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Four capture PJW state crowns

March 25, 2012
By Todd Irwin ( , The Altoona Mirror

It was a heck of a two days for area wrestlers in the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Championships at the Hersheypark Arena.

Area wrestlers went 4-for-5 in the championship finals, and the loss came in overtime. Seventeen wrestlers in all placed in the top eight.

Altoona's Cole Manley (82), Bedford's Jonathan Gabriel (87) won state titles in the 13-14 age group. Chestnut Ridge's Jared McGill (80) won a title in the 11-12 group, and Philipsburg-Osceola's Hunter Weitoish (70) captured a title in the 8-and-under group.

Huntingdon's Jacob Oliver (132) lost a 5-3 overtime tiebreaker to Cumberland Valley's Felix Belga in the finals. It was Oliver's second medal.

Manley is the most decorated of all the area wrestlers, having earned his fourth PJW state medal.

Manley, who finished second twice before taking fifth last year, defeated Pine Richland's Hunter Baxter, 4-0, to go 4-0 in the tournament. It's the second time in the last three years an Altoona wrestler has won a title. D.J. Hollingshead won two years ago.

Gabriel captured a 5-0 win over Connellsville's Tyler Kenney in the finals. Gabriel, who had finished third twice, outscored his four opponents 25-0, including a 2-0 overtime win in the semifinals.

McGill, a runner-up last year, earned his third state medal with a 2-1 win over Central Dauphin's Jake Cherry. McGill, who is the third Ridge wrestler in as many years to win a title, outscored his four opponents 28-1.

Weitoish took Johnsonburg's Dalton Stahli down in overtime to win, 8-6, and complete a 4-0 tournament performance.

Central's Jordan Quarello (117) finished third in the 13-14 group for his second state medal, and Huntingdon's Collin Glorioso (97) placed fourth.

Chestnut Ridge's Conner Buttry finished fifth, defeating Altoona's Trenton Kephart, 12-2, in an all-area matchup at 167.

Penn Cambria's Nolan Link (77) finished seventh for the second straight year.

Two wrestlers in the 11-12 group finished third in Bedford's Kaden Cassidy (75), who earned his second medal, and Ridge's Justin McCoy (90), who won a state title last year.

Moshannon Valley's Larry Brown (125) finished sixth, and Cambria Heights' Hunter Campbell (75) took eighth.

A couple Glendale kids placed in the 9-10 division in Brock McMillen (60), who took sixth for his second medal, and Nathaniel Simmers (150), who finished eighth.

Altoona's Luke Hileman (50) finished sixth in the 8-and-under group.

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