HERSHEY – Waynesburg proved why it is ranked No. 1 in the state at the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships Saturday at the Giant Center.
The Raiders had five finalists and three champions in running away with the team title. It wasn’t, however, the most wrestlers that the Raiders ever had in the finals. The 1943 team had seven finalists and four champions.
Waynesburg will try to add a PIAA Class AAA team title March 27 at Cumberland Valley.
“That was one of our main goals for the season,” Waynesburg coach Joe Throckmorton said. “We wanted to make it a no-brainer because Nazareth won last year.”
The Raiders finished with 100 points. Hempfield was second with 57.
Winning titles for the Raiders were sophomore Mac Church (120 pounds), senior Wyatt Henson (145) and senior Luca Augustine (172). Junior Cole Homet (138) and sophomore Rocco Welsh (152) ended up second.
Henson became a three-time state champion. His first was in Missouri in 2019 and the last two in the PIAA. He edged Norwin senior John Altieri, 5-3.
Seneca Valley senior Alejandro Herrera-Rondon became a three-time PIAA champion. His first two came in 2018 and 2019. He finished fourth in 2020. He was named the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler.
Herrera-Rondon ended his high school career with a 3-0 win against Welsh.
A Welsh stiff arm, which Herrera-Rondon felt was cheap, fired him up.
“I was looking for a penalty point, but I didn’t want to win that way,” Herrera-Rondon said. “I got jabbed pretty hard. I didn’t think about it much, but I was trying to get my head right. It paid off and fired me up.
“I wanted to win with my wrestling, and I think I’m the better wrestler. It’s amazing being a three-time champion. I’m part of a very rare group. I’m happy with my results.”
The other WPIAL wrestlers to win titles were Hempfield junior Briar Priest (132) and Franklin Regional junior Finn Solomon (138).