Franklin Regional notebook: Spencer Lee, Michael Kemerer help Iowa win Big Ten

Monday, March 15, 2021 | 1:00 PM

Franklin Regional graduates Spencer Lee and Michael Kemerer won Big Ten wrestling titles to help Iowa to its 37th conference championship March 7 at Penn State. It was the Hawkeyes’ second consecutive conference title.

But neither is satisfied, their work not done. They want NCAA titles.

Lee already owns two titles, while Kemerer is looking for his first. Both are three-time All-Americans.

“I’m glad I won another title, but there is still work to be done,” Lee said after winning his second Big Ten championship. “A lot of us are happy, but we still have things to work on and get ready for nationals.”

The NCA tournament runs Thursday through Saturday in St. Louis.

Lee was also named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year after defeating Purdue’s Devin Schroder, 21-3.

After giving up a rare opening takedown, Lee roared back and took control. He outscored his opponents 46-7 in his three victories in the tournament.

Kemerer won his first Big Ten title by taking the 174-pound title in a 7-2 victory over Penn State redshirt freshman Carter Starocci.

“It feels good to finally win a Big Ten title,” Kemerer said. “I feel good and I must continue to work hard. I feel we’re getting better every time I step on the mat.”

Kemerer was a four-time finalist in high school but only claimed state gold his senior season.

Iowa finished with 159.5 points and two other champions — Jaydin Eierman (141) and Alex Marinelli (165). Marinelli defeated Ohio State senior Ethan Smith (Latrobe), 3-2.

“Last year, it felt like I was missing out watching my teammates win titles,” Kemerer said. “It’s great to be part of something special.”

Dibert, Solomon eye state gold

Franklin Regional senior Carter Dibert and junior Finn Solomon qualified for the PIAA wrestling tournament, which were set for March 13 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

In 2019, Dibert was a champion and Solomon a runner-up. Both won PIAA West Super Region titles March 6 at Altoona.

Dibert edged Central Mountain freshman Luke Simcox, 4-2, at 126 pounds, and Solomon had a dominating 12-1 victory against Waynesburg junior Cole Homet, who defeated Solomon in the WPIAL final at 138 on Feb. 27.

Panthers skate past Hempfield

Franklin Regional secured a hold on second place in the PIHL Southeast Division by defeating first-place Hempfield, 5-2.

Zach Zeto scored two even-strength goals, the second tying the score at 2-2 in the second period, and Chase Williams, Zach Abdallah and R.K. Kelly also scored for the Panthers, who improved to 9-6-1 with 19 points.

Williams and Luke Lavrich each added two assists and Zeto and Kelly one each.

Williams leads the Panthers with 11 goals and 15 assists, and Zeto follows with nine goals and 12 assists.

After visiting Plum on March 15, Franklin Regional was set for its final road game of the regular season March 29 at Mars.

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


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