Meadville Tribune

Sports

March 9, 2014

McLane’s Wheeling comes up short in final

HERSHEY — On a night when six wrestlers repeated as PIAA Class AAA champions, Chance Marsteller and Thomas Haines stole the show.

Marsteller, of Kennard-Dale, and Haines, of Solanco, became the 11th and 12th four-time gold-medal winners in Pennsylvania history. Marsteller (166-0) also is the first four-time champion to complete his career without a loss since Cary Kolat (1989-92) and the fourth overall.

Marsteller defeated Kyle Coniker of Pittsburgh Central Catholic 14-2 and proceeded to raise both arms and extend four fingers to a standing ovation.

“I teared up a little bit,” Marsteller said. “Every other state title was just another match, just another day. This was one more memorable because it’s a different feat and it’s my last high school match ever. It was really something else to take in this time.”

Haines handled Pat Finn of Pottsgrove 6-1 and walked off to a similar standing ovation with arms raised and flashing a big smile.

“It’s just amazing. There’s nothing like it,” Haines said. “Everybody in the entire stadium standing up clapping for me. There’s no words to describe it.”

The Marsteller-Haines duo even upstaged Canon McMillan’s Dalton Macri, who knocked off Joe Galasso of Father Judge 7-2 in a battle of defending champions at 145, and Central Dauphin’s Garrett Peppelman, who won his second title at 160 with a 17-7 decision over Ian Shannon of Carlisle.

Devin Brown (37-0) of team champion Franklin Regional (119 points) was the first to repeat. Brown, who won his first title last year at Saegertown High School, trimmed Dan Moran of Nazareth 7-6 at 106 pounds.

Spencer Lee followed as Franklin Regional’s second straight champion. Lee ran his freshman season record to 49-0 with a major decision (15-5) over Joe Wheeling of General McLane.

Wheeling was the only D-10 grappler to work his way into the Class AAA finals. The senior reached the championship bout thanks to a 1-0 decision in the semifinals over Owen J. Roberts’ Derek Gulotta.

After a scoreless first period, Wheeling escaped for the lone point of the match in the second. Gulotta chose neutral to begin the third period, where Wheeling held off a late takedown attempt for the victory.

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