Franklin Regional sends quartet to PIAA wrestling championships

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Friday, March 8, 2019 | 7:33 PM


Franklin Regional sent four wrestlers to the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championship, which began March 7 at Giant Center in Hershey.

And while coach Matt Lebe was thrilled with four wrestlers heading to Hershey, he was disappointed three others — Garrett Thompson, Mason Spears and Mario Sarnic — didn’t make the trip.

“Quite honestly, we felt all seven could have qualified for states if they wrestled well,” Lebe said. “Garrett and Mason were close.”

The Panthers’ state qualifiers were sophomore Carter Dibert (106 pounds), freshman Finn Solomon (113) and seniors Colton Camacho (126) and Zach McCann (132).

Camacho won his second WPIAL title by defeating Kiski Area senior Darren Miller, 4-2, in the 126 final. Miller defeated Camacho two times earlier in the season.

“Scoring early and adding on was the key,” Camacho said. “The first takedown was big, the second one in the first period was even better. It allowed me to control the tempo and fight off his attacks.”

Camacho (37-3) was seeded No. 1 in the state. The meet did not end in time for this edition.

Camacho was the state runner-up at 126 in 2018.

Dibert (37-2) lost to Seneca Valley sophomore Dylan Chappell in the 106 final, 6-1, in overtime.

The match was tied, 1-1, into the second tiebreaker, but Chappell got a reversal and three-nearfall points to pull out the win.

“That match could have gone either way,” Lebe said.

Solomon (36-7) finished third, defeating North Allegheny sophomore Bradley Stipetich, 16-0, and Latrobe senior Marino Angelicchio, 14-0, after losing 3-0 to Seneca Valley sophomore Alejandro Herrera-Rondon in the semifinals.

McCann (22-5) ended up fourth, losing to Seneca Valley senior Jason Geyer in the third-place match. Geyer defeated McCann in the quarterfinals, but the Franklin Regional senior won three consecutive matches in the consolation rounds to solidify his trip to Hershey.

An opening-round loss to Peters Township junior Bryce Wilkes hurt Thompson’s (29-13) chances. He bounced back to win two consolation-round matches, but lost to Waynesburg freshman Cole Homet a match before the blood round.

Spears (31-8) opened with a win, but fell into the consolation round after a loss to Seneca Valley junior Drew Vlasnik. After he pinned Norwin junior Frankie Gill in his first consolation-round match, his season came to an end with a loss to Connellsville senior Dylan Ross.

Sarnic (13-13) finished his season with a win in the preliminary round and then consecutive losses. He dropped into the consolation round following a loss to No. 1 seed Jackson Gray of Mt. Lebanon.

“Overall, I’m pleased,” Lebe said. “They all wrestled well.”

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

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