Fox Chapel wrestlers battle through adversity to send 10 to WPIAL meet

Saturday, March 2, 2024 | 11:01 AM

The Fox Chapel wrestling team battled some sickness during the section tournament, but that didn’t slow the Foxes from sending a large contingent of wrestlers to the WPIAL Class 3A championships.

Fox Chapel had 10 wrestlers move on. While the Foxes didn’t produce a champion, Landon Funk (114 pounds), Alexander Kaufmann (152) and Milo Chiu (160) all made the finals.

Chiu was one of the wrestlers who was under the weather.

Fox Chapel coach Michael Frank was pleased with how he battled through it to reach the finals.

“Michael Worsen, Andrew Kratsa didn’t feel well,” Frank said. “Milo wasn’t feeling great either. None of them would use that as an excuse. They wanted to find a way to move on and compete at WPIALs.”

Chiu lost to Pine-Richland’s Maclane Miller 11-2 in the finals, Worsen finished in fifth place at 121 pounds, and Kratsa finished sixth at 145. Frank said none of his wrestlers complained about not feeling well.

“We had a lot of conversations throughout the day and want them to go out and give everything you have for the six minutes you have to wrestle,” Frank said. “In between every match, get as much recovery, rest and fluids as possible. You want to reset so you’re ready to go mentally. You don’t want to use it as an excuse.”

In addition to the three wrestlers who reached the finals, Worsen, Adam Haines (127 pounds), Youssef Abdelsalam (133), Joshua Alexander (139), Kratsa, Joseph Geller (189) and D’Angelo Hamilton (285) all qualified for WPIALs.

“We spent all week continuing to work on our strengths,” Frank said. “We want guys to focus on what they do best. As we get into the tournament, we want everyone to be mentally prepared and not wrestling the name or the seed. We want them to focus on what is best for the next six or seven minutes.”

Funk was the highest-seeded wrestler for Fox Chapel. He won the Allegheny County tournament and was given a No. 6 seed for WPIALs. With four spots available to go to states, Funk needed to grab an upset win to reach states. The tournament was scheduled for March 1-2, which was after the deadline for this edition.

“He’s wrestled big-time matches so far this year,” Frank said. “He’s competed well against all of the top guys this year.”


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