Broken hand will force Shaler’s Sullivan to miss WPIAL, PIAA wrestling tournaments

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019 | 6:41 PM


A broken right hand will keep Shaler senior Ryan Sullivan, the returning WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA 113-pound champion, from defending his titles.

Sullivan (28-1), seeded No. 1 at 120 pounds, was pulled from the WPIAL Class AAA tournament bracket Tuesday, according to WPIAL wrestling chairman Frank Vulcano.

“It was a fluke thing, but part of the sport,” Shaler coach Drew D’Agostino said. “He’s had a great career, a good year and was ready to defend his title. It’s disappointing.”

He was ranked No. 2 by Trib HSSN and No. 4 in the state by PaPowerWrestliing.com.

“That’s disappointing,” Norwin junior Kurtis Phipps said after learning about Sullivan’s injury. “I was looking forward to facing him again. He’s a really good wrestler, and it would have been a good match.”

Phipps (30-2), a two-time WPIAL 106-pound champion, was seeded second. He will move to the top spot, and Waynesburg freshman Cole Homet (36-6) will move to the second seed. Belle Vernon senior Logan Seliga (27-6) will slide to the third spot, and Pine-Richland freshman Kelin Laffey (26-7) is now fourth.

Phipps defeated Sullivan, 3-1, in the 106-pound final in 2017. Sullivan, however, finished second in the PIAA tournament that season.

Sullivan injured his hand in the first 15 seconds of the section finals against Laffey, D’Agostino said.

“He’s a tough kid and was able to battle through the pain,” D’Agostino said. “But it’s a severe break and there is no reason to risk further damage because he has a bright future.”

Sullivan, who will finish his career 121-11, has signed to wrestle at Pitt.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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