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No. 1 Wyoming Seminary dominates at Powerade

Wyoming Seminary dominated at the Powerade, winning the team title by 94 points

The nation's top team, Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), dominated one of the nation's best tournaments over the course of Friday and Saturday south of Pittsburgh at Canon-McMillan. The Blue Knights placed 12 wrestlers, including seven in the top three, which was more than any other team in the tournament placed in total. Led by weight class titles from a pair of national No. 1 wrestlers in Beau Bartlett (138) and Lachlan McNeil (145), they amassed 272 points; Bartlett upended No. 2 Sam Hillegas (North Hills, Pa.) 5-3 in his championship bout. Finishing second were No. 1 Nic Bouzakis (126), Cole Rees (182), and No. 10 Kolby Franklin (220); Bouzakis lost by disqualification to Kurtis Phipps (Norwin, Pa.) during the second period, after Phipps beat No. 20 Rocco Welsh (Waynesburg, Pa.) 3-0 in his semifinal. Placing third were No. 20 Brennen Cernus (113), who lost 2-1 to No. 4 Carter Dibert (Franklin Regional, Pa.) in the semifinal, and No. 9 Drew Munch (132).

Munch lost by fall at the 1:01 mark of the quarterfinal to one of the tournament's biggest stories in eventual champion Gabe Willochell (Greater Latrobe, Pa.), a two-time state medalist who had four first period pins in four bouts prior to the final. This also included one at the 1:37 mark of the semifinal against No. 5 Patrick Noonan (Stroudsburg, Pa.). His finals victory came 2-0 with a reversal in the ultimate tiebreaker against No. 11 Alejandro Herrera-Rondon (Seneca Valley, Pa.), the tournament's defending champion. One of the other two unranked champions of the evening came at 120 pounds, where Kyle Hauserman (Council Rock North, Pa.) knocked off No. 10 Dominic Chavez (Arlington Martin, Texas) 2-1 in the tiebreaker.

Tournament runner-up honors went to No. 8 Malvern Prep (Pa.), who had six place winners on the way to 178 points. Four Friars placed in the top four, led by champion Cole Deery (285), who beat No. 17 Isaiah Vance (Hempfield Area, Pa.) 4-2 in the championship bout. No. 9 Nicholas Feldman (195) placed second, lost 3-2 to No. 3 Luke Stout (Mount Lebanon, Pa.) in the championship match; while No. 4 Dalton Harkins (152) finished third in a grinder of a weight class that had five ranked wrestlers.

Harkins lost 1-0 in the semifinal to No. 10 Brayden Roberts (Parkersburg South, W.Va.) when Roberts rode him out in the third period. Harkins beat No. 9 Cameron Robinson (Council Rock North, Pa.) 8-3 in the consolation semifinal and No. 20 Caleb Dowling (St. Joseph's Catholic, Pa.) 1-0 in the third-place bout. Dowling's front side loss came 3-1 in the semifinal to No. 8 Ed Scott (DuBois, Pa.) on a very late in the match takedown; Scott would beat Roberts 11-6 for the title on Saturday evening.

The other super-stacked weight class was at 170 pounds, where there were six ranked wrestlers. No. 5 Tyler Stoltzfus (St. Joseph's Catholic, Pa.) won the weight class with a 4-3 semifinal win over No. 4 Trey Kibe (Mifflin County, Pa.) and then a 5-2 finals victory over No. 17 Shane Reitsma (Howell, N.J.); Reitsma advanced to the final with a 3-1 win over No. 2 Leonard Pinto (Stroudsburg, Pa.) in the quarterfinal and a pin in overtime against No. 6 Connor O'Neil (DePaul Catholic, N.J.). Pinto finished third, while O'Neil and Kibe defaulted out of the consolation semifinal onward; finishing fourth was Mac Stout (Mt. Lebanon, Pa.), who beat No. 20 Jaden Bullock (Oscar Smith, Va.) in the consolation quarterfinal after Bullock lost 3-1 to Kibe in the quarterfinal.

Three other nationally ranked showdowns occured in the championship bouts. No. 6 Gary Steen (Reynolds, Pa.) beat No. 4 Dibert 5-2 at 113 pounds; No. 11 John Martin Best (Parkersburg, W.Va.) upended No. 13 Jack Blumer (Kiski Area, Pa.) 3-2 at 160, after Blumer beat No. 10 Gabriel Arnold (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) 7-2 in the semifinal; while No. 1 Braxton Amos (Parkersburg South, W.Va.) beat two ranked wrestlers to take gold at 220, 9-4 over No. 15 Dorian Crosby (Erie Cathedral Prep, Pa.) and 6-2 over No. 10 Kolby Franklin (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.).

Rounding out the weight class champions were No. 9 Mac Church (Waynesburg, Pa.) at 106 pounds and No. 2 Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon-McMillan, Pa.). Third place in the tournament went to No. 42 Waynesburg (Pa.) with 146.5 points with five placers. Rounding out the top five were Canon-McMillan (Pa.) and Parkersburg South (W.Va.) with 133 and 131 points respectively.

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