Walker, Vulcano wins titles
Jared Walker and Garrett Vulcano captured WPIAL Class AA championships while Canon-McMillan dominated the section finals as it began its quest for individual wrestling glory in the district, as well as the state at the Class AAA level.
Walker captured the 160-pound weight class when he posted a 3-0 decision against South Side Beaver’s Connor Payne in the championship match.
Vulcano pinned Walker’s brother, Zach, in the 195-pound final. The Buccaneers’ all-time winningest wrestler was a runner-up last year but he left no doubt in the district who was champion with two pins and a technical fall in his matches.
“I get my name on the wall of our wrestling room for being a WPIAL champion,” said Vulcano, who improved to 39-2 on the season. “Taking second last year was not bad, but you want to win every match.
“I look at it that I advanced and also got a good spot in next week’s tournament.”
The top seven finishers in the Class AA tournament held last weekend at Chartiers Valley advanced to the Southwest Regional event set for March 1-2 at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown.
While Vulcano represents one of seven wrestlers from Chartiers-Houston now vying for spots in the PIAA tournament set for March 7-8-9 at the Giant Center in Hershey, the Walkers leads a contingent of eight South Fayette grapplers into the regional.
South Fayette boasted two others runners-up.
Michael Fetchet dropped a tough match. In the 170-pound final, the senior lost a 7-6 tiebreaker to Jefferson-Morgan’s Dustin Conti.
Seth Carr finished as the 113-pound silver medalist. He dropped a 1-0 decision to Derry’s George Phillippi in the finals.
While Vulcano’s teammate, Tanner Sutton fell to Burrell’s Phillip Marra, 5-0, in the 145-pound final, Nick Zanetta grabbed a silver medal for Keystone Oaks. In the 132-pound final, he lost, 3-0, to Kittanning’s Jason Nolf.
South Fayette’s other qualifiers included: Mike Carr, third at 120; Grant Fetchet, third at 152; Shane Ging, sixth at 126 and Brad Haney, seventh at 182.
Headed to Johnstown also for the Bucs are: Derek Hull and David Kincaid, third at 160 and 170, respectively; Ben Hritsko, fifth at 106, Nick Grady, sixth at 285 and Richie McGinnis, seventh at 120.
While he did not qualify, Josh Kraushaar took eighth in the 220-pound weight class. SF’s Brandon Keck also finished eighth at 145.
Joining Zanetta in Johnstown will be KO teammates Joe Kazalas and Drew Trybus. Kazalas finished fifth at 220 while Trybus secured seventh and the final slot at 145.
Meanwhile, Canon-McMillan, the four-time WPIAL and two-time PIAA team champion, dominated the Section 4 championships at Moon. The Big Macs crowned nine champions and advanced 12 wrestlers to the WPIAL tournament set for Feb. 28 through March 2 at Norwin.
Connor Schram and Cody Wierchioch lead the CM contigent as both are looking for their third district and regional titles. In the sectional, Schram pinned Terry Victor from Waynesburg in 1:06 for the 126-pound title while Wierchioch, who is a two-time state champion, won the 170-pound weight class with a major decision, 15-3, over Noah Wilps from Chartiers Valley.
While Brendan Price (106), Dalton Macri (120), Will Pihiou (152), Sammy Minor (160), Alex Campbell (220) and Angelo Broglia (285) joined Schram and Wierchioch in the winner’s circle, none of CM’s titles were more cherished than Solomon Chisko’s championship.
Competing in his first matches since fracturing his elbow before the scholastic season started, Chisko captured the 145-pound weight class. The junior, who is the defending WPIAL champion, pinned West Allegheny’s Nate Hall in 1:55 to clinch the section title. Chisko, who won all three of his bouts, is a two-time bronze medalist at states.
In addition to CM’s champions, Alec Hutchin (second, 132), Josh Hritsko (third, 138) and Steve LaFrance (second, 182) advanced to the district championships.
In addition to Wilps, CV advanced Justin Sullivan (106), Alex Preaux (120), Ray Soknick (132), Jesse Griffin (152) and Mike Roper (195) to the WPIAL championships.
CM’s Decian Lewis and CV’s Nicholas Canton just missed berths at 113 and 220.
BP crowns two
In the Section 2 tournament at Baldwin, Bethel Park claimed two championships. Nate Grygo captured the 195-pound crown with a 4-2 overtime win over Matt Butler from Connellsville while Paul Dunn blanked Peters Township’s Devan Evanovich for the 138-pound title.
Evanovich’s runner-up showing was one of five for the Indians. Phillip Mary (113), Tyler Buckiso (126), Italo Merante (132) and Jake Caputo (152) also secured silver medals for PT.
For the Indians, John Ivaschchenko finished fourth at 145 as did Lkas Cervanak at 285. A.J. Buckiso (106), Mac Oberschelp (170), Mitch Fitzgerald (182) and Michael Ament (195) all finished fifth to earn the final berths for the district finals.
BP’s Michael Vogel (126), Alex Gates (152) and Chris Pauley (285) as well as PT’s Christian Phelps (220) just missed qualifying for the WPIAL championships.
Qualifiers for USC included: Dmitry Wilding, second at 160; Corey Wilding, third at 132; Andrew Troy, fourth at 152; Jarrod Browne, third at 182; Garrett Walnoha, fifth at 138; and Maurice Slinger, fifth at 220.
Stout leads Lebo
Kellan Stout captured a Section 2 championship when he posted a major decision, 11-1, over Belle Vernon’s Milton Kobaly in the 170-pound title bout.
Five other Mt. Lebanon grapplers advanced to the WPIAL championships including: Zeynul Zaynullayev, who was third, as well as Kevin Kinyua, Sam White, Sean Perri, and Bakhtiyar Zaynullayev, all of whom finished fourth.