Eight Warriors place in Eastern Area wrestling
Penn-Trafford kicked off its wrestling season by producing eight place winners and a fifth-place team finish in the 18-team Eastern Area Invitational Wrestling Tournament on Friday and Saturday at Gateway High School.
Though the Warriors did not have a champion in any weight class, the team's one finalist and six consolation finalists helped it to finish behind only team champion Kiski Area, Kittanning, Norwin and Belle Vernon.
Will Palarino was P-T's finalist in the 170-pound division after he pinned three consecutive opponents — two in under two minutes — to reach the final. Palarino fell in the last match to Zach Pinkas of Forest Hills, who won with a pin with 12 seconds remaining in the final period.
The Warriors had three wrestlers take third place with consolation final wins — Casey McGowan at 126, Will Karan at 145 and Devin Austin at 152.
McGowan lost a 9-3 decision in the semifinal to eventual champ Nate Russo of Belle Vernon but recovered to win two more matches, including a 4-0 win over Norwin's Cody Drum to take third.
Karan overcame a quarterfinal loss by winning four times in the consolation bracket, the last one coming over Cameron Jacobson of Allderdice, 3-2; and Austin followed the same path to third place as Karan, as he finished with a 2-1 win over Vince Leschak of North Allegheny.
Mike Risnear (132), Jack McGillick (195) and Ryan Winslow (220) both took their second loss of the tournament in consolation finals to secure fourth place in their weight classes, and Craig Slepsky scored a fall to win the fifth-place match at 160 pounds.
The Penn-Trafford Wrestling Boosters will host Alumni Night and Junior Wrestling Appreciation Night on Wednesday during the team's home match against Latrobe.
The night will include a Santa and Mrs. Claus cookie reception in the gym lobby from 5:45 to 6:30 p.m. After that, alumni will be recognized, and junior wrestlers will parade around the mat prior to the varsity match at 7 p.m.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.