rival Lance Urbas of State College in the finals. The Husky senior got the 4-1 victory.

After a scoreless first period, Kibe, ranked first in the state, chose bottom and picked up a reversal for the 2-0 lead. Urbas, ranked sixth, escaped to make it 2-1, but Kibe hit a slick shot to make it 4-1 at the end of two. Urbas chose down to start the third, and the Husky senior rode him out for the victory. Kibe is now 5-0 against Urbas.

Kibe (14-0) is only the fourth wrestler in county history to capture four District 6 titles, joining Ken Whitsel of Lewistown and Hayden and Trent Hidlay of Mifflin County.

Allison started his day with a 36-second fall over Jacob Campbell of State College before shutting out Aiden O’Shea of Bellefonte 6-0 in the 113-pound finals. The Husky junior is now 16-0 on the season.

Allison scored a takedown in the first and reversals in the second and third for the victory. Allison is bigger, stronger and more confident than he was a year ago when he placed eighth in the state.

Everly (12-4) used double bars to pin State College’s Kyle Martin in the semis, but the Husky junior failed to win his second championship after dropping a 7-2 decision to Central Mountain freshman Griffin Walizer.

Walizer used his front headlock series to score three takedowns, including a backbreaker firstperiod deuce with just two seconds left in the period. Everly managed only two escapes.

Casey Smith (18-1) used a tough ride to dominate his opponents at 106. The Indian sophomore likes to throw in legs and work a half or reverse half for back points. It worked like a charm Saturday.

He pinned Noah Horne of Hollidaysburg in 52 seconds in the semifinals and scored a 17-2 technical fall in 5:59 over Bellefonte junior Garrett Choates in the finals. Casey hit four takedowns and added nine back points for the win and his first district crown.

Mifflin County would have pushed nine through in a normal season, but this season is far from normal. Instead of the top four advancing, only the top two moved on with wrestling for a true second if needed.

Coming in third for the Huskies were freshmen Blake Aumiller at 126 and Parker Kearns at 138, and junior Trey Shoemaker at 189. Fourth place went to junior Jacob Cunningham at 152, junior Anson Wagner at 160, and junior Jaxson Pupo at 215.

Pupo, the sixth seed, stunned third seed Collin Almond with a 4-2 win in the quarters, and second seed Max Berrier of Bellefonte in the semis with a 3-1 victory. Pupo lost in the finals to Central Mountain’s Nikolas Miller by a 9-1 major, dropping him into a true secondplace matchup with State College’s Ty Price.

Pupo injured himself in the match with Miller and had to forfeit to Price. Kearns also wrestled for a true second, losing 7-2 to Taylor Weaver of Central Mountain. Second seed Hunter Johnson (120) injured his shoulder in the semifinals and defaulted out of the tournament.

Juniata would have put three into regionals in a typical year as sophomore Taylor Smith came in third at 113 and junior Jonathan Kauffman placed fourth at 215.

Northwest Regional action begins Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Altoona Fieldhouse.

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