Burrell’s Mele to wrestle at PIAA Southwest Regionals despite injury

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | 2:07 PM


Austin Mele ran into the dreaded “Mr. Murphy” at the WPIAL Class AA championships, but the Burrell senior believes he’ll get the best of the opponent beginning this weekend.

Mele, who suffered an ankle injury late in his 160-pound semifinal match against Quaker Valley’s Patrick Cutchember that forced him to default out of three matches, said he will compete at the PIAA Southwest Regional on Friday and Saturday at IUP.

“I will be 100 percent ready to wrestle,” Mele said.

The injury occurred late in the third period of Mele’s semifinal match as he drove for a takedown while down one point. After he injury defaulted in that bout, he attempted to wrestle Bentworth’s Owen Petrisek in the consolation bracket but didn’t have his usual burst, causing him to injury default in the first period. He then defaulted out of the fifth-place match, leading to a sixth-place finish.

“That’s Mr. Murphy right there, right?” said Burrell coach Josh Shields, referencing the Bucs’ variation of Murphy’s Law. “He’s been having a phenomenal year all year, beating some of the top guys in the state and boom, he’s got a bum ankle.”

The sixth-place finish still allowed Mele to qualify for the regional tournament, where he’ll wrestle Chestnut Ridge’s Seth Holderbaum in the first round on Friday. Mele finished sixth at regionals last season, still qualifying for states.

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Doug at 412-388-5830, dgulasy@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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