United States team rolls past Team Pa.; WPIAL team falls to New York in Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic

Friday, March 15, 2019 | 10:26 PM

A strong United States team had too much firepower for the Pennsylvania All-Stars in the annual Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic on Friday at Pitt’s Fitzgerald Field House.

The U.S. squad raced out to a big lead and cruised to a 29-18 victory. It has won eight consecutive matches.

For Kiski Area senior Darren Miller and Hopewell senior Jacob Ealy, it was an honor to be selected to the Classic.

“I wish I could have wrestled better,” Ealy said. “The talent on these squads was amazing. It was a great experience.”

Ealy dropped a 5-1 decision to JoJo Aragona from Pope John XXIII, N.J. Ealy was Hopewell’s first state champion, winning the 138-pound Class AA title last week in Hershey.

Miller dropped a hard-fought, 7-5 decision to Mike Colaiocco of Blair Academy in New Jersey.

“I feel like I wrestled decent, and I could have taken better shots,” Miller said. “I feel I wasn’t at my level in the first period and I gave up a crappy takedown. I feel like it could have been avoided if I was at the top of my game.

“But he was a great opponent and great wrestler. Definitely was on the top of the weight class.”

Neither wrestler wanted to use the excuse that they were coming off the state tournament, which they won.

The highlights for the Pennsylvania team were pins from Northampton’s Julian Chlebove (132 pounds) and Owen J. Roberts’ Daniel Mancini (160). Chlebove and his dad Whitey were the first father-son duo to win at the Classic. Whitey Chlebove wrestled in the 1994 Classic.

The Keystone state’s other winners were Bethlehem Catholic’s Ryan Anderson (145) and Cathedral Prep’s Carter Starocci (182), who was named the Outstanding Wrestler.

The WPIAL was beaten for the second consecutive year in the preliminary match, 25-18.

The New York All-Stars won the final three bouts after Belle Vernon senior Scott Joll (West Virginia) gave the WPIAL squad an 18-15 lead with a pin of Olean’s Patrick Walsh at 182 pounds.

But the Empire State squad got two decisions and a major decision in the final three bouts to pull out the win.

The WPIAL squad had no state champions on the team; New York had nine.

Picking up wins for the WPIAL were Canon-McMillan senior Kenny Hayman (126), Franklin Regional senior Colton Camacho (132), Quaker Valley senior John Rocco Kazalas (145) and McGuffey senior Christian Clutter (170).

Camacho, who will wrestle at Pitt starting next fall, saw his high school career officially end with an 8-6 victory against Alex Sampson of Victor, N.J.

“It’s not the match I wanted to be in,” Camacho said. “But it was still a great atmosphere and the place I’ll be wrestling at the next few seasons. It was an honor to be part of this event.”

Camacho fell to Miller in the PIAA Class AAA 126-pound final, 6-5. The Franklin Regional senior lost four times this season, which included three one-point losses to Miller.

“I had a lot of ups and downs during my career,” Camacho said. “I had a lot of improvement the last two years that helped me prep for college.”

Joll was named Outstanding Wrestler for the WPIAL for his pin.

The WPIAL also lost two overtime matches: Hempfield’s Kyle Burkholder (120) fell to Jimmy Ryan of Monsignor Farrell, and Penn-Trafford’s Nick Coy fell 4-2 to Tioga’s John Worthing.

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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