After illness kept him from WPIALs last season, CV wrestler Beatty relishes 2nd chance

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Thursday, February 27, 2020 | 11:46 PM


Regardless of his results at the WPIAL Class AAA wrestling championships, Christopher Beatty already was a winner.

Beatty, a sophomore at Chartiers Valley, earned a spot in the tournament by winning the Section 4-AAA title at 145 pounds. He qualified for WPIALs along with teammates Dylan Evans (126), Cody Trout (132), Shabur Karimov (160), Murat Zaynullaev (182), Donovan O’Malley (195) and Josh Sarasnick (220).

Technically, the section title earned Beatty a second trip to the WPIAL tournament, but the young man known to many as “CC” wasn’t able to compete last season.

Four days before the 2019 WPIAL meet, Beatty came down with a flu. He tried to get himself back to health, taking in large amounts of fluids in the process. The fluid intake, however, ballooned his weight, and he was unable to make it back to the required 126 pounds, forcing him to withdraw.

Beatty was, understandably, disappointed. Rather than sulk, he focused his energy on preparing for this season.

“I went straight into training,” he said, “nonstop until the season began. And I’m just continuing on that path.”

When he returned this season, he had filled out to about 150 pounds, so he and coach Bill Evans decided Beatty would wrestle at 145.

“He’s strong. He trains hard,” Evans said. “He just looks good and healthy. Even as a sophomore, he has matured a lot, so it’s pretty exciting to see that.

“From a technical standpoint, he caught up to the speed of varsity wrestling. I think there were some deer-in-the-headlight moments last year.”

Wrestling in the demanding Section 4 helped to accelerate his development. This season, Waynesburg and Canon-McMillan, both members of Section 4, finished first and third in the WPIAL team competition.

Beatty faced several strong nonsection opponents.

“He, by far, had the hardest schedule on our team,” Evans said. “He has probably wrestled eight kids who are ranked in the state.”

When the 2020 section tournament came around, Beatty was prepared and, Evans said, confident. He recorded a fall and an 8-4 decision to set up the title match with Waynesburg’s Colton Stoneking.

His maturity showed against Stoneking. Rather than attack haphazardly, as he might have last season, he bided his time and waited for the right moments to move in.

“I just tried to keep my head in the game, do my style,” Beatty said. “I stayed calm, stayed steady and took my advantages when I had them.

“(Stoneking) likes to (attack) in short bursts. I prepared for when he had those bursts and hung on whenever he did that. When he stopped, I just got back into my moves.”

Up 6-3 in the final period, Beatty got Stoneking on his back and recorded a fall with 42 seconds left in the match.

There was much revelry in the Beatty household in the aftermath. His mother, Sarah, also was celebrating her birthday that day. And when the Beatty family is together, there always is a party: Christopher is one of 13 children (nine brothers, four sisters).

Asked where he stands in the pecking order age-wise, Beatty thought for a moment before replying, “I’m in the upper end.”

Though his place among his siblings might lead to confusion, there was no mistaking his place among the WPIAL’s top wrestlers. After enduring the heartbreak of last season, Beatty said a trip to the WPIAL tournament was a victory in itself.

“Being there is huge,” he said. “Even if I don’t place, it will still be a huge honor just to be there. All the people there are the best of the best.”

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