Nine WPIAL wrestlers earn top seeds in state tournament
By: Paul Schofield
Sunday, March 3, 2019 | 8:41 PM
The PIAA released the pairings for the individual wrestling championships, which begins Thursday at Giant Center in Hershey, and nine WPIAL wrestlers earned No. 1 seeds.
The PIAA used a new point system to determine the top seeds from the regional champions.
Returning PIAA champions from the WPIAL, Seneca Valley sophomore Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (44-1) at 113 and North Hills junior Sam Hillegas (38-0) at 132, along with Norwin junior Kurtis Phipps (34-2) at 120, Franklin Regional senior Colton Camacho (37-3) at 126 and Kiski Area senior Cam Connor (46-2) at 152 received No. 1 seeds.
Herrera-Rondon won the 106 title last season by defeating Phipps, 1-0, in the ultimate tiebreaker. Hillegas toppled Central Dauphin’s Chris Wright, 4-2, to win the 126 title.
“It’s hunting season, and it’s time to hunt,” Hillegas said. “I’m looking forward to the tournament. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Camacho was the 132 runner-up last season, falling to Jeffrey Boyd of Erie McDowell, 5-4. Camacho earned the top spot thanks to his 4-2 win against Kiski Area senior Darren Miller on Saturday.
Connor finished seventh at 145 last season.
Earning No. 2 seeds were Penn-Trafford senior Nick Coy (34-4) at 138, Kiski Area junior Jack Blumer (41-3) at 160, Canon-McMillan junior Gerrit Nijenhuis (40-3) at 170, Mt. Lebanon junior Luke Stout (39-1) at 182 and Thomas Jefferson senior Max Shaw (33-0) at 195.
This is the fourth time Coy has qualified for the state tournament.
“I haven’t achieved my goal of becoming a state champion yet,” Coy said. “That’s what I’m working on this week.”
The No. 3 seeds were Seneca Valley sophomore Dylan Chappel (39-4) at 106 and Upper St. Clair senor heavyweight Jake Slinger (36-0).
In Class AA, Burrell sophomore Ian Oswalt (45-2) was seeded No. 1 at 120 pounds. Hopewell senior Jacob Ealy (38-2) at 138, Frazier junior and returning state champion Thayne Lawrence (25-3) at 160 and Derry senior Dom DeLuca (36-1) at 220 also earned No. 1 seeds.
Lawrence defeated Chestnut Ridge’s Justin McCoy, 8-1, at 152 las season to become Frazier’s first state champion in any sport.
Ealy placed fifth in Class AAA at 126, Oswalt finished fourth at 113 and DeLuca was a runner-up at 220.
Freedom sophomore Trent Schultheis (33-4) at 152 was the only No. 2 seed among WPIAL Class AA wrestlers, and South Park sophomore Joey Fischer (35-0) at 106 and Elizabeth Forward junior Ryan Michaels (39-1) and Mt. Pleasant freshman Dayton Pitzer (39-1) at 182 were seeded third.
The three-day tournament will conclude Saturday with the finals. The top eight finishers in each weight class will receive medals.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .