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State College, Bellefonte lead the pack in sending Centre County wrestlers to next level


ALTOONA – The Centre County contingent crowned four champions and pushed 13 through to regionals at the District 6 Class AAA wrestling championships on Saturday.

State College ran away with the team title and qualified seven for the Northwest Regionals, including champions Pierson and Carson Manville at 132 and 189.

Picking up secondplace finishes for the Little Lions were Owen Woolcott (126), Carter Weaverling (152), Lance Urbas (172), Ty Price (215), and Harrison Schoen (285).

Bellefonte crowned champions in Lane Aikey (120) and Ethan Richner (160), with Garrett Choates (106), Aiden O’Shea (113), Jude Swisher (132), and Ethan Rossman (189) coming in second to advance on the tournament trail.

Only the top two finishers in each weight class moved on to the Northwest Regionals back in Altoona next Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.

State College scored 172 points to win the team title. The Red Raiders were third with 133.5 points.

The Manville brothers, transfers from Minnesota, haven’t disappointed in their first year in Happy Valley.

Pierson, one of the countrys top freshmen, hooked up with Swisher in one of the finals feature matches. Pierson, ranked sixth in the state, pulled off the hard-fought 2-1 win over the Bellefonte senior, ranked second.

Swisher drew first blood with an escape in the second. Pierson chose down and received a point after Swisher got his second stall call. The Little Lion escaped with 23 seconds left in regulation for the win. Pierson won the Outstanding Wrestler Award for his efforts.

Carson, a Minnesota state champ in 2020, drew a tough assignment in Rossman. Both came in stateranked at number three and six, respectively.

The State College senior used heavy hands and head snaps to score two takedowns on the Red Raider senior for the 4-1 lead after one. Rossman chose down and escaped to cut the deficit to 4-2 going into the third. Carson escaped for the 5-2 lead. Rossman hit a takedown with 23-seconds left to make it 5-4. The match ended with Rossman on top.

Aikey, who hadn’t wrestled most of the season, showed no signs of rust, defeating Zane Cooper of Central Mountain 7-2 in the semifinals and Altoona’s Caleb Fasick 10-2 in the finals. The Bellefonte senior scored three takedowns and three nearfall points for his second district championship.

Richner won district title number three with an impressive two-match run. The Red Raider senior decked Central Mountain’s Damien Gallentine in 15 seconds in the semis and followed that up with a 3:05 fall over Hollidaysburg’s Campbell Walls in the finals.

Woolcott lost a tough 1-0 decision to Central Mountain freshman Luke Simcox. Carter Weaverling fell 6-5 to another Wildcat freshman, Rocco Serafini, while Urbas met rival Trey Kibe of Mifflin County and came up on the short end of a 4-1 decision. It was his fifth loss to the Husky senior, ranked first in the state.

Price lost in the semifinals to Nikolas Miller of Central Mountain but fought back with a fall over Altoona’s Collin Allmond in 4:15, a 10-0 major over Jonathan Kaufman of Juniata, and a forfeit over Mifflin County’s Jaxson Pupo for the true second.

Schoen dropped a 3-1 decision to Altoona’s Trevor Manley in the finals.

Choates lost by a 17-2 tech fall to Casey Smith of Juniata, and O’Shea fell by a 6-0 count to three-time champion Nic Allison of Mifflin County.

Just missing out on a trip to regionals were third-place finishers Bailey Weaverling (120) and Kyle Martin (145) of State College. Finishing fourth were Jacob Campbell (113) and William Tennity (138) of the Little Lions, along with Nathan Smith (126), Gage Long (145), Stephen Ivicic (172), and Addison Shawley (285) of Bellefonte.

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