State College’s Cole Urbas and Bellefonte’s Ethan Richner were the only local wrestlers to make it into the quarterfinals of the Class 3A PIAA championships at the Giant Center on Thursday evening.
The Little Lions and Red Raiders still have two wrestlers each alive in the consolations.
Nazareth leads the team race with 27 points with Bellefonte and State College tied at 34th with seven points apiece.
Here’s a look at each team after Day 1:
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Quarterfinalist: Ethan Richner (152)
Others alive: Lane Aikey (120)
Eliminated: Cole Stewart (138), Ethan Rossman (182)
Team score: 7 points, T-34th overall
Recap: Ethan Richner earned a berth in the quarters with a convincing fall over Michael Kistler of Northampton in 2 minutes, 47 seconds. The Red Raider sophomore built a 7-0 lead before Kistler counted the lights at the Giant Center. Richner meets Susquehannock’s Colby Romjue on Friday for a chance to reach the semis and earn a PIAA medal.
“Hopefully, he can keep his momentum going. He’s been on a roll here in the postseason and went out and got a fall,” Bellefonte coach Mike Maney said. “For his first match in the state tournament, he didn’t seem to have any jitters. He needs to come up with the same confidence (Friday), wrestle hard and if he does that, he’ll be right in the mix.”
Lane Aikey lost to Liberty’s Matt Maloney 10-4 in the first round but stayed alive with a 5-0 win of Chander Ho of DuBois. The Red Raiders sophomore takes on Kody Evans of Susquehanna Township in the second round of consolations Friday.
“He wrestled a really good kid the first match and to his credit, he was able to get back into it and beat another good kid in the consolations,” Maney said. “Now we have to keep the momentum going, win two more matches and get on the podium, which he is certainly capable of.”
Cole Stewart and Ethan Rossman went 0-2 on the day and saw their seasons come to an end. Stewart, a senior, ends his career with a 117-43 record.
“We left some matches we could have won. At 182, hopefully, he (Rossman) learns you have to bring your A-game every match,” Maney said. “When you get in the consolations, it’s anyone’s game. For Cole Stewart, he came out aggressive for us. At least he went down swinging. He had a great career for us — 100-match winner, state qualifier and a district champion.”
Quarterfinalist: Cole Urbas (195)
Others alive: Owen Woolcott (126)
Eliminated: Jude Swisher (113)
Team score: 7 points, T-34th overall
Recap: Cole Urbas, a state runner-up last year, began his quest for PIAA gold with a dominating victory over Pennridge’s Logan Green. The Little Lions senior had a 13-0 lead before cranking Green to his back for the fall in 3:49. Urbas grapples Jameel Coles of Northeastern in Friday’s quarterfinals.
“Cole had a great match,” State College coach Ryan Cummins said. “He went right after him, opened, got the fall and that was awesome. For Cole, it’s keep the train rolling.”
Owen Woolcott lost in the first round to two-time state qualifier Rafael Portilla of Carlisle by a 5-1 score but rebounded with a solid 2-0 decision over Strath Haven’s Chase Barlow. Woolcott scored a takedown in the first and rode Barlow out in the third.
“He’s going to catch people off losses, and he just has to gut it out every match,” Cummins said. “That match (consolations) was great. That was just mental toughness and digging deep. We told him to leave it all on the mat and go after him, and that’s what he did. He wrestled tough.”
Jude Swisher came up short in an 18-12 loss to Bethlehem Catholic’s Matt Mayer in the opening round and ended his season with a 2-1 loss in the consolations to Williamsport’s Braden Bower.
“Swisher gained a lot of experience today as a freshman, and we are proud of him,” Cummins said.
The Class 3A quarterfinals and second-round consolations begin at 2:15 p.m. Friday.
PIAA Class 3A Results
Team Key: Bellefonte (B), Bethlehem Catholic (BC), Carlisle (C), Central Dauphin (CD), DuBois (D), Liberty (L), Methacton (M), Northampton (N), Penn Manor (PM), Pennridge (PR), State College (SC), Strath Haven (SH), Williamsport (W)
Team Scores: 1. Nazareth 27, 2T. Bethlehem Catholic 25, 2T. Erie Prep 25, 4. Northampton 23.5, 5.Council Rock South 21, 6. Kiski Area 20, 7. Cedar Cliff 19, 8T. Hempfield 18, 8T. Liberty 18, 10. Franklin Regional 16.5, 34T. Bellefonte 7, 34T. State College 7
113: Jude Swisher, SC, bye; 120: Lane Aikey, B, bye; 126: Owen Woolcott, SC, bye; 138: Cole Stewart, B, bye; 152: Ethan Richner, B, bye; 182: Nick Baker, PM dec. Ethan Rossman, B, 4-2; 195: Cole Urbas, SC, bye.
113: Matt Mayer, BC, dec. Swisher, SC, 18-12; 120: Matt Maloney, L, dec. Aikey, B, 10-4; 126: Rafael Portilla, C, dec. Woolcott, SC, 5-1; 138: Kibwe McNair, M pinned Stewart, B, 2:30; 152: Richner, B, pinned Michael Kistler, N, 2:47; 195: Urbas, SC, pinned Logan Green, PR, 3:49.
Consolation First Round
113: Braden Bower, W, dec. Swisher, SC, 2-1; 120: Aikey, B, dec. Chandler Ho, D, 5-0; 126: Woolcott, SC, dec. Chase Barlow, SH, 2-0; 138: Ty Weathersby, CD dec. Cole Stewart, B, 9-4; 182: Jake Lucas, CV, dec. Rossman, B, 5-2.