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Blair Academy flexes muscles at tournaments

December 27, 2012
By Todd Irwin ( , The Altoona Mirror

National power Blair Academy, N.J. has been flexing its muscles in a couple prestigious wrestling tournaments in the early part of the season.

Blair won the Beast of the East by 152 points, 309-157, over Wyoming Seminary, a prep school in northeastern Pennsylvania. Blair also won the Walsh Ironman by 84.5 points, 240.5-156, over Wyoming Seminary.

Central Dauphin placed fifth in the Beast with 120.5 points, and defending Class AA champion Bethlehem Catholic was 11th with 87.

There were two returning state champions from PIAA schools that won titles at the Beast in Central Dauphin's Garrett Peppelman (160) and Milton's Ryan Solomon (195). Interestingly enough, Solomon beat Saucon Valley's Ray O'Donnell, 3-1, in the finals.

It was the only state matchup in the finals, and it was a rematch of last year's quarterfinals at the PIAA Championships. Solomon beat O'Donnell, 4-2, en route to his state title, and O'Donnell finished third.

Bethlehem Catholic's returning state champ Darian Cruz was third at 120. Norristown's Brett Harner (182) and Nazareth's Aaron Bradley (285) lost in the finals.

At the Ironman, Zain Retherford, who had to sit out last year after transferring from Line Mountain to Benton, won the 138-pound title with a 4-2 win over Blair freshman Mason Manville, who also took second at the Beast. Canon McMillan's returning state champ Cody Wiercioch won the 170-pound title.

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