7 WPIAL wrestlers look for another state title
Tuesday, March 7, 2023 | 5:05 PM
It’s time to lay it on the line for wrestlers from the WPIAL at the PIAA individual championships that begin Thursday at Giant Center in Hershey.
Seven of them previously have stood at the top of the podium, including three — Latrobe senior Vinny Kilkeary, Waynesburg senior Mac Church and Frazier junior Rune Lawrence — who are two-time champs.
“I have to have the mindset to wrestle my style,” Kilkeary (27-0) said about his preparation for the state tournament. “My focus is one the first match at states.
“I used to change my style adjust to match other people. This year, I’m using my style every match.”
Latrobe sophomore Luke Willochell (34-2) reached the PIAA Class 3A 106-final last season before falling to Bethlehem Catholic sophomore Nate Desmond (37-1), the top seed at 114.
Hempfield junior Eli Carr (38-6) earned a third seed after defeating Latrobe senior Nate Roth, 6-5, in the WPIAL’s 139-pound final.
Carr is making his second consecutive trip to Hershey.
“I’m in better spot in the bracket,” Carr said. “Winning last week showed me I can compete with anyone. I’m hoping to reach the finals and win.”
Penn-Trafford advanced a program-record five wrestlers to the state tournament: freshman Dylan Barrett (107), junior Jayden Coy (127), sophomore Tasso Whipple (172), senior Owen Ott (215) and senior heavyweight Joe Enick.
Latrobe sent four. Joining Kilkeary and Willochell are seniors Roth (139) and Corey Boerio (215). Joining Carr from Hempfield are seniors Ethan Lebin (133) and Lucas Kapusta (152). Lebin was a PIAA runner-up last year.
Franklin Regional had three wrestlers qualify: junior Tyler Kapusta (114), senior Gavyn Beck (160) and junior Juliano Marion (189).
In Class 2A, Burrell advanced four wrestlers: freshman Cam Baker (107), junior Cooper Hornack (127), senior Nike Ferra (139) and sophomore Isaac Lacinski (172). Mt. Pleasant has three: senior Sean Cain (121), junior Jamison Poklembo (133) and freshman Dylan Pitzer (215). Greensburg Salem’s lone qualifier was senior Christian McChesney (215).
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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