Latrobe wrestler Kilkeary earns All-American honor at national tournament

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Thursday, July 22, 2021 | 6:55 PM


Vinny Kilkeary made the most of his first trip to Fargo, N.D.

The Latrobe rising junior earned his first All-American honor when he placed third at 113 pounds at the Fargo Freestyle National Cadet Wrestling tournament. The 2020 tournament, which would have been his first, was canceled because of the covid-19 pandemic.

He only lost one match.

“It was a lot of fun,” Kilkeary said. “There were a lot of good matches. Everyone in the tournament was good. There were no easy matches. And the Fargo Dome is unbelievable. It’s better than the Giant Center.”

Kilkeary was competing for Young Guns Club.

Kilkeary was a 2019 PIAA Class AAA champion. Last year, he placed third at states.

He wants to use this summer to improve his style. Lifting the covid-19 restrictions has made his training easier.

“Freestyle wrestling is going to make me a better Greco style wrestler,” Kilkeary said. “It makes you better on your feet. You have to be sure on your shots. A bad shot will cost you.

“It forces to stay balanced. I’m working on my footwork and focusing on making better shots.”

Kilkeary expects to move up to 120 pounds for his junior season.

Heading into his third season of high school, Kilkeary has a 56-10 overall record. He was a WPIAL champion in 2021 at 133, PIAA West Region third-place finisher and PIAA third-place finisher.

He was a WPIAL runner-up at 106 in 2019 and then capped his freshman season by stunning Bethlehem Catholic’s Tyler Kasak, 14-10, in the PIAA semifinals and pinning Erie Cathedral Prep’s Jacob Van Dee in overtime of the finals.

“Vinny is having a great summer,” Latrobe coach Mark Mears said. “He’s getting stronger and working hard. He’s a hard worker, and he’s always trying to get better. I’m looking for big things from him.”

Kilkeary said he doesn’t have any offer from colleges yet, but he’s talking to a lot of coaches.

He hopes after another a big season he will have more recruiting attention.

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

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