Norwin wrestler John Altieri feeling better, cleared to compete in Hershey

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Sunday, March 7, 2021 | 7:26 PM


Norwin senior John Altieri won the PIAA West Super Region 145-pound title Saturday at Altoona Area High School Field House, but it wasn’t the way he preferred.

Altieri was the victim of a slam from Waynesburg senior Wyatt Henson in the first period, and when it was deemed by medical personnel Altieri couldn’t continue, he was awarded the win.

Altieri was taken by ambulance to an Altoona Hospital to be checked out. He was released and traveled home late Saturday. He was cleared to compete in the PIAA championships this weekend at Giant Center in Hershey.

The slam occurred when Henson, ranked No. 1 in the state by PaPowerWrestling.com, attempted an aggressive double-leg takedown. He lifted Altieri up, but when Henson returned him to the mat with force, Altieri landed on his neck. The official immediately stopped the action and ruled a slam.

“I felt a burning sensation in my neck, and the medical personnel wouldn’t allow me to continue,” Altieri said. “I wanted to continue, but they wouldn’t let me.

“It’s not the way I would have liked to win, but it happened. I have no hard feelings towards Wyatt. I know it wasn’t intentional. He’s a good kid.”

Henson wasn’t able to talk to Altieri, but he did talk to Norwin coach Kyle Martin and apologized and wished Altieri the best. Martin told him he would pass it along and not to worry.

Altieri said he read a tweet by Henson’s father wishing him well.

Altieri said he woke up Sunday with a sore neck and a headache. He went to see a chiropractor in Lower Burrell and he was able to loosen up his neck.

“I’m looking forward to the trip to Hershey, and I hope to meet Wyatt in the finals,” Altieri said. “There are a lot of good wrestlers in the weight class, but I definitely feel the competition in Altoona was excellent.”

Altieri defeated Hempfield’s (District 3) Reagan Lefevre, 1-0, in the opening round and then edged Williamsport’s Riley Bower, 2-1, in overtime to reach the finals.

His match against Henson was scoreless until the slam with 1:12 left in the opening period.

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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