Pitt recruits dominate state team for Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic

Wednesday, March 23, 2022 | 7:14 PM

Three future Pitt wrestlers were among the 13 selected for Team Pennsylvania at the annual Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic slated for Friday at Peters Township.

Four WPIAL wrestlers, three winning PIAA titles, are featured on the team that will take on Team USA at 8 p.m.

Three-time WPIAL and PIAA champion Dayton Pitzer of Mt. Pleasant headlines the Team Pennsylvania. He finished with 100 career pins and a 130-3 overall record. He’ll wrestle at 220 pounds, but is expected to wrestle heavyweight at Pitt.

The other future Panthers are 2021 PIAA champion and 2022 PIAA runner-up Briar Priest of Hempfield (136-23) at 138 and Mt. Lebanon’s Mac Stout (133-17), who finished third this year at 189 and second in 2020.

Also on Team Pennsylvania is Franklin Regional’s Finn Solomon (142-20), the 2021 champion, placed second at states this season, falling to Ty Watters.

Connellsville’s Jared Keslar (129-27), another Pitt recruit who won the 160-pound title, was selected to the WPIAL team. Penn State recruit Levi Haines (100-6) of Biglerville, a 2021 PIAA champion, was selected to Team Pennsylvania over Keslar despite not competing this season.

Other state champions on the Pennsylvania team are two-time winner Grace Stern of Bald Eagle Area, who will wrestle against Schyler Caringi of Las Vegas at 144, Erie Prep’s Jacob Van Dee (111-23), Notre Dame-Green Pond’s Brandon Chletsos (132), Forest Hills’ Jackson Arrington (152), Benton’s Nolan Lear (170), and Malvern Prep’s Jack Weyhmeyer (182) and Nick Feldman (285).

Headlining the USA team are three four-time champions — Jesse Mendez (156-1) of Crown Points, Ind., at 138, Matthew Singleton (213-3) of Moreland, Ga., at 170, and Clayton Whiting (162-5) of Oconto, Wisc., at 182.

Keslar and fellow state champion Brian Finnerty (121-29) of Thomas Jefferson at 189 headline the WPIAL team.

Others on the team include WPIAL champions Ambrose Boni (80-22) of Central Valley at 138, Quaker Valley’s Patrick Cutchember (141-31) at 182 and heavyweight Billy McChesney (120-27) of Greensburg Salem.

Also on the WPIAL team are Penn-Trafford’s Troy Hohman (100-35) at 120, Waynesburg’s Zander Phatorus (60-18) at 126, Waynesburg’s Colton Stoneking (125-49) at 138, Latrobe’s Jack Pletcher (123-43) at 152, Pine-Richland’s Kelin Laffey (101-24), Belle Vernon’s Logan Hoffman (106-36) at 172 and Belle Vernon’s Cole Weightman (81-20) at 220.

Pletcher and Laffey also are Pitt commits.

The coaches are Waynesburg’s Kyle Szewczyk and Quaker Valley’s Mike Heinl.

The WPIAL All-Stars will face an Indiana squad at 6 p.m.

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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