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Wright takes USA state championship in Greco-Roman wrestling

| Sunday, July 9, 2017, 10:03 p.m.
Hampton wrestler Zachary Wright took gold at the 2017 USA Wrestling Pennsylvania championships.
Hampton wrestler Zachary Wright took gold at the 2017 USA Wrestling Pennsylvania championships.
Hampton wrestler Zachary Wright
Hampton wrestler Zachary Wright

Zachary Wright isn't one to let a tough break take him down. In fact, the rising sophomore wrestler out of Hampton has proven difficult to take down altogether.

Wright, who finished his freshman season 24-6, missed weight before the section tournament this season by one-tenth of a pound.

But after taking home the gold in the 126-pound Cadet (ages 14-17) division at the USA Wrestling Pennsylvania championships last month in Chambersburg in Greco-Roman style, the anguish of that moment has all but washed away.

“I feel like I did pretty well this year,” said Wright. “Obviously, it didn't end that well missing weight at sections, but I've moved on from that.”

Wright defeated Ed Scott, the Northwest Regional Champion from DuBois who wrestled in the PIAA tournament this year in the 113-pound division. He also finished in fifth in the freestyle competition and will head to Fargo, N.D. July 19-22 for the USA Wrestling national championships, where he will represent Pennsylvania in the 126-pound division for Greco-Roman.

“I think I made a lot more improvements than I did in freestyle,” said Wright, who finished third last season in both styles. “I think I had always been better in freestyle, but I made a jump in Greco. … I thought I had prepared enough and was at the right weight. It was my second year, and I felt I had experience over some people.”

The main difference in Greco-Roman as opposed to freestyle is the prohibition in the former of grabbing below the waist and using leg takedowns.

“My favorite moves, even folkstyle (American high school and collegiate) and freestyle are catered to Greco, so I feel I'm better at that,” Wright said.

Wright, who started wrestling in sixth grade, aspires to wrestle at a Division I school.

“I feel like for next year I have to keep preparing and getting better,” said Wright. “We're getting a lot of eighth graders coming up, and I think the team will be a little bit better. … I'm excited to show people what I can do in the postseason. Show that I can do big things.”

Devon Moore is a freelance writer.

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