Thomas Jefferson’s Marlow claims 3rd Allegheny County wrestling title

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Sunday, January 21, 2024 | 9:24 PM


Thomas Jefferson junior Bode Marlow became the 13th wrestler to win three times at the 22nd Allegheny County Wrestling Tournament.

Now he has a shot at achieving a milestone only five wrestlers in the county have reached: win four times.

Marlow used eight takedowns and a three-point near fall to defeat Baldwin senior Keith Mincin, 20-5 (4:47), in the 160-pound finals Sunday at Fox Chapel. He had no trouble in his semifinal-round match as he recorded a 16-1 victory against Chartiers Valley sophomore Michael Lawrence.

“It feels good, and I’m happy and grateful to win this tournament again,” Marlow said. “I put a lot of trust in God. I was looking for the pin, but I changed up the game plan and settled for a technical fall. Now I’m looking forward to a bigger goal: the state tournament. I lost in the blood round last year.”

Marlow’s teammates, juniors Maddox Shaw and Shepherd Turk, also won titles.

Shaw claimed his second county championship by pinning Bethel Park junior Ethan Higgins in 53 seconds, and Turk overcame an early deficit to pin Mt. Lebanon junior Ben Lloyd.

“I saw an opportunity and took it,” Shaw said of the first-period pin. “Normally I celebrate with Dippin’ Dots, but they didn’t have any. Winning this is nice, but I have bigger goals.”

Shaw was named the outstanding wrestler of the tournament.

Thomas Jefferson finished second with 220.5 points. The team champion for the second consecutive year was Plum with 225.5 points.

Plum had four wrestlers in the finals, but only Nino Walker (152) walked away with a title after a 1-0 win against Elizabeth Forward senior Damon Michaels.

Placing second were sophomore Owen Campbell (121), sophomore Sam Snyder (127) and senior Jack Tongel (172). Plum had four other placewinners. Julien Sepelyak was fourth at 189, Rylen Campbell at 121 and Carson Yocca at 133 placed fifth and Charlie Campbell was eighth at 160.

Fox Chapel had its best team finish, fifth, since 2016, and had its first champion since 2020 when Ed Farrell won the 220-pound title. The Foxes finished with 183.5 points.

It also was a big weekend for the Fox Chapel junior Landon Funk.

After three pins on Day 1, Funk beat North Hills senior Giavonie Schipani (6-0) for the first time in his career during the semifinals Sunday. Then he used an escape and takedown in the third period to defeat a good friend, Avonworth junior Auston Kosanovic, 5-2, in the finals.

As the time clicked off the clock and Funk knew he was going to win, he had a surprised look on his face.

“I was really surprised,” Funk said. “My dream came true. I really worked hard this season, and my hard work paid off. Hopefully, this sets me for the rest of the season.”

The Foxes had seven other placewinners. They had two fifth-place finishers — Alexander Kaufmann at 152 and heavyweight D’Angelo Hamilton — four seventh-place finishers — Michael Worsen at 121, D.J. Noel at 127, Milo Chiu at 160 and Jack Viti at 172 — and Adam Haines in eighth at 133.

Bethel Park senior Mason Kernan had a big day.

He blanked Baldwin junior Ramil Islamov, 5-0, to win his second county title. His first came in 2022 at 120 pounds. He also denied Quaker Valley senior Jack Kazalas his hope of becoming a three-time champion with a 3-0 win in the semifinals. Kazalas settled for third place.

The West Virginia commit was aggressive from the start, getting a first-period takedown and an escape and takedown in the second period.

“I was confident I could win,” Kernan said. “I knew I was better than these guys. My goal is to win states.”

Others winning titles were: Quaker Valley sophomore Bruce Anderchak (107), Moon sophomore Cael Yanek (121), South Fayette senior Jonny Baiano (127), Pine-Richland junior Dom Ferraro (139), Pine-Richland junior Vaughn Spencer (172), Central Catholic sophomore Nez Green (189) and Central Catholic freshman Roman Thompson (215).

Green was awarded for the most pins in the fastest time, and Spencer, who won his second title, was awarded the Sportsmanship Award.

Earning a third-place medal from Highlands was sophomore Javion Chambers at 107. The Golden Rams’ Aiden Burford, at 139, and Kyren Veasley, at 152, placed sixth.

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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