20 WPIAL wrestlers advance to PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional semifinals

Friday, February 22, 2019 | 6:39 PM

Freedom’s Bryson Miller and Bentworth’s John Vargo are halfway to defending their titles at the PIAA Class AA Southwest Regional.

Miller and Vargo advanced to the semifinals of the regional tournament during the first two rounds of action Friday at IUP’s Kovalchick Complex.

The two defending champions led a pack of 20 WPIAL wrestlers who won two matches Friday to make it to Saturday’s semifinal round. The semifinalists also automatically clinched a berth to next month’s PIAA Class AA tournament in Hershey.

Miller, who won last season at 195 pounds, advanced to the 182-pound semifinals with a pair of decision victories. He’ll face Mt. Pleasant’s Dayton Pitzer in a rematch of last week’s WPIAL tournament; Pitzer beat Miller in the semifinals then.

Vargo won last season at 182 pounds but is wrestling at 195 now. The top seed in that bracket after winning a WPIAL title last week, Vargo made it to the semifinals thanks to a pair of pins.

One other defending regional champion from the WPIAL, Quaker Valley’s Conner Redinger, lost in an upset in the 132-pound quarterfinals. Philipsburg-Osceola’s Chase Chapman pinned Redinger, the top seed in the bracket.

The 20 semifinalists from the WPIAL included South Park’s Joey Fischer at 106 pounds; Elizabeth Forward’s Ryan Michaels at 113; Burrell’s Ian Oswalt and Beth-Center’s Jimmy Gwyer at 120; Derry’s Tyler Cymmerman at 126; Hopewell’s Jacob Ealy and Burrell’s A.J. Corrado at 138; Quaker Valley’s JohnRocco Kazalas and Burgettstown’s Shane Kemper at 145; Freedom’s Trent Schultheis at 152; Frazier’s Thayne Lawrence and Burrell’s Austin Mele at 160; McGuffey’s Christian Clutter and Valley’s Noah Hutcherson at 170; Pitzer, Miller and Ellwood City’s Austin Walley at 182; Vargo at 195; and Derry’s Dom DeLuca and Hopewell’s Connor Forrest at 220.

Cymmerman, DeLuca, Fischer and Lawrence finished as runners-up in last season’s regional tournament.

The Southwest Regional resumes at 10 a.m. Saturday with consolation bouts, with the semifinals at noon and championship and consolation finals at 5:45 p.m. The top six wrestlers in each weight class advance to the PIAA championships.

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