Super Region presents new challenge to WPIAL wrestlers on road to Hershey

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Thursday, March 4, 2021 | 6:11 PM


Wrestlers from around the state face a new challenge Saturday: the PIAA Super Region.

Because the PIAA decided to reduce the field and the number of days of the annual championships in Hershey, a new step was added.

The PIAA championships will have a field of eight in each classification. Class AA will be March 12 at the Giant Center and Class AAA will be March 13.

The West Super Region tournaments will be at IUP for Class AA and Altoona for Class AAA.

A field of eight will compete for four spots that will advance to Hershey.

The Class AAA West Super Region is a combination of wrestlers from the WPIAL and Districts 6 (Altoona area), 3 (South Central Pennsylvania), 9 (Clearfield area) and 10 (Erie).

“I’m excited,” Franklin Regional senior Carter Dibert said. “I get to face some different wrestlers that I haven’t faced yet. I’ve wrestled a lot of the same guys so far.”

Dibert (30-0) was a PIAA champion in 2019 at 106 pounds. He’s seeded No. 1 at 126 pounds this weekend. He’ll face Daniel Boone’s Stephen Spitko (18-2) in the opening round.

It won’t be easy for Dibert, ranked No. 1 by PaPowerWrestling, as five of the top seven wrestlers will be in Altoona. The others are No. 2 Ethan Berginc of Hempfield, No. 4 Matthew Repos of Central Mountain, No. 5 Aliazer Alicea of Manheim Township and No. 7 Spitko.

All the weight classes are stacked with top-ranked wrestlers.

At 113, Latrobe sophomore Vinny Kilkeary must maneuver through two PIAA runners up — Cedar Cliff’s Aidan Lewis and Erie Prep’s Jacob Van Dee, who he defeated to state the 106-pound title in 2020.

Kilkeary will face Lewis in the opening round. The top six wrestlers in the weight class in the state will be in Altoona. Van Dee is No. 2, Manheim Township freshman Kamdyn Williams is No. 3, Lewis is No. 4, Mifflin County junior Nic Allison is No. 5 and Penn-Trafford junior Troy Hohman is No. 6.

“All the kids are tough,” Kilkeary said. “It’s going to be a grind. You just have to go out there and do your best and whatever happens, happens. You have to believe in yourself.”

Seneca Valley senior Alejandro Herrera-Rondon, a two-time PIAA champion, is not looking past the Super Region. He knows the competition is going to be tough, and he wouldn’t mind another match against No. 2 Waynesburg sophomore Rocco Welsh.

The top four ranked wrestlers in the state at 152 will be competing. Erie Prep senior Paniro Johnson is No. 3 and Connellsville junior Jared Keslar is No. 4.

“You can’t take anyone for granted,” Herrera-Rondon said. “I wouldn’t mind an all-WPIAL final a couple more times. Why not? Rocco is a great wrestler, and he’s never out of a match. My focus is on the Super Region.”

The WPIAL had seven wrestlers seeded No. 1 in the Super Region, which begins at 8:30 a.m. for wrestlers from 106 to 138 pounds. The rest of the classes (145 to 285) will start at 2:45 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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