Sometimes people can be in the wrong place at the wrong time as a crime is being committed or as an accident is happening.
What happened to Penn Cambria's Pat Myers in the Southwest Regional Tournament was neither a crime nor an accident, but he was in the wrong place in the 125-pound weight class when he was upset by Chartiers-Houston's Tanner Sutton, 7-6, in the quarterfinals.
Not long after he couldn't scramble back from being put on his back against Sutton, who placed sixth and didn't even qualify for the PIAA Championships, North Star's Joe Lascari was upset by Shady Side Academy's Anthony Elias, 6-5, in the same round. Anthony's brother, Phillip, later upset Myers' teammate, Evan Link, in the semifinals.
For many good reasons, Myers and Lascari were expected to clash in the semifinals. They had wrestled three times in the regional tournament. In 2008, Lascari beat Myers in overtime, 3-1, in the consolation semifinals. Last year, they met in the quarterfinals and in the fifth-place finals, and Myers won both times.
But in some strange twist, they had to wrestle in the consolation quarterfinals Saturday, and that was the talk of the tournament. The winner reached the medal round. The loser was done for the season.
It appeared early on Myers would avenge his Thomas Subaru Tournament finals loss to Lascari as he took the lead, but Lascari rallied to tie the score and took the lead with an escape. Myers wasn't able to get a takedown, so Lascari won, 4-3, stopping the PC senior from making his fourth trip to the state tournament.
That came a day after breaking Nathan Link's school record for career wins.
"You have to feel for Patrick Myers," PC coach Todd Niebauer said. "He breaks the school record, and he doesn't make it to states. What would you rather have? I think he'd rather have that medal around his neck. He's the epitome of what Penn Cambria wrestling is all about. I told him afterward 'I think there's bigger things planned for you maybe.' I think he'll be all right, but it hurts."
On the other side of the emotions spectrum, Juniata Valley's Taylor Boyd, who lost to Myers in the District 6 finals, was celebrating when he pinned Sutton in 4:02 in the consolation semis. Lascari beat Boyd, 5-0, in the third-place finals.
Breaking the ice
Sitting on press row for hours upon hours, with only plywood between my feet and the War Memorial ice, leaving me chilled and wishing somebody would turn on the heat, I kept thinking there has to be a better place than this to hold a regional wrestling tournament.
If officials want to stay in Johnstown, my vote would be Richland High School, the home of the Richland Duals. There's plenty of parking, and the gym is spacious. Officials might have to use one less mat, but they could start a little earlier on both days.
I don't know if District 7 or school officials saw the Burrell assistant coach pointing his finger and yapping at Tyrone's Ronnie Garbinsky after Jeremy Landowski's injury.
If they did, it says here there should be some kind of suspension.
Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at email@example.com.