Murin, Oliver set for Dapper Dan

By Todd Irwin

For the Mirror

The Mirror coverage area is rarely represented in the prestigious Dapper Dan Wrestling Classic, but there will be two area wrestlers competing against United States All-Stars this year.

Central Cambria two-time state champion Max Murin and Huntingdon two-time state champion Jacob Oliver will wrestle in the event –renamed Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic — at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Fieldhouse.

Murin and Oliver are the first area wrestlers to take part in the event since Juniata Valley’s Garrett Scott in 2006.

The Classic features star wrestlers from Pennsylvania against a team of United States all-stars.

Fans can watch the event live on Flo Wrestling. Well, at least that’s the plan, anyway. Flo Wrestling botched the live broadcast of Penn State’s match against Oklahoma State.

Murin, who captured the 138-pound state Class 2A title and was voted the Outstanding Wrestler nearly two weeks ago with a pulse-pounding 2-1 ultimate tiebreaker victory over Reynolds’ Cole Matthews, will wrestle four-time Oklahoma state champ Tanner Litterell at 138. Murin is the first Central Cambria wrestler to participate in the event.

“It’s awesome,” Murin said. “I’ve been going there since I was in sixth grade, and I’m really excited to finally wrestle in it and hopefully win. I have a kid from Oklahoma, but I’m not too sure about him.”

Oliver, the second Bearcat to wrestle in the Classic and the first since Jason Shea in 1988, won his second straight 170-pound Class 2A title with a dominating 9-2 victory over Susquenita’s Dalton Group. Oliver is wrestling at 160, benefitting from the 10-pound weight allowance.

He will wrestle two-time Minnesota state champ Jake Allar, who has the second most career wins of all the all-stars with a 250-27 record. As we’ve learned with Penn State’s Mark Hall, a six-time Minnesota state champ, kids in Minnesota can wrestle for their high school teams in seventh grade.

The United States team has a combined career record of 2,501-131 and 43 state titles. The Pennsylvania team has a combined mark of 1,975-252 and 20 state titles. The Pennsylvania team hasn’t had much luck against the U.S. team lately.

“I think we’re looking real good this year,” Murin said. “I think it’s very possible we could get a win. I think that would be awesome for the state of Pennsylvania.”

Murin still with Iowa

The wrestling world was rocked on Tuesday when Jefferson-Morgan three-time state champion Gavin Teasdale decommitted from Iowa and verbally committed to wrestle for Penn State.

The Lions just crowned five NCAA champions and won the NCAA title for the sixth time in the last seven years.

Teasdale, a 126-pound junior who is 122-0 in his high school career, verbally committed with Franklin Regional three-time champ Spencer Lee to Iowa last April when Teasdale was a sophomore.

“After a long and hard consideration I’m proud to announce I will be attending Penn State University,” Teasdale tweeted Tuesday. He followed that with a Lion emoticon and a ‘#Weare’ hashtag.

Murin later verbally committed to Iowa and signed a letter of intent before the wrestling season started to wrestle for the Hawkeyes. He says he’s still committed to Iowa.

“I’m 100 percent there,” he said. “I’m excited to start my classes and start wrestling there.”

Teasdale, Lee and Murin all work out at Young Guns facilities in the Pittsburgh area, and Murin can usually be seen working out Teasdale when they’re at the same tournaments — like the Thomas Chevrolet Tournament, the Southwest Regional and PIAA Championships.

Asked what his reaction to Teasdale’s decision was, Murin said, “I was upset at first, but at the same time, he’s one of my best friends, and it’s his decision. I want to see him do what’s best for himself.

“I texted him and said ‘Congratulations,’ and I told him I’ll take all of his Iowa gear now,” Murin said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t be the caliber of wrestler I am without Teasdale, and I just wish him the best of luck for the rest of his career. I hang out with him a lot, and it stinks I’m not going to be with him the next couple years of my life, but I’m grateful for the time we spent together.”