Hampton wrestlers set sights on next hurdle
Saturday, February 4, 2023 | 11:01 AM
Hampton missed the WPIAL wrestling playoffs in its first season as a Class 2A program, but there’s still a lot to shoot for.
The Talbots have turned their attention to the WPIAL individual postseason, which begins with the 14-team Eastern Sectional Feb. 18 at Greensburg Salem.
The top six finishers in each weight class will advance to the WPIAL Class 2A individual championships Feb. 24-25 at Chartiers Valley.
Hampton juniors Caleb Rihn (12-6 at 160) and Nate Glock (15-17 at 285) are bidding to return to the WPIAL championships after qualifying last season.
Glock tuned up for the postseason by placing sixth in the heavyweight division at the Allegheny County Championships on Jan. 20-21 at Fox Chapel.
“There are definitely still a lot of things I need to do to get better,” Glock said. “But right now, I’m doing pretty good.”
Fellow junior Alan Danner is trying to reach the WPIAL championships for the first time to extend, by far, his best season to date. Danner was 18-12 at 152 pounds entering the regular-season finale at Fox Chapel on Feb. 3. Danner, who placed fifth at the season-opening Eastern Area Invitational, went 7-18 last season and 7-19 as a freshman. An offseason dedicated to the weight room helped spur his improvement.
“A lot of the people in my weight class were a lot stronger than me last year,” Danner said. “I feel like this year I am one of the stronger people in my weight class.
“Whenever I get in on my shot, I feel like I can complete the move and finish it. Before, I’d get stuck.”
Other Talbots hoping to keep moving past sectionals — the first step of a weeding-out process that culminates with the PIAA championships next month at Hershey — include juniors Aiden Petry (14-9 at 189), Logan Poslusny (12-13 at 121) and Isabella McNutt (8-5 at 107) and freshmen Dustin Kerr (12-7 at 133) and Jonovan McKelvey (8-13 at 215).
Coach Nick Endres is pleased with the progress of his young team, which features no seniors on the 19-wrestler roster. The Talbots have nine juniors and eight freshmen.
Hampton, which dropped from Class 3A this season for the first time in program history, finished 3-3 in Section 5-2A (3-8 overall entering the Fox Chapel match) and missed the WPIAL playoffs. A 37-28 loss to Knoch on Dec. 21 was the difference.
“The junior class has been leading pretty well on the mat and going out there and performing,” Endres said. “All of them have taken pretty big steps from where they were last year.”
Glock is looking to take a big move forward from last season, when he went 10-21 and lost 14 of his final 16 matches. But this season, the 278-pound Glock has recorded pins in 21, 26, 48 and 51 seconds. He also advanced further than any Hampton wrestler at the Fred Bell Tournament at Grove City on Jan. 27-28, reaching the consolation third round.
Glock didn’t begin organized wrestling until two years ago, joining the sport to augment his football offseason. He only wrestled two matches as a freshman, going 1-1. In one of them, he pinned his Hempfield opponent in 75 seconds.
“Getting that win, I remember I could just hear the crowd and that really made me want to keep doing it and get better each year,” Glock said. “I’m getting better every day.”
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