Penn State

Class AAA Northwest Regional preview capsule

PIAA Class AAA Northwest Regional

When: Friday -Saturday

Where: Altoona Field House

Schedule: Friday  — 5 p.m. first round; 7:15 p.m. quarterfinals; 9:15 p.m. first-round consolations; Saturday — noon semifinals and second-round consolations; 2:30 p.m. consolation semifinals; 5:30 p.m. consolation finals; 6:30 p.m. finals

Local qualifiers: Bald Eagle Area — Travis Giedroc, Jr., 106, 21-10, Matt Dillon, Sr., 138, 24-9, Jake Taylor, Jr., 170, 30-1, James Grieb, Sr., 182, 25-10, Aaron Varner, Jr., 195, 23-9, Nate Sharkey, Jr., 220, 22-5; Bellefonte — Trevor Corl, Fr., 113, 21-7, Tom Traxler, Sr., 120, 33-5, Cody Fisher, Sr., 132, 9-4, Leo Wortman, Sr., 145, 33-4, Nick Shawley, Jr., 195, 34-6, Garrett Poorman, Jr., 285, 32-5; Philipsburg-Osceola — Brian Evans, Jr., 120, 23-15, Caleb Shively, So., 126, 13-12, Andrew Greenawalt, Jr., 138, 29-10, Logan Walstrom, Sr., 145, 37-2, Jared Smith, Sr., 152, 32-6, Jeff Thompson, Sr., 160, 30-12, Jay Prentice, Jr., 170, 20-10, Nick Gray,  So., 220, 22-15; State College — Mike Kauffman, So., 106, 25-4, Dan Sills, So., 113, 14-19, Jack Haffner, Sr., 195, 16-7.

The skinny: Centre County’s three returning state qualifiers — Taylor, Traxler and Walstrom — are in difficult weight classes. Taylor, a returning champion, is in a 170-pound bracket with DuBois’ Geno Morelli (29-3) and Meadville’s Zach Towers (32-0), a pair of returning state placewinners. Morelli finished fifth in the state at 152 last year; Towers placed seventh at 160. Taylor edged Morelli 2-1 in a dual meet last month. ...Traxler and Brashear senior Godwin Nyama (31-2) give the 120-pound bracket two returning champions. Traxler, a three-time state placewinner, won at 119 last year. Nyama, a Pitt recruit who placed seventh in the state last year, prevailed at 112. Altoona freshman D.J. Hollingshead (32-3), who has lost to Traxler twice, could push Nyama in tonight’s quarterfinals. ...Walstrom is part of an unpredictable 145-pound bracket. Bellefonte’s Wortman won a District 6 title last week and is seeking his first PIAA berth. DuBois’ Tom Sleigh (29-7), Clearfield’s Nolan Barger (26-4), Titusville’s Ehrin Lee (22-8) and McDowell’s Cody Nolan (31-6) will contend with Walstrom and Wortman for the three PIAA spots. ...Central Mountain’s Brian Brill (160) Punxsutawney’s Seth Spack (152) and Westmont Hilltop’s Ryan Burnheimer (182) also won titles last year. McDowell’s Steve Spearman, a 2010 state champion, returns to the tournament after failing to make weight at last year’s District 10 Championships. Brill, Traxler and Spearman are two-time regional champions. Brill, a state champion at 145 pounds last year, hasn’t lost since the 2010 PIAA tournament.

Up next: Top three finishers in each weight class qualify for PIAA Class AAA Championships, March 8-10 in Hershey

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