WPIAL wrestlers acquit themselves well at Class AAA Super Regional
Saturday, March 6, 2021 | 9:00 PM
ALTOONA — Franklin Regional junior Finn Solomon and Hempfield senior heavyweight Isaiah Vance made statements Saturday at the PIAA West Super Regional at Altoona High School Field House.
Solomon had a dominating 12-1 victory against Waynesburg junior Cole Homet in the 138-pound final. Vance was equally impressive with a 7-2 thrashing of Selinsgrove senior Nate Schon, who was ranked No. 1 in the state by PaPowerWrestling.com.
It was a great day for the WPIAL as it walked away with nine champions and advanced 29 of 39 wrestlers to the PIAA championships March 13 at Giant Center in Hershey.
Solomon was upset when he lost to Homet, 4-2, in the Class AAA WPIAL/PIAA Southwest Regional on Feb. 27. He allowed Homet to control the pace and slow him down.
But he made sure that wouldn’t be the case this time around. Solomon ratcheted it up, and the result was a convincing victory.
Solomon used a reversal and the three-point nearfall to build a 5-0 lead in the second period. He put his opponent away with two more takedowns in the third period.
Solomon and teammate Carter Dibert (126) were two of the five wrestlers from the WPIAL to win titles in the morning session (weight classes 106-138). The other three were Seneca Valley’s Chappell brothers (Tyler at 106 and Dylan at 132) and Waynesburg sophomore Mac Church (120).
“Mentally was the big difference,” Solomon said about the match. “Last week, I was kind of conservative. I was nervous, and I wanted to win. This week I wanted to put up points, no matter the outcome.”
Solomon got a little scare in his first match of the day when he held on for a 10-7 win against Altoona senior Matt Sarbo. He followed that with a solid 9-1 win against Chartiers Valley sophomore Dylan Evans.
Latrobe sophomore Vinny Kilkeary (113), the returning PIAA 106-pound champion, lost to Manheim Township freshman Kamdyn Williams, 9-7. Kilkeary shrugged off the loss and is looking forward to Hershey.
The WPIAL picked up four more titles in the afternoon session (145 to 285). They were Norwin senior John Altieri (145), Seneca Valley senior Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (152), Pine-Richland senior Cole Spencer (160) and Vance.
It was an entertaining heavyweight battle. It wasn’t a typical heavyweight match with a lot of shoving and pushing. Vance and Schon showed quickness and agility.
Vance got a first-period takedown for a 2-0 lead. He extended that lead to 5-1 with an escape and takedown in the second period, and he fended off Schon’s attack in the third period.
“I was looking forward to this all week,” Vance said. “I got really excited when I found out that Nate was in this tournament because he’s really good, and I wanted to compete against him.
“I worked all week at keeping my feet going and keeping the pressure. I knew he was a quick guy.”
Altieri won the 145-pound title after he was slammed by Waynesburg senior Wyatt Henson, who was attempting an aggressive double-leg takedown. Altieri landed on his head and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
“Everything is precautionary,” Norwin coach Kyle Martin said. “He had feeling and movement. But they just wanted to make sure. Hopefully, it’s only a stinger, and he can compete next week.”
Henson spoke to Martin after Altieri was taken away, apologizing and wishing Altieri well.
Dibert said he was pleased he got to wrestle different people this week and not the same WPIAL guys. He defeated Central Mountain freshman Luke Simcox, 4-2, to win at 126.
“It was a great tournament, and this gets me ready for next week,” Dibert said. “Finn’s win, that’s how we knew he could wrestle. He got it done and looked awesome.”
Waynesburg advanced six of seven to next week, Hempfield four, Seneca Valley three and Norwin, Connellsville, Hampton and Franklin Regional two apiece.
The other Hempfield wrestlers moving on were Ethan Berginc (126) and Ty Linsenbigler (145) and Chase Kranitz (160).
Kiski Area had two wrestlers, but only senior Sammy Starr (172) moved on.
Starr won three of four matches and placed third by pounding State College senior Lance Urbas, 12-2.
Starr reached the semifinals but dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to eventual champion Trey Kibe of Mifflin County. It was 1-1 at the end of regulation.
Starr’s other wins were against Daniel Boone freshman Tucker Hogan, 12-1, in the opening round, and then 3-0 against Chambersburg senior Tate Nichter in the blood round.
Kiski Area senior Brayden Roscosky dropped his first match of the day, 5-2, to Dallastown senior Brooks Gable. He then used a late takedown to defeat Butler junior Cooper Baxter but lost in the blood round to Hampton senior Justin Hart, 5-1.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
More High School Sports• High school roundup for April 19, 2021: Blackhawk baseball wins wild one to stay unbeaten
• Led by a natural hat trick from Tanner Agnello, Indiana captures 1st Penguins Cup crown
• North Allegheny tops Mt. Lebanon, celebrates back-to-back Penguins Cup titles
• High school scores, summaries and schedules for April 19, 2021
• What to watch for in high school sports for April 20, 2021: 2 more title games on ice