Shaler wrestler Sullivan commits to Pitt

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018 | 6:41 PM


Shaler's Ryan Sullivan removed his final distraction before his senior season by committing to wrestle at Pitt last week. Taking the college decision off his plate gives the rising senior a chance to focus on knocking out goals.

Sullivan, who beat West Chester Henderson's Killian Delaney to win the 113-pound PIAA Class AAA championship last season, became the first Shaler wrestler in 11 years to win a state title.

Rolling up a 42-1 record along the way, Sullivan increased his mark to 82-5 over the past two seasons.

Before he graduates, Sullivan wants to crack the Intermat national rankings.

With that in mind, Sullivan is focused on a strong showing at the Super 32 Tournament in the fall. Last season, Sullivan missed two weeks of training with a skin condition before returning and going 4-2 at the event.

“I'm definitely getting my training kicking in hard over the summer,” Sullivan said. “I want (Super 32) to be my tournament. I want to win it all.”

Sullivan chose the Panthers after considering West Virginia, Air Force, Army, Virginia Military Institute and N.C. State.

“I think they have great coaches and a great education,” Sullivan said. “My mom works there, so I get tuition for free. Home is home, and there is no place like home.”

Sullivan hopes more WPIAL standouts will follow him to Pitt. The Panthers were 4-11 in duals last season and finished last at the ACC Tournament.

At the NCAA Tournament, Pitt finished in 31st place, scoring 10.5 points.

With the recruiting class the Panthers have coming in, Sullivan believes they could turn things around.

“I think in the next three to five years, Pitt is going to be a top-10 program,” Sullivan said.

Before helping out Pitt, Sullivan wants to keep making a name for himself.

There are some duals to compete in during the summer, then the vaunted Super 32.

“I want to keep working hard and have fun with the sport,” Sullivan said. “I haven't been nationally ranked yet. I want to be top five in the country. If I'm going to be top five, I might as well be No. 1.”

Josh Rizzo is a freelance writer.

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