Mt. Pleasant freshman Dylan Pitzer advances to semifinals at Class 2A wrestling regionals

Friday, March 3, 2023 | 9:49 PM

Since he came in as the 12th seed after a fourth-place finish at the WPIAL tournament, the rest of the field at 215 pounds at the PIAA Class 2A Southwest Regional wrestling tournament in Altoona might not have given much thought to Mt. Pleasant freshman Dylan Pitzer before wrestling started Friday evening.

Pitzer changed that in a matter of about five minutes.

Pitzer pinned the No. 5 seed, Kylar Claycomb of Bedford, in 3:18 in the first round and then decked the No. 4 seed, Mason Raymond of Penn Cambria, in 1:47 in the quarterfinals to earn a spot in Saturday’s semifinals.

The top six wrestlers at each weight class earn a spot in the state tournament March 9-11 in Hershey.

Pitzer was joined in the semifinals by Mt. Pleasant teammate Jamison Poklembo, the sixth seed at 133, who beat the No. 3 seed, Hunter Forcellini of Forest Hills, 12-4, in the quarterfinals.

The WPIAL team with the most wrestlers in the semifinals is Burrell with four. Cooper Hornack cruised into the semifinals at 127 with a pin and a major decision in a quest for his second regional title. Niko Ferra made the semifinals as a sixth seed at 139. Cam Baker (107) and Isaac Lacinski (172) also moved on.

Frazier junior Rune Lawrence’s quest for a third straight regional title is off to a good start at 189 pounds with a pair of first-period pins. He’s joined in the semifinals by sophomore teammate Ryan Celaschi (152).

Quaker Valley 145-pounder Logan Richey, upset in the WPIAL quarterfinals as the top seed, had a nice bounce-back performance Friday, making the semifinals as a 12th seed. He’s joined in the semifinals by teammate Jack Kazalas (121).

Burgettstown and Bentworth also sent two wrestlers to the semifinals. Joey Sentipal (139) and Joseph Baronick (285) advanced for Burgettstown and Chris Vargo (127) and Vitali Daniels (215) moved on for Bentworth.

Vargo, like Lawrence, is seeking his third straight regional title. He also breezed into the semifinals with a pair of pins.

Laurel’s Grant MacKay, the third WPIAL wrestler with a chance to win a third regional title Saturday, spent a grand total of 43 seconds on the mat Friday, pinning opponents in 30 and 13 seconds.

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