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Coles wins at Eastern Area

| Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 8:53 p.m.

Heath Coles is picking up where he left off.

Coles, a Norwin senior wrestler and defending WPIAL champion, got off to a winning start this season by placing first in the 160-pound weight class at the 2012 Eastern Area Invitational Wrestling Tournament at Gateway High School last Saturday.

The title was Norwin's only one of the tournament, but with nine wrestlers placing in the top six of their weight, the Knights finished in third place of the team standings behind only champion Kiski Area and runner-up Kittanning.

Coles was the top seed at 160, which earned him a first-round bye, and he cruised to the final with a pin and a technical fall before topping Bill Bowlen of Jefferson-Morgan in the final, 12-4.

Norwin had two other wrestlers in finals on Saturday — 106-pound sophomore Kevin Miller and 132-pound senior Joel Pezze.

All of Miller's wins came via fall, and he narrowly lost in the championship, 7-6, against Brendan Howard of Jefferson-Morgan.

Pezze recorded two falls on his path to the final, where he was pinned by former Class AA state champion Jason Nolf of Kittanning.

Norwin also put three wrestlers in consolation finals at Gateway, and two of them won to take third place.

In the heavyweight division, Rusty Casteel suffered his only loss in the semifinal to eventual champ Shane Kuhn of Kiski Area. He rebounded with two more wins, including a 6-2 decision over Ian Wolfe of Jefferson-Morgan in the consolation final.

At 182 pounds, Drew Phipps also lost in the semifinal to the eventual champ, Adam Nickelson of Belle Vernon, but he scrapped for a 2-1 win in the consolation final over Tyler Worthing of Kiski Area.

Norwin's fourth-place finisher was Cody Drum in the 126-pound class. He won three matches but lost, 4-0, in the consolation final to Casey McGowan of Penn-Trafford.

The Knights' remaining three place winners were Colin Dalrymple, who took fifth at 220 pounds; Jake Friedhof, who was sixth at 120 pounds; and Zac Gutshall, who also was sixth at 195 pounds.

Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or

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