Sarbo, McMillen look to make history at regionals
Altoona’s Matt Sarbo and Glendale’s Brock McMillen both wrestle at 138 pounds, and they are looking to make history at their respective regional tournaments on Saturday.
Sarbo is aiming for his fourth Northwest Regional Tournament title at the Altoona Fieldhouse, which would set program history and break a tie with 2017 graduate and fellow three-timer Cole Manley.
“I feel pretty good about his chances,” Altoona coach Joel Gilbert said. “He’s wrestling real tough right now. As long as he takes it one match at a time, I believe he has as good of a chance as anybody’s ever had at Altoona. He’d be the first guy from Altoona to ever win four, and that would be a pretty huge accomplishment for him.”
McMillen, a two-time Class 2A state champion, is going for his third Southwest Regional title at IUP’s Ed Fry Arena at the Kovalchick Convention & Athletic Complex, which would break his own record.
Here’s a closer look at the tournaments:
Time schedules adjusted
Both tournament schedules have been adjusted to limit the amount of wrestlers in the gyms at the same time.
The Northwest Regional, which includes the top two at each weight from Districts 6, 8, 4/9 and 10, begins at 8:15 a.m. on Saturday with the quarterfinals for the weight classes from 106 to 138. The finals and consolation finals for those weights are set for 11:15 a.m.
The quarterfinals for weights from 145 to 285 begin at 2:15 p.m. The medal rounds for those weights are set for 6 p.m. The top two wrestlers at every weight return to the Fieldhouse next Saturday in the Super Regional. A true second place bout will be used.
The Southwest Regional, which includes the top three at each weight from Districts 6 and 7 and the top two from District 5, starts at 8 a.m. with the quarterfinals for the wrestlers from 106 to 138. The semifinals and consolations for that group are at 9:15. The consy semifinal round is slated for 4 p.m., and the finals follow at 5.
The wrestlers in weight classes from 145 to 285 start at noon, and the semifinals and consolations follow at 1:15. The consy semifinals are set for 7:30 and the medal round is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.
The top five wrestlers in the eight-man weight classes at the Southwest Regional return to IUP next Saturday with the first ever West Super Regional Tournament.
Fan attendance at Altoona and IUP is limited to two tickets per competitor. The Westmoreland Sports Network and PA Power Wrestling are combining to stream the Southwest action online at www.westmorelandsports.com.
Fans can watch the Northwest Regional on the Clearfield Area School District YouTube channel.
Live brackets for both tournaments are at Flo Arena.
Four area wrestlers in 3A
Sarbo will be one of only four area wrestlers competing in the Northwest Regional, including three from Altoona and one from Hollidaysburg.
He’ll be joined by teammates Trevor Manley (285), a senior who won a District 6 title last week and placed fourth at the regional last year, and district second-placer Caleb Fasick (120). Hollidaysburg district second-placer Campbell Walls (160) returns to regionals as a senior after placing third at the tournament last year.
Sarbo (7-1) is obviously the top seed at 138. DuBois’ Chandler Ho (20-3), a returning regional runner-up and state eighth-placer in the second seed. Sarbo beat the Clarion University recruit, 5-2, on Jan. 30.
Manley (12-5) is the second seed at 285, but he’s already in the semifinals because he’s gotten a bye in the seven-man weight class. He could face Clearfield’s returning regional runner-up and state eighth-placer Oliver Billotte (18-2) in the semifinals.
“Billotte beat him last year, so we’ll see if Trevor can get some revenge this time around,” Gilbert said.
The top seed is Selinsgrove’s 2019 state champ and 2020 state runner-up Nate Schon (32-0), who is vying for his third regional title.
Walls is the fifth seed at his weight, while Fasick, a sophomore, is seeded sixth.
“Our kids are excited to wrestle in it,” Gilbert said. “It’s at home, so it’s nice. You get to sleep in your own bed. That’s always important.”
McMillen could get rematch
McMillen (13-0) is one of four Vikings and 11 wrestlers from the Mirror coverage area who will wrestle in the rugged Southwest Regional Tournament.
McMillen is the No. 1 seed at 138, while Burrell’s Ian Oswalt (18-0) is the second seed. Last year, McMillen took Oswalt down in overtime in the 132-pound finals to win, 3-1. Oswalt is on the same side as St. Joseph’s Amonn Ohl, whom McMillen earned a hard-fought 5-3 win over for a district title last week.
“I’m excited for regionals,” McMillen said. “I think it could very well be me and (Ohl) again or me and the kid I wrestled in the finals last year. I’m just ready to wrestle.”
Cambria Heights’ District 6 champion Ian Eckenrode (189) will be looking to improve upon his fifth-place finish in last year’s regional. Eckenrode (13-0) is seeded second behind Quaker Valley’s District 7 champ Patrick Cutchember (24-4), who was eighth in last year’s regional.
“You have to step up every week if you want to keep moving on,” Eckenrode said.
Tyrone’s district runner-up Hunter Walk (sixth seed at 120) returns after placing third in last year’s tournament. Glendale’s district second-placer Zeke Dubler (fourth seed at 152) was fifth in 2020, while brother Suds Dubler (sixth seed at 172) took third as a freshman and seventh last season.
Penn Cambria District 6 runner-up Trent Hoover (fifth seed at 113) will try to continue his banner freshman year. Tyrone district third-placers Korry Walls (seventh seed at 106), Reese Wood (eighth seed at 145) and Tommy Hicks (eighth seed at 189) are part of the field.
Central’s Andrew McMonagle (eighth seed at 160) and Glendale’s Brock Smeal (seventh seed at 285), both of whom were third last week, round out the area contingent.
Chestnut Ridge, which has nine qualifiers, is looking to repeat as team champion and earn its fourth title since 2015.
NORTHWEST REGIONAL CLASS 3A TOURNAMENT
Saturday at Altoona Fieldhouse
Quarterfinals: 8:15 a.m., Semifinals and consolations: 9:15 a.m., Consolation semifinals: 10:15 a.m., Finals and consolation finals: 11:15 a.m.
Quarterfinals: 2:15 p.m., Semifinals and consolations: 3:30 p.m., Consolation semifinals: 4:45 p.m., Finals and consolation finals: 6 p.m.
Limited fan attendance: 2 tickets per qualifier
SOUTHWEST REGIONAL CLASS 2A TOURNAMENT
Saturday at IUP’s Ed Frey Arena at the Kovalchick Convention & Athletic Complex
Quarterfinals: 8 a.m., Semifinals and consolations: 9:15 a.m., Consolation semifinals: 4 p.m., Finals and consolation finals: 5 p.m.
Quarterfinals: 12 p.m., Semifinals and consolations: 1:15 p.m., Consolation semifinals: 7:30 p.m., Finals and consolation finals: 8:30 a.m.
Limited fan attendance: 2 tickets per qualifier
Streamed by Westmoreland Sports Network and Pa Power Wrestling